AWARDS DAY: The Mirror Awards, which honor excellence in media reporting, gave out its annual prizes Wednesday at Cipriani 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan. Among the most notable winners was a regular at these things, The New Yorker’s Ken Auletta, picking up his fourth Mirror Award, this time for best single article for reporting on India’s newspaper industry. Gawker reporter Adrian Chen won the profile category for unmasking a notorious user on the social site Reddit, the aggregation site where, in the manner of ancient Rome, popularity is determined by the rule of the mob. Chen thanked a former editor, A.J. Daulerio, for embracing long-form features on the site.
The Mirror Awards, now in their seventh year, are handed out by the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University.
Anne Sweeney, cochair of Disney Media Networks, won the Fred Dressler Achievement Award, while the late Dick Clark was recognized for lifetime achievement. His widow, Kari, said during her remarks she was donating a $5 million gift to the school to rebuild its studio facilities.
Nate Silver, the polls guru and New York Times blogger, collected a prize for “impact, innovation and influence.”
Silver, during his speech, recalled starting FiveThirtyEight independently five years ago to look at all the polls tracking the 2008 election. Two years later, he had a chance encounter with a Times editor and the blog migrated to the Times’ Web site.
“I was lucky I ran into Gerry Marzorati on a train platform in Boston,” Silver said.
Marzorati was editor of the Times’ Sunday Magazine until 2010, when he stepped down to take on a new, broadly defined role at the paper overseeing new products and ventures. Now, he is general manager of the Times’ conference business.
FiveThirtyEight was the subject of controversy last year among conservative pundits who accused Silver of political bias, but it’s also earned critical accolades — the Mirror was just the latest — and an enormous following that, at least last election, did a lot of heavy lifting for the Times’ site, where it was responsible for 20 percent of all incoming traffic. On Election Day, the blog drew 10 million page views, Silver said. In the first week of its existence in 2008, the blog only got about 300 hits.
“I’m very aware that success involves a combination of talent and luck,” Silver said.