More than 100 honored in 20th SABEW Best in Business awards

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Monday, March 2, 2015

PHOENIX- The Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) today announces finalists in its prestigious 20th annual Best in Business competition, which recognizes outstanding business stories published or aired in 2014.

The 119 honored works represent all corners of financial news, from Institutional Investor to Fortune Magazine and National Public Radio, and from Crain’s Chicago Business to The Seattle Times and The Columbus Dispatch.

View the full list here.

Bloomberg News, Bloomberg Businessweek and The Wall Street Journal are finalist in seven categories. CNBC and  The New York Times are all finalists in six categories, and the Financial Times in five.

“The works honored in this list truly represent the finest of our profession,” said Marty Wolk, SABEW president and assigning editor for NerdWallet, the personal finance website. “In its 20th year, SABEW’s Best in Business contest is more competitive and more prestigious than ever.”

This year, SABEW decided to announce only finalists in all categories, with the announcement of the winner reserved for the reception and Best in Business Awards ceremony on Saturday, April 25, during the SABEW’s 52nd annual conference in Chicago. The number of awards is based on the number and quality of entries in each category, as determined by judges.

The April 25 ceremonies will be at the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile, the closing event of the April 23-25 conference. Keynoting the event will be Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Morningstar CEO Joe Mansueto. SABEW has announced a special discounted conference rate of $225 to honor BIB honorees.

Conference details and registration. 

Some 214 working journalists and academics served as judges, sifting through 1,020 entries from 178 news outlets across 73 categories. “This year’s honored works represent an inspiring variety of stories tackled by news organizations of all sizes, but what they have in common is ambition and excellence. We extend a hearty thanks to our fantastic judges, and can’t wait to congratulate these talented journalists in person in Chicago,” said Cory Schouten, managing editor of Indianapolis Business Journal, who served as contest co-chair. Joanna Ossinger of Bloomberg News was contest co-chair and judging coordinator.

The honored work reflected challenges that continue to dog the American economy like long-term unemployment and the mounting problems of debt. A sampling of finalists includes The Center for Investigative Reporting’s investigation into environmental cleanup efforts that result in more pollution being created at waste dump sites, and Bloomberg News’ searing report on the fatal results of sleep-deprived truck drivers.

Several publications earned recognition for revealing the “story behind the story.” The Financial Times used government calculations combined with independent research to slap a $1 trillion price tag on U.S. involvement in the 13-year war in Afghanistan, noting that much of it was spent during the Obama presidency. That piece was honored in the Government category, one of three new categories that also included Energy and Healthcare.  In the latter category, some 54 entries competed for honors. Judges singled out Bloomberg’s reporting on “anonymous” health information that could be matched to patients, as well as The Columbus Dispatch’s examination of home health care abuses and the New England Center for Investigative Reporting’s investigation into the faulty reliability of medical screening tests. The Detroit News was honored for continuing examination of the Motor City’s rise from bankruptcy.

Innovation in business journalism was honored, such as the Des Moines Register’s “Harvest of Change” interactive series with 360-degree videos. Crain’s New York was honored for its ambitious “The 200 Most-Connected New Yorkers” feature that ranks the city’s power brokers.

Corporate coverage continued to explain why things happen. The McClatchy Washington Bureau team looked at Motorola’s lock on the emergency communications market. The New York Times was honored for its breaking news coverage of the Alibaba’s initial stock offering, as was The Wall Street Journal for its story behind the Comcast-Time Warner deal.

In a category for student journalists, Brittany Elena Morris of Arizona State University won for a story on southern Mexico farmers being let down by NAFTA, published by the Arizona Daily Star. Daniel Bauman, of Webster University in St. Louis, won for his examination of the costs of college chess teams, a project that included open records requests.

(For more information, contact SABEW Executive Director Kathleen Graham at or call 1-602-496-7862.)



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