SABEW overachieves in down economic year

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PHOENIX — Len Downie, whose seminal work on the future of American journalism has sparked debate nationwide, concluded SABEW’s annual three-day conference with an address on “The Reconstruction of American Journalism” Sunday, March 21, at the Cronkite School at Arizona State University.

From paid content to new journalism startups, Downie, a professor of journalism at ASU and former editor of The Washington Post, painted a picture of optimism at the final keynote event of the 47th annual convention of the 3,200-member organization of financial journalists.

His keynote address ended an event that attracted about 300 people to the new Cronkite School.

“I have been to 13 annual SABEW conferences now, and I think Phoenix. was right up in the top two or three. What I heard from attendees and exhibitors was quite gratifying, yet another testament to hard work over a long period of time that yields top-notch results,” said Rob Reuteman, SABEW’s new president.

In a down economy, SABEW had 165 paid attendees, up from 115 a year ago in Denver.

SABEW also attracted 25 exhibitors, more than twice as many as a year ago, and brought in new sponsor Google to join mainstay supporters such as Bloomberg, Reuters, the Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, News Corp. companies Dow Jones and Fox Business News, and the National Endowment for Financial Education. The Financial Times also was a new sponsor, as were, The Arizona Republic, the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.

Gail MarksJarvis, a member of the SABEW Board of Governors, applauded the conference. “I was impressed with everything from the location to the content, and so were numerous participants,” said MarksJarvis. “They liked the vibrant setting — with the booths and program tied together. They liked the behind-the-scenes look at the evolution of journalism/media.”

The highlight, as always, was the annual awards banquet for the Best in Business competition, held at the Heard Museum. The New York Times won the most awards – 13.

Bloomberg Markets magazine, The Des Moines Register, Fast Company and the Los Angeles Business Journal were Best of the Best winners in general excellence in SABEW’s 15th annual contest. The winners announced March 20 in its Best of the Best in Business Awards included the following, with the category in which they were originally entered:

* “The Making of a New York Dress” in online audio/video reports
* The New York Times: “”The G.M. Bankruptcy” in breaking news for print and real-time media
* GlobalPost: “Living in the Shadows” in online projects
* Bloomberg News: “Lehman’s Lessons” in projects for print and real-time media
* The Detroit News: “GM enters bankruptcy” in breaking news for print and real-time media
* Scripps Howard News Service: “Forgive Us Our Debts” in projects for print and real-time media
* Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune: “Flipping Fraud” in projects for print and real-time media
* David Leonhardt, The New York Times in columns for print and real-time media
* Bloomberg Markets: “Big Pharma’s Crime Spree” in magazine enterprise
* Los Angeles Business Journal for general excellence in business weeklies
* Fast Company for general excellence in large magazines
* The Des Moines Register for general excellence in mid-sized newspapers
* Bloomberg Markets magazine for general excellence in small magazines

Judges for the Best of the Best portion of the contest were Marcus Brauchli, executive editor of The Washington Post; David Callaway, editor-in-chief of MarketWatch; Kai Ryssdal, host of Marketplace on National Public Radio; and Paul Steiger, editor-in-chief of

In other conference highlights:

•       The SABEW board voted to designate Indianapolis as its host city for the annual conference in 2012.  The 2011 conference will be held in Dallas in April 2011.  Two Florida cities – Miami and St. Petersburg – also bid for the conference.  The board is studying possible locations for its 2013 conference, which will be SABEW’s 50th.
•       SABEW also announced that will be having a fall conference for the first time since 2008.  The event will be held in New York City on Oct. 1 at City University of New York.
•       Rob Reuteman, a Denver freelance journalist and former business editor of the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News, became SABEW president at the end of the conference.  He replaces Greg McCune, who becomes immediate past president. Kevin Noblet of Dow Jones Newswires moved up to vice president.
•       New board members elected were: Mary Jane Pardue, Alwyn Scott and Rodney Ward. Incumbents Lisa Gibbs, Kevin Hall, Diana Henriques, Chris Peacock, Gary Silverman and Pam Yip won re-election.
•       Becky Bisbee, who retired from the board, was honored for her 10 years of service with a President’s Award.

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Arizona State University

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