2013 BiB Winners’ List

Best in Business 2013 Winners List

Winners in the 19th annual Best in Business competition for work done in 2013. This year, only one winner is named in each category division. In many instance, judges chose to recognize one or two finalists. Awards will be presented March 29 at the 51st annual SABEW conference in Phoenix.



Finalist:  CNNMoney Staff, CNNMoney, for “Detroit Files for Bankruptcy.”

The main story was cleanly written and highlighted how cuts have never been forced upon public pensioners before, and broadened story by noting other cities could get hurt when trying to sell bonds. It also spun forward news, speculating that unions will put up big fight.


Winner:  Jesse Eisinger, ProPublica, for “The Trade.”

Eisingers in-depth commentary and meticulous digging is evident. By continuing to put pressure on the banking and financial industries, he is effecting change. Work is lively and accessible.

Finalist: Rob Cox, Reuters, for “Economics of Gun Safety.”

Cox brings economic analysis and a viewpoint to a groundbreaking, niche topic. His in-depth reporting and personal connection to the tragedy brings a novel approach to the topic that hits at the heart for so many.


Winner: Peter Goodman, The Huffington Post, for business and global commentary.

Substantial experience and depth of knowledge. Goodman offered a sense of knowing China firsthand and applying his experience in a way that was measured and thoughtful.

Finalist: Bianca Bosker, The Huffington Post, for technology commentary.

Bosker brings authority to her work. She did some deep reporting and gave us a sense of the work having been done before, offering an opinion on a subject.


Winner: T. Christian Miller, Jeff Gerth, ProPublica, for Overdose series on drug dangers.

Incredible detail and reporting. Authors explained the medical, historical and business angles behind the dangers of acetaminophen in a highly approachable way. Graphics, interactive elements and videos added to the overall experience and depth.

Finalist: Michael Smallberg, Project on Government Oversight, for SEC Revolving Door.

All-around solid series that shows the conflicts within an agency that is supposed to watch out for investors. Instead, it appears to watch out more for the industry it is intended to regulate. POGO explained how the conflict of interest manifests itself in the oversight of the financial industry.

Finalist: Paul Kiel, ProPublica, for Debt Inc.

Casts light on the shadowy world on installment lending, how some companies push unknown costs onto desperate borrowers, and how they navigate around state laws.  Terrific example of explanatory journalism in the digital age.


Winner:  Thomas Mucha, Solana Pyne, David Case, Patrick Winn, Jonah Kessel, GlobalPost, for “Myanmar Emerges.”

Ambitious and worthy.  In-depth look at how a country with a long, troubled history tries to transition into a nation that promises it citizens both greater political and economic freedom. This year-long series was a real eye-opener and an example of digital storytelling at its finest.

Finalist: Ritchie King, Sam Williams, David Yanofsky, Quartz, for By Reading this Page You are Minting Bitcoins.”                                                                                                                                             

A unique approach to explaining one of the many mysteries of the digital currency. Innovative approach to storytelling that shows the great promise of digital journalism.


Winner: A.C. Thompson, Jonathan Jones, ProPublica, for “Assisted Living.”

Report on assisted-living facilities showed in chilling detail how too much focus on money erodes medical care. Thorough reporting, engaging writing, memorable examples of the impact on real people and pointed questioning of an industry that has largely escaped proper scrutiny.


Winner:  David Case, Solana Pyne, GlobalPost Staff, GlobalPost, for “Dead Men Working: The World’s Most Dangerous Jobs.”

The GlobalPost’s descriptive, on-the-ground reporting yields a compelling series that documents in personal ways the toll of the world’s most deadly work. Ambitious, melding multi-media and traditional story-telling.

Finalist: John Schoen,, for “Pandemic of Pension Woes Plaguing the Nation.”

Strong reporting and context provides readers with a troubling and detailed look at the nation’s public pensions.  Sources add dimension and character.

Finalist: Suzy Khimm,, for “Austerity Deals Harsh Blow to Already Stricken Land.”

The story of how politics affect residents in Harlan, Ky., is wonderfully told through an effective variety of voices. Shows the impact that decisions in Washington can have on everyday lives.


Winner: Deal Staff, The Deal.

Making excellent use of its digital platform, the Deal offered its sophisticated audience in-depth coverage of a broad range of topics, from the political and business climate in Turkey, to the M&A slowdown in Japan, to funding challenges facing U.S. defense contractors to the landscape of public radio in New York. Its breakouts on related topics, stories, industries and companies and people mentioned were a smart and useful approach. Even given its audience, it steered clear of jargon and produced stories that were engaging, well-written and solidly reported.

Finalist:  Richard Eisenberg, Kerry Hannon, Kevin Haynes, Donna Sapolin, Next Avenue, PBS.

Strong range of personal finance-related articles targeting over-50 audience. Made good use of digital medium with links and additional information. Provided useful information with clarity and an authoritative voice.


Winner: Quartz Staff, Quartz.

Quartz set itself apart with its deft combination of modern methods and traditional storytelling, and with its commitment to both real-time analysis and longer-form enterprise reporting.


Winner: Chris Hamby, The Center for Public Integrity, for “Breathless and Burdened: Dying from Black Lung, Buried by Law and Medicine.

Resourceful, hard-nosed reporting that undergirded this project, as well as by the clarity and power of the writing. Combined reportorial mastery of technical subjects with concrete, precise, and rich humanity. Outrageous and compelling.

Finalist: Paul Kiel, ProPublica, for “Debt Inc.”

Strong look at the latest incarnation of pay-day lending, with incisive reporting on how the lenders have evaded states’ regulatory attempts. Good story-telling and impressive reporting.


Winner: Chris Kirkham, The Huffington Post, for stories on the private prison industry.

In-depth look at the painful, brutal record of a flourishing private-prison company. Kirkham does the hard work of uncovering connections between the company and state officials awarding contracts while exposing the lack of oversight that allows an outfit with a sordid history to thrive.


Winner:  Alex Blumberg, Joshua Davis, Kainaz Amaria, Brian Boyer, Alyson Hurt, Wes Lindamood, Claire O’Neill, David Gilkey, Jeremy Bowers, Danny DeBelius, Adam Cole, Quoctrung Bui, Zoe Chace, Jacob Goldstein, Jess Jiang, Caitlin Kenney, David Kestenbaum, Marianne McCune, Robert Smith, National Public Radio, for “Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt.”

Great example of what Planet Money does best explore complex business topics using micro examples to illuminate a macro issue, and present it in clear, simple, compelling terms that engage even the most passive audience. 

Finalist: Kevin Quealy, Shan Carter, Archie Tse, Mike Bostock,  Matthew Ericson, Hannah Fairfield, Ford Fessenden, Tom Giratikanon, Josh Keller, Alicia Parlapiano, Tim Wallace, Derek Watkins, Jeremy White, Josh Williams, Karen Yourish, The New York Times, for a collection of business graphics.

No news organization has embraced interactive graphics like The New York Times, and this compilation clearly highlights the Times industry leadership. None of the parts of the entry stood out as better than the others they were all terrific. And taken as a whole, the depth of knowledge and creativity represented in this entry is staggering.

Finalist: Ben Eisen, Terrence Horan, Brian Aguilar, Tom Bemis, Laura Mandaro, MarketWatch, for “Mile Wide, Inch Deep: Bond Market Liquidity Dries Up.”

A key component of successful innovation is a willingness to employ other peoples tools to achieve your own objective. This entry does that with great flair, engaging readers on the potentially dry topic of bond liquidity using Creativist, an interactive digital storytelling platform. It gave readers a top-down, visually compelling and highly accessible overview of the issue.



Winner: Staff, The New York Times, for Cyprus financial crisis coverage.

Astonishingly clear on why it mattered, and a two-paragraph lead that was as good as it gets under deadline pressure.


Winner: Andy Mukherjee, Peter Thal Larsen, Reuters, for Breakingviews commentary.

This analysis is like a high-protein snack that quickly makes you smarter about complex global events. Its spare prose bubbles with wit, intelligence and accessibility. Breakingviews consistently assesses the long view and offers readers fresh insights.


Winner: Thomas Mucha, Solana Pyne, David Case, Patrick Winn, Jonah Kessel, GlobalPost, for “Myanmar Emerges.”

This series makes it abundantly clear why Myanmar is an important subject. A clear picture emerges of a struggling democracy with huge problems – the worst child labor in the world. Excellent videos and heartbreaking portraits of youngsters working very tough jobs under horrible conditions makes this a compelling multimedia package.

Finalist: Steve Stecklow, Babak Dehghanpisheh, Yeganeh Torbati, Reuters, for “Assets of the Ayatollah:”

This dogged investigation and well-told series offers the first in-depth look at the business dealings of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It details his control of a secret organization, Setad, which built a massive financial empire on property seizures from persecuted religious minorities, business people and Iranians living abroad.

Finalist: Sophia Yan,, for “Expats Fight to Navigate American Taxes.”

Solid series of stories that explain, document and underscore the mind-numbing complexity of U.S. tax laws for Americans living and working abroad. Clear writing, good reporting and thoughtful explanation of a complex issue.


Winner: Burt Helm, Dan Ferrara, Eric Schurenberg, Inc., for “When in China.”

Great read that probed the international business story of our timethe perils and opportunities for U. S. entrepreneurs attempting to navigate the Chinese economy.

Finalist: Andrew MacAskill, Bibhudatta Pradhan, Bloomberg News, for “India’s Shame.”

A gripping and detailed account of how portions of Indias economy are heavily dependent on prostitution as a way of lifeputting millions of young girls in peril.

Finalist: Christine Spolar, Raymond Bonner, Sally Gainsbury, Financial Times, for “Death in Singapore.”

An eye-opening account of how what looked like an innocent adventure abroad for a U.S. post-graduate student turned into a tragedy for his family and a potentially explosive tale of international intrigue when it comes to advanced technology materials.


Winner:  Steve Stecklow, Babak Dehghanpisheh, Yeganeh Torbati, Reuters, for “Assets of the Ayatollah”

This project had it all: Jaw-dropping findings. Powerful examples. Clear explanations and clean writing. Reporting it clearly wasn’t easy. The writers showed impressive resourcefulness, persistence and courage.

Finalist: Staff, members and media partners, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, for “Secrecy for Sale.”

Stunning in its sweep, this project trained a powerful light on the shadowy, multi-trillion-dollar world of offshore tax havens. It was a monumental reporting effort, involving 112 journalists and 42 media partners, and it yielded dramatic results.



Winner: Tim Higgins, Jeff Green, Carol Hymowitz, Laura Colby, Bryant Urstadt, Bloomberg News, for “Scoop: GM Chooses Barra as First Female CEO.”

Impressive depth of reporting and clearly a step ahead of the competition. Each story was well written and answered all the key questions while finding new angles on the central news of Mary Barra’s appointment. The overall package did an impressive job of breaking news ahead of general release.


Winner: Susan Antilla, Bloomberg View, for her columns.

Terrific topics. Tough, engaging, enlightening, head-snapping. Well-reasoned arguments. Writes with authority and insight in a simple, declarative style that doesnt wander. No navel-gazing. Sophisticated humor used lightly in a way that advances the argument. Not humor for humors sake.


Winner: Michelle Conlin, Brian Grow, Reuters, for “They Own the House, but Not What Lies Beneath.”

This story revealed a surprising new player in the “fracking” energy boom: home builders. The exhaustively researched but tightly written piece chronicles how builders are keeping underground mineral rights to home lots they sell, a practice they disclose to homeowners in the fine print of contracts. But the Reuters coverage pulled back the curtain on the growing industry practice.

Finalist: Scot Paltrow, Kelly Carr, Reuters for “Unaccountable.”

A surprising and incisive look at the human costs of decades of bad bookkeeping at the Pentagon. The three-part series pulls together an impressive mix of public records and interviews, along with graphics and videos, to illustrate the absurdity of billions wasted on failed attempts to modernize defense-department systems while soldiers are nickel-and-dimed.

Finalist:Bernard Condon, Paul Wiseman, David McHugh, Elaine Kurtenbach, Nick Harbaugh, The Associated Press, for “Great Reset.”

The pieces of this ambitious package each explain key concerns about the U.S. and world economies, and work together with a series of graphics to paint a larger picture. The stories didn’t break news, but broke down complex issues and combined them with colorful personal anecdotes.


Winner: Carol Hymowitz, Bloomberg News, for “The End of Retirement.”

Bloomberg and Hymowitz deserve real credit for a deep and passionate depiction of a major American problem — the lack of personal wealth needed to afford retirement. Beautifully reported, well written and elegantly produced this is a first-rate feature

Finalist: Scott Mayerowitz, The Associated Press, for “From the Start, Dreamliner Jet Program was Rushed.”

The AP took a deep dive into the high-flying aerospace business to reveal how ad-hoc and often poorly organized was Boeing construction of its 787. This is a definitive account of an important 2013 story.

Finalist: Anne D’Innocenzio, The Associated Press, for “No Guarantees When Shopping for ‘Ethically Made’ Clothes.”

Solid work in a tough category. A marvelously sourced, deeply written account of the complexities hidden inside of even simple clothing and garments. Excellent job.


Winner: Staff, Reuters.

Reuters excelled in a tough field with an entry that showed strength in core business-news reporting and exceptional enterprise journalism that displayed courage, ambition and mastery of new storytelling techniques. Where Reuters clearly excelled was with its two enterprise piecesAssets of the Ayatollah, and Connected China. Both pieces shed light on stories about two of the most importantand opaquenations on Earth: Iran and China. Great journalism married with great design. Reuters broke ground with its insightful piece of what Janet Yellen, now the head of the Federal Reserve, knew about the troubled housing market in California before the subprime bubble burst.

Finalist: Matthew Winkler, Serena Saitto, Lee Spears, Leslie Picker, Ari Levy, Brian Womack, Michael Smith, David Evans, Jason Harper, Liam Vaughan, Gavin Finch, Ambereen Choudhury, Bloomberg News. 

Bloomberg had a strong entry in this category, including investigative work on foreign exchange, and explanatory stories on manged futures, and features on the revival of a Detroit Chrysler plant.

Finalist: Barbara Ortutay, Michael Liedtke, Scott Mayerowitz, Tom Krisher, Dee-Ann Durbin, Jonathan Fahey, Bernard Condon, Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press.

AP’s entry was good, especially stories on how technology is eliminating some jobs, and the explanatory piece on huge changes in the oil industry.  Solid work on Chevrolet.


Winner: Scot Paltrow and Kelly Carr, Reuters, for “Unaccountable.”

Exhaustive, clear reporting on a subject of real consequence, the business of government. It expertly mixes the human component of Pentagon mismanagement with the macro problems, as well as the bungled bureaucratic attempts to fix it. Powerful and descriptive writing mixes with stellar presentation, including photography, video and smartly produced infographics.


Winner: Kimberly Lankford, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, for stories on financial planning for Alzheimer’s disease.

While Alzheimer’s is a widely known ailment, the enormous financial toll is rarely discussed. Lankford presented the material in an upfront but easy to understand way. It gave different examples of how families are coping. This is true service journalism that educated the reader, and most likely helped people grappling with which way to turn.

Finalist: Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, for series on Detroit bankruptcy effect on city pension recipients.

An important series of stories that personalizes a city in crisis. Tompor combines data with anecdotes to make the Detroit situation come to life.

Finalist: Amanda Gengler, Money, for “Future of Your Healthcare.”

This piece is extremely well-reported, with great art, and it not only outlines problems, but offers advice on how to solve them. It ticked a lot of boxes, and it was an on-trend topic.



Winner: Getahn Ward, The Tennessean, for “Convention Center Redevelopment.”

This well-written, well-rounded story packed a lot of important information into a breaking news story. It hit all the big points that readers in this community would want to know — the size and shape of the project, the potential tenants and the financing. The reporter broke the story in a competitive market, forcing rivals to source the paper for much of the day and the mayor to issue the lease that evening.

Finalist: Maria Aspan, Jeff Horwitz, American Banker, for “Chase Halts Card Debt Sales Ahead of Crackdown.”

The American Banker article was very strong, requiring digging through court documents and sourcing with high-level industry insiders. Comparing the change in court filings was a creative and enterprising way to get at the story.


Winner: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Staff, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, for “Atlanta Braves Move to Suburbs.”

When the Braves announced the shocking and unexpected news that the team would move to the suburbs, the AJC provided a thorough first-day report. Most impressive was its tick-tock of how the top-secret deal came together, a story that one would not expect to gel until later. It was a comprehensive package, including residents’ and officials’ reactions, as well as looking at the experience of other organizations that have moved to the suburbs. Coverage was enhanced by strong graphics. Commentary on the deal was sharp and provocative.


Winner: Ivan Penn, Drew Harwell, Robert Trigaux, Barbara Behrendt, Jeff Harrington, Tampa Bay Times, for “Duke Pulls Plug.”

Bold with its coverage of Duke Energys decision to close the area nuclear plant.  The team clearly knew the issues, which gave them the ability to both break the news and spin a good story with a sharp point of view.   The reporting also did a good job connecting the news with the impact on the local economy and community.

Finalist: Terry Maxon, The Dallas Morning News business staff, The Dallas Morning News, for  American-U.S. Airways merger coverage.

The Dallas Morning News wins points for being fast on the news with a solid, authoritative take, and then live blogging every angle. The Morning News rounded out coverage with smart sidebars, including the impact on consumers.


Winner:  E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times, for “Wells Fargo Sales Schemes.”

Solid consumer protection reporting and good document research and inside the company reporting. Would have liked a clear explanation of the cost to consumers and/or taxpayers. But a very good story.

Finalist: Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Ben Protess, Peter Eavis, The New York Times, for “JP Morgan Settlement.”

Solid job on a highly competitive story. The package is complete, with context of how JPM manufactured mortgages and how the SEC and Justice pursued the bank.


Winner: Tim Steller,  Arizona Daily Star, for his columns.

Tight and well-reported focus on the local community, with local voices making his point.


Winner: David Nicklaus, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, for his columns.

David Nicklaus writes an impressive example of a destination business column, both commanding and concise. It takes an impressive depth of understanding to present complex topics in such sure and accessible terms. We admired his ambitious targets, sharp writing and well-focused arguments.


Winner (Tie): Gary Silverman, Financial Times, for his columns.

Silverman demonstrates how form is as important as content in commentary. He engages the reader with off-the-wall thoughts, literary references and eloquent writing. In doing so, he lures people into thinking about issues — such as monetary policy, gay marriage and taxes — that they otherwise might have found repellant. Excellent work!

Winner (Tie): Brier Dudley, The Seattle Times, for his columns.

Dudley is doing a great service to the people of Seattle. With original reporting and a strong sense of fairness, he exposes cases of greed, hypocrisy and misinformation that have a direct effect on the lives and livelihoods of his audience — and that probably aren’t being covered anyplace else. Local, activist, set-the-record-straight journalism at its best.


Winner: David Lazarus, Los Angeles Times, for his columns.

Lazarus has the ability to hone in on bold and original subject matter. He used the flexibility of his column to boldly explore unique angles to important topics and expose them to much-needed public scrutiny. Lazarus makes the large and seemingly abstract subject of U.S. healthcare accessible by focusing on issues that directly impact readers.

Finalist: James Stewart, The New York Times, for his columns.

Mr. Stewart trained his keen analytical eye on the boards of large institutions like Hewlett-Packard and the New York City Opera , explaining and exposing governance and management failings in a way that few other journalists can.


Winner: Marc Perrusquia, The Commercial Appeal, for “Southern Transplants.”

Judges were impressed with this series on the transplant business in Memphis. Its a well-told story with nice writing.

Finalist: Laurence Hammack, David Ress, Roanoke Times, for “Understanding Obamacare.”

Well-done, public service/explanatory reporting on a very important topic; they were also on top of the problems even before the roll out.

Finalist: Kevin Wack, American Banker, for “How Big Banks Killed a Plan to Speed Up Money Transfers.”

Nice regulatory reporting. Exceptionally clear writing and very good that a trade journal would take on the big banks.


Winner: Bernard Wolfson, Orange County Register,  for “Obamacare in Orange County.”

In a category where so many people dug in so deeply, this was executed in a very simple way. So much has been written on the political aspect, but I don’t know that I have read anything this helpful on this topic. Dispassionate, simply presented.

Finalist: Dan Haar, The Hartford Courant, for “America’s Rifle: Rise Of The AR-15.”

This series stood apart from the emotional debate over the Newtown school shooting to look at the pre-eminence of the AR-15 rifle in terms of Connecticut’s history, culture and meaning to the innovation economy, and they deserve a lot of credit for being able to do that.

Finalist: Rick Romell, Allan James Vestal, Bill Schulz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, for “A Time to Build.”

Sheer ambition: Not many newspapers this size would have taken on something like this. Deeply reported, with exhaustive use of demographic data and lots of humanity. It was pro-Milwaukee but not in a way that felt rah-rah.


Winner: Nathan Bomey, John Gallagher and Free Press Staff, Detroit Free Press, for “How Detroit Went Broke.”

A revelatory piece of in-depth reporting. The reporters gave us a great read, informative graphics and a new perspective on the unprecedented bankruptcy.

Finalist: Ivan Penn, Tampa Bay Times, for “Nuclear Myths.”

Ivan Penn turned conventional wisdom on its head with this piece, which in turn changed policy in Florida.

Finalist: Sean Silcoff, Jacquie McNish and Steve Ladurantaye, Globe and Mail, for “Inside the Fall of Blackberry.”

A great example of explanatory business reporting that took us inside the fall of this once-dominant company.


Winner: Gretchen Morgenson, David Kocieniewski, Robert Gebeloff, The New York Times, for “House Edge.”

 Normally any feature that starts out talking about aluminum turns quickly into a room-emptier. But the writers showcased remarkable reporting and writing skill set to describe and analyze a scheme by Goldman Sachs for driving up the cost of beverage cans. The story immediately connected the thesis to the reader’s pocketbook. Impact? Government investigations came almost immediately.

Finalist: Jenny Strasburg, Tom McGinty, John Carryrou, Michael Rothfeld, James Sterngold, Chad Bray, Susan Pulliam, The Wall Street Journal, for “Capital Offenses: Insider Trading at SAC Capital.”

No financial story has proved more fascinating recently than the federal probe into the giant, secretive hedge fund SAC Capital. Continuing its legacy of insider trading coverage that dates back to stories about Ivan Boesky and Dennis Levine in the 1980s, The Journal launched an impressive multi-platform assault on SAC — putting scoops on its website, “explainers” in the paper and videos on air.


Winner: Victor Epstein, Mark Marturello, Katie Kunert, The DesMoines Register, for “Insurance Heavyweights.”

Great enterprise with a clear thesis that identifies a trend and backs it up with examples. Strong sidebars about specific companies, charts that underline the thesis and a diversity of voices from the industry. Very impressive and ambitious package lots of detail and analysis.

Finalist: Paul Edward Parker, Providence Journal, for “This Changes Everything.”

Interesting features about how technology changes all aspects of our lives. Great work online with some good videos and polls to engage readers and encourage them to follow the whole series. Enjoyed the hiking and food trucks stories especially.


Winner: Barbara Soderlin, Omaha World-Herald, for “Finding a Recipe for Success.”

Great series. Compelling and informative for all those looking to start their own businesses. The stories took readers through various steps for opening a business, including the important impact it has on family life. The writer nicely balanced the business details with human interest reporting.

Finalist: David Markiewicz, Atlanta Journal Constitution, for ” The Inventor.”

A story you couldn’t stop reading. The inventor was successful on many counts, but not financially. The story showed the roller-coaster ride of emotions and breaks and setbacks, and the impact on his family.

Finalist: Rick Romell, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, for “An Immigrant’s Story”

Rich background in outline the journey of a Siberian immigrant who made good, first as a software entrepreneur and then as a gelato maker.


Winner: Nathan VanderKlippe, Globe and Mail, for Keystone pipeline project.

Highly readable and relevant project whose ambitions are as big as the proposed pipeline itself. The reporter consistently delivers on those ambitions with insights gleaned by simply spending time with people living and working along the pipelines trail. No one side wins out in this one, no one hero or villain emerges; instead, a complex issue is explained well and brought to life.

Finalist: Robert L. Smith, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), for “Slavic Village, Devastated by the National Housing Crisis, is Battling Back.”

Exquisitely detailed exploration of the slow comeback of a neighborhood in Cleveland that was epicenter of the foreclosure crisis. An interesting and compelling read even for people not from or familiar with the area.

Finalist: Ronald. J. Hansen, The Arizona Republic, for “Income Tax Turns 100.”

With fun-telling graphics and tidbits, took potentially dry topic of income tax 100 birthday and recounted history in lively anecdote-filled story. An article you just had to share as you read.


Winner: Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times, for “Tougher Workplace.”

Alana Semuels obviously worked overtime herself to produce this very readable and extremely well-organized series on overworked Americans. Writing on an important topic, Semuels strikes a balanced tone. She is fair to employers while giving voice to Americans who feel as if they have become human machines on the job.

Finalist: Walter Hamilton, Shan Li, Los Angeles Times, for “Five Years After Meltdown Family.”

Shows the long-term human cost of the financial crisis for ordinary people. Full of color and anecdotes, it focuses on appealing central character and family. It is sympathetic without going overboard, and the authors resist the temptation to sermonize. This economy of writing heightens the impact of the story.


Winner: Editorial Staff, American Banker

American Banker provides innovative finance coverage on everything from leveraged loans to force-placed insurance. It’s not always easy to make articles on banking fascinating, but the writers at American Banker manage to do it consistently in issue after issue. We loved articles like Lessons from a Terrible Thursday at JPMorgan, Too Big to Jail, Taxpayers Lose as GSE Plan Dies and the expansive coverage on the unbanked. Journalists write with authority and institutional knowledge on a variety of policy issues from the fate of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the impact of Dodd-Frank on the industry — often with angles that won’t be found anywhere else. Bravo!


Winner (TIE): Business News Staff, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Any new resident of or visitor to Milwaukee who reads the Journal Sentinel’s business section will quickly know what the town is all about, how its economy fits into the region, state and nation, which industries are thriving and which aren’t, where the city’s been and where it’s going. The large Business Section is impressively filled with staff stories supplemented by well-chosen wires and syndicated columns.

Winner (TIE): Business News Staff, The Columbus Dispatch

The staff showed consistently good quality work, with a solid contingent of enterprise pieces. We were particularly impressed with an investigative piece — on a scam in which some apartment dwellers in the city are getting jacked-up utilities bills. Other stories looked at craft brewers, Frontier Air, food safety, the city’s growing tech sector, and the plight of folks after an aluminum-smelting plant closing. The Dispatch business section served its audience well.


Winner: Business News Staff, The Dallas Morning News

Strong investigative reporting on the police pension fund’s investment in luxury homes and the disparity between Parkland Hospital’s wealth and its treatment of patients. That, plus the thorough coverage of the American Airlines merger made the Dallas paper the winner. The News showcased first-rate investigative work and comprehensive local reporting.


Winner: Business News Staff, The New York Times

The Times was in a class by itself. No other entry matched the breadth of coverage it offered. Stories exhibited rich detail and sophistication. The section showed a deep commitment to foreign coverage. There were multiple columnists, a book review, letters and special features.

Finalist: Business News Staff, Los Angeles Times

A worthy honoree. In particular, the papers investigation on Wells Fargo sales quotas featured on the front page exhibited great enterprise in exposing questionable behavior from a bank that had largely avoided scrutiny.


Winner: Michael Braga, Anthony Cormier, The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, for “Breaking the Banks.”

What the Herald-Tribune did so well is tell stories that spanned a number of saucy topics: insider deals, theft, nepotism, death threats, drug lords, careless lenders and a slate of other unsettling yet enticing elements. The variety of stories from news to profiles kept the package interesting, as did the stories about the “good guys” who maintained their integrity and ethical business standards. A comprehensive, intriguing package that showcased the breadth and depth of what business journalism can be.

Finalist: Kate Berry, Jeff Horwitz, American Banker, for “Housing Group Taps Dubious Data, HUD Ties to Demand Millions from Banks”

Packed with points of tension that make it appealing to a wide array of readers: minorities, fair housing advocates, lawyers, bankers, politicians and civic leaders, and others. This is a thoroughly engaging piece of work.

Finalist: Kate Berry, American Banker, for “Buried in Fine Print: $57B of FHA Loans Big Banks May Have to Eat.”

This story points to a caution that every business reporter should heed: If you want to know more, look beyond the numbers and read the footnotes on financial reports. The reporter really dug into the forensics of financial statements and provided an excellent example of the type of discipline more business journalists need.


Winner: Ellen Gabler, Mark Johnson, John Fauber, Allan James Vestal, Kristyna Wentz-Graff, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, for “Deadly Delays.”

Rare investigative reporting project that led literally to life and death outcomes. Very thorough, well told, a compelling narrative on delays in processing newborn screening tests that combined outstanding use of rich data and interactive features. Demonstrated a commitment beyond time and resources.

Finalist: Dan Gearino, Columbus Dispatch: for “Shocking Cost.”

This entry distinguished itself by helping to bring to a stop an unconscionable practice. One of the higher goals in any investigative journalism project – the exposure helped to end the evictions, with legislation introduced to bring the middlemen under regulation.

Finalist: Marjie Lundstrom, Sam Stanton, Manny Crisostomo, Sharon Okada, The Sacramento Bee, for “The Carissa Carpenter Saga.”

Richly mined tale, including obtaining of details of history of activity, and quotes from interviews and e-mails. Distinguished itself from other investigations into corrupt commercial activity/ con-artists/ poinzi schemes by contributing to its halt. There should be a category for before-the-horse-has-bolted journalism.


Winner: Grant Robertson, Jacquie McNish, Globe and Mail, for “Lac-Mégantic.”

The Globe and Mail wasn’t the only news organization to probe what went wrong last July when a train carrying oil derailed and exploded, killing 47 people in the small Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic. But the Globe and Mail dug deeper and found out more, drawing on dozens of interviews as well as company and government documents obtained through access-to-information laws.

Finalist: Luis Fabregas, Andrew Conte, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, for “Donor Dilemma.”

In a nearly year-long investigation, the newspaper discovered that many organ procurement organizations aren’t nearly as altruistic as the people who donate their organs upon death. They pored over the records of all 51 organizations for which detailed financial data was available, finding that their top executives averaged $320,000 a year in pay.

Finalist: Megan Woolhouse, Beth Healy, The Boston Globe, for “Deloitte.”

Boston Globe reporters Woolhouse and Healy broke news repeatedly over the course of four months in a dogged investigation of the problem-plagued launch of an unemployment system built by Deloitte Consulting.


Winner: Alison Young, John Hillkirk, USA TODAY, for “Supplement Shell Game, The People Behind Risky Pills.”

A story that uncovered the world of criminals-turned-entrepreneurs who lace supplements with harmful chemicals, market them to the public and perpetually escape the grips of the law. This series likely saved lives and, hey, what could be more important than that? The interactive graphic alone showed tremendous research and focus.



Winner: Dale Kurschner, Twin Cities Business, for What about Partners?”

Kurschner speaks to his audience, making them better informed about their area, using numbers and clear statements to make his points.


Winner: Dan Primack, Fortune, for his columns.

Commentary should be deeply reported and sharply written, marshaling new evidence to convey a clear viewpoint that helps readers figure out what to think about the topic at hand. The originality of Primack’s ideas compels him into fresh, authoritative reporting; he has a strong ability to explain complex issues. His writing is lively, and we’re never left wondering where he stands. The columns speak in a well-read, well-informed voice.

Finalist: Paul Barrett, Bloomberg Businessweek, for “Gun Control.”

Barrett took on the intensely emotional issue of gun control. This kind of reporting isn’t just good explanatory journalism, but it puts the issues into context and helps readers understand what’s at stake no matter which side they are on.

Finalist: Peter Coy, Bloomberg Businessweek, for his columns.

Coy takes us below the surface of subjects and shows us the financial angles we might not have thought of. He takes you below ground and shows you the roots of things that are going on beneath the headlines. His reporting is original, and the writing is clear.


Winner: Adam Pincus, The Real Deal, for “Empire State Building: A Buyer’s Manual.”

A clear and concise presentation about an iconic piece of real estate in Manhattan. A different approach than a typical narrative. The two-page spread uses a striking illustration, photos and charts to show the reader some history about the major players owners as well as tenants.

Finalist: Jeff Horwitz, Maria Aspan, American Banker, for “The Bank Doctor.”

The powerful consultancy employs a whos who among regulators and private sector bankers. Rich in detail, well organized, enhanced theme of the story in a reader-friendly design. We were especially impressed for the infographic detailing Promontory’s connections.


Winner: Peter Elkind, Doris Burke, Fortune, for “Amazon’s War on Taxes.”

Deftly tells the story of how managed to avoid collecting state sales taxes for so many years by taking advantage of an old court ruling and employing some fairly hard-nosed tactics. Writers tell what could be a dry tax story with flair and color.

Finalist: Amanda Gengler, Money Magazine, for “Future of Your Healthcare.”

Deeply reported yet easily digestible, providing an unvarnished view for consumers of what to expect with the rollout of the largest overhaul of health insurance in a generation. Gave readers a prescient look of the future of health care in which more of the cost and responsibility is placed on the consumer. The three-part series, which kicked off in June, set the stage for many of the issues that became front-page news in the fall.


Finalist: Stephanie Forshee, Auto Dealer Monthly, for “Inside Job: Special Report on Embezzlement.”

Takes a colorful look at embezzlement at auto dealerships, building on a prison letter from the perpetrator of one of the largest and longest-running dealer ripoffs. The report paints a social picture that starts to explain why many cases go undetected and remain hushed.


Winner: Jeff Howe, Money Magazine, for “Paying for Finn.”

Grabbed me almost immediately. It was our unanimous choice before we even got on the phone.

Finalist: Julie Segal, Institutional Investor, for “Is Alpha Dead?”

A strong submission that’s as accessible to an individual investor as it is to a Peter Lynch. A topic that appears to have been hiding in plain view.

Finalist: Jeffrey Goldberg, Bloomberg Business Week, for “Drowning Kiribati.”

All the world’s problems seem to have visited an obscure cluster of islands in the Pacific. A fascinating, original account of the plight of the “Saudi Arabia of fish.”


Winner: Staff, The Real Deal

The Real Deal hits its target-audience in the New York real estate industry dead-on, while its edgy, creative and highly informative content bridges the gap to general readers. The cover stories draw you in through their smartly designed presentation and then deliver the goods.


Winner: Josh Tyrangiel, editor, Bloomberg Businessweek

Superb mix of timely stories, smart analysis and lively writing. The deep-dive issue on the 5th anniversary of Lehman’s collapse was a business junky’s dream. The foreign coverage had some nice surprises, like Adam Higginbotham’s tale of the confidence man who swindled the Iraqi government out of millions with his phony bomb detectors. But most unexpected were the magazine’s attitude and sense of fun.

FInalist: Andy Serwer, managing editor, Fortune

Fortune is complete and consistent. The issue with the spycatcher was fantastic beginning to end.


Winner: Cam Simpson, Bloomberg Businessweek, for “Stranded.”

When Apple launched its iPhone 5 in fall of 2012, the heat was on suppliers to get the devices on the shelves. According to Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Cam Simpson, the company “had planned… the most aggressive production-and-launch schedule ever attempted by Apple.” But in that rush to satisfy Apple customers, Simpson found in reporting this investigative piece, there were some who paid a very steep price: the 1,500 workers from Nepal who paid job brokers to be flown to Malaysia to assemble cameras for the new smartphones. When the work was moved to a different factory, the workers became stranded in a legal limbo for two months, unpaid, unable to go home and frightened of starving to death. With his vivid, harrowing report, Simpson exposed a darker side of the electronics supply chain. His work forced Apple — and the U.S. government – to take notice and work to stop the brokers who demand payments from factory job recruits. After reading this tale of exploitation, you’ll never look at your iPhone the same way.

Finalist: Michael Smith, Alex Webb, Tim Culpan, Bloomberg Markets, for “Tungsten’s Tainted Trail.”

Turning the world’s supply chain for tungsten upside down, this story has the perfect mix of drama and danger. But, most important, it displays the hallmark of a good investigative piece — impact. Diligent, deep reporting led Bloomberg Markets to uncover an illegal activity that thrives “because no one outside the nation has bothered to notice” it. Following this six-month investigation, now some companies have stopped buying tungsten from Columbia. In addition, the European Union changed its laws to prevent companies from buying minerals that fund conflict in Columbia.



Winner: James Rufus Koren, Los Angeles Business Journal, for “Amazon Expands Delivery Service.”

Demonstrated great reporting instincts, and scored an intriguing story with intense regional interest and national relevance. His article on Amazon’s delivery service expansion was detailed, thorough, and an engaging read.

Finalist: Matthew Kish, Portland Business Journal, for “Welcome to Swooshville.”

Impressive reporting on Nike’s land deals.  Result: a high-impact package of articles and graphics that brought the reader into the corporate behemoth’s empire. The series provided a comprehensive look at Nike’s sprawling corporate campus that was both visually appealing and highly informative.


Winner: Bruce Kelly, Investment News, for his columns.

A seasoned journalist who combines sophisticated research with plain talk that’s easy to follow. No one wonders what he means when he says an individual has “fudged documents.” He’s a champion of the individual investor, calling on the securities industry to silence brokers who should no longer be giving advice.

Finalist: Joe Cahill, Crains Chicago Business, for his columns.

Good reporting and willing to take the powerful to task.


Winner: Adam Sichko, Albany Business Review, for “A Way of Life Under Fire.”

Great read and a fresh approach to the gun-control issue. Very well reported. Full of human texture. Excellent illumination as well of the overarching theme of the decline of U.S. manufacturing.

Finalist: Staff, Crains New York Business, for “Sandy One Year Later.”

Enormous breadth of coverage — every conceivable aspect. Well reported and presented in digestible pieces. Each section was packed with information.

Finalist: Alby Gallun, Micah Maidenberg, Crains Chicago Business, for “Reckless Abandon.”

Smart approach. Personalized the crisis of urban decay and provided an illuminating example of a national issue. Presentation helped make this a story you wanted to read.


Winner: Meribah Knight, Crains Chicago Business, for “A Business of Life and Death.”

How does a family-owned company catering to lower-income consumers respond to a surge in business? The answer is just the starting point for this extensively reported story of a local funeral home and its efforts to cope with a surging murder rate in Chicago.

Finalist: Aaron Elstein, Glenn Coleman, Crains New York, for “Capturing the Seggermans.”

This story about four siblings and a family tax-evasion scheme is a compelling read. E-mail excerpts at the start spell out the conspiracy, and interviews with family members and others flesh out the details. The report skillfully explains how the case was tied into a broader crackdown on tax cheats.

Finalist: Bill King, Tom Stinson, Brandon McClung, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, for “Staying True.”

Sports Business Journal’s decision to give Jerry Reinsdorf a Lifetime Achievement Award provided an opportunity to tell the definitive tale about him. The weekly rose to the challenge, as the story and related sidebars add up to a package that any sports publication would surely be proud to have.


Winner: Staff, Crains New York Business

New York sets the bar high for financial coverage and Crains NY rises above the challenge.  Issues are full of surprises, both local and national in scope. One issue told you about food vendors who profit from pint-sized locations, turn the page and its how much A-Rods return cost the Yanks.  And, then its local, local, local with a piece on how Queens homeowners foot the bill for sidewalk damage, and snappy commentary on a variety of issues.  Clearly, well deserving of overall excellence.

Finalist:  Staff, Street and Smiths Sports Business Journal

Thank goodness someone is keeping a close eye on the multi-billion-dollar business of sports. And thank goodness for Street and Smiths, who keep track of ad rates from FoxSports as well as the fine point of business sponsorship of sporting events. Particular kudos on covering sports industry security ramifications following the Boston Marathon bombing, and a thorough special section on 75th anniversary of the NCAA.

Finalist: Staff, Albany Business Review

Local coverage done right with articles of interest to a wider community, such strong best of lists. Of note were two outstanding articles, one on how immigrant businessmen are contributing to the local economy despite federal red tape in getting a green card, and a stellar profile on the town of Ilion in a post-Newtown world. The article profiles the mixed feelings of those who work for Remington arms amid anti-gun sentiment in the state.


Winner: Alfred Lee, Los Angeles Business Journal, for “EB-5 Inquiry.”

The stuff that makes (or should make) local journalism what it is. It’s clear-cut, watchdog-style, impactful journalism. This story is clearly written, and reporter Alfred Lee shows that great investigative stories don’t have to be pages long and full of flowery prose.

Finalist: Chris Bragg, Erik Engquist, Glenn Coleman, Crains New York, for “State Pol’s Radio Silence.”

Another work that local watchdog journalism is alive and well. Reporter Chris Bragg examined legal documents and tax returns to break the story that a Brooklyn Assemblyman who failed to disclose advertising payments to a firm he owned. The story prompted New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to launch an investigation into the matter.

Finalist: Lynne Marke, Crains Chicago Business, for “Futures Shock.”

Marek takes a comprehensive look at five years of enforcement action by day-to-day regulators by CME and the National Futures Association. The story is well done, full of rich detail and first-hand accounts from market participants.



Winner: Elise Hu, Uri Berliner, Neal Carruth, National Public Radio, for “Health Care Website Launch.”

NPR reporter Elise Hu’s coverage of the national healthcare rollout was smart, enterprising and emotional. Day after day, Hu broke news on a story that every news outlet in the country was covering. She told us things we hadn’t heard elsewhere, such as delving into the role of federal IT know-how. She spoke with energy and intensity and presented herself like the expert on the subject that she clearly is.


Winner: Patrick Madden, Julie Patel, Meymo Lyons, American University School of Communication, WAMU 88.5 News, for “Deals For Developers.”

Lots of ground covered, great interviews with lots of players and lots of tough questions asked. Good use of numbers to show connections between developers and politicians. Writing is strong and clear with a good emotional bent, sharing stories of the people affected by the misuse of the subsidies. Best example of strong, impactful local journalism.    This is local accountability journalism at its best.


Winner: Nik Deogun, Tyler Mathisen, Susie Gharib, Richard Carolan, Rebecca White, CNBC, for Nightly Business Report.


Winner: Tyler Mathisen, Mitch Weitzner, Mary Noonan Robichaux,  James Segelstein, Na Eng, Jeanine Ibrahim, Patrick Ahearn, Steven T. Banton, John Werner, Meghan Lisson, CNBC, for “Death: It’s a Living.”

CNBC takes a topic that most of us would prefer to ignore and makes it compelling and even humorous. From raffling a free cremation at a senior lifestyle expo, to a woman wanting to make sure her final resting place has no obstructed views, Story hooks us and then takes us on a balanced view of the highs and lows of the death industry.

Finalist: Willem Marx, Dan Przygoda, Amy Marino, Bloomberg TV, for “Blackstone Expanding Rental-Home Empire.”

The financial press often writes about the housing market’s recovery and how Wall Street firms have played a strong role in the market bouncing back. What made Bloomberg TV’s story on Blackstone’s expansion into the rental market compelling was that it dove under the surface to make a connection between this recovery and the plight of families forced to pay rents higher than mortgages they could hardly afford.


Winner: Drew Harwell, Tampa Bay Times, for “Florida Land Rush.”

The Times broke new ground with its block-by-block analysis of the role of seven investment companies in buying foreclosed homes and turning them into rentals. Using a variety of public records, Harwell documented the way these seven companies snapped up available properties so quickly, preventing first-time and other home buyers from purchasing residential property. Harwell compellingly put a face to the problem. This let readers quickly grasp what these real estate deals meant to communities–and people–in the Tampa Bay area.

Finalist: Heather Perlberg, John Gittelsohn, Bloomberg, for “Wall Street Becomes America’s Landlord.”

High-level reporting and clear, concise writing made Wall Street’s new role as local landlord understandable to the reader. The national sweep of these Bloomberg stories, along with the local details these reporters uncovered, set this entry apart.

Finalist: Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Ben Protess, The New York Times, for “Foreclosure/Mortgage Abuse.”

The New York Times showed that the mortgage crisis continues to provide opportunities for deep dives six years after the meltdown. Well-written and reported work.  Impressive.


Winner: Caroline McMillan, The Charlotte Observer.

Lively writing and solid reporting, packed with sound and useful advice. McMillan’s stories ranged from small businesses hit by the Affordable Care Act, the saga of an appliance dealer working his way out of a great recession bankruptcy and how a social media site is helping small businesses to the impact of last year’s federal government shutdown on small businesses and tips for such enterprises to grow by earning seals of approval from certification networks.

Finalist: David Markiewicz, Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

A terrific read about a colorful, never-say-die entrepreneur who fell in love with his zany invention, the HotDog Ez Bun Steamer, and pursued his dream until it almost killed his tiny company.

Finalist: Jessica Bruder, Inc. Magazine.

A revealing journey deep into one of the darkest and seldom openly discussed sides of entrepreneurship: how failure can lead founders, whose emotions rise and fall with the vicissitudes of the company, to depression and even suicide.


Winner: Hanna Ingber, The New York Times.

The New York Times stood out in this category because of its effective use of social media across all social platforms. Each medium – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn — are also used to report as well as inform, a new form of traditional shoe leather used with ease. Facebook was used to share a graphic, LinkedIn was used for a career chat, Twitter was used to cultivate conversation, which then made its way into newspaper stories. Each use was platform-specific.

Finalist: Janet Stauble, Bankrate.

The team at Bankrate used multiple platforms to share content, and was able to create a level of engagement that makes them worthy of an honorable mention. The team asked relevant money questions on platforms such as Facebook, and created charts that were widely shared. A bonus, each member of the social media team is identified in a background photo on the publications Twitter account, which then allows followers to identify the voice of the brand.


Winner: Caitlin McCabe, University of North Carolina/Charlotte Observer, for “Nearly 13,000 N.C. Jobless Stuck in Backlogged Benefits.”

North Carolinas s jobless-benefits program that is affecting thousands of people. It was timely article and demonstrated a good use of statistics. But the reporter went beyond the numbers with victim interviews that kept the readers interest. Excellent reporting, strong context and clear writing.

Finalist: Brandon Brown, Arizona State University/Arizona Daily Republic, for “Superior Hopes Magma’s Makeover will help transform a Copper Town into a Tourist Destination.”

A wonderful example of a fine feature story and compelling video. The multimedia package brings to life the struggles of an old copper town thats trying to remake itself. The article was comprehensive and the writing lively.

Finalist: Nick Shchetko, University of North Carolina/Minyanville, for, “How Much will Google Glass Cost? The Price of Production Offers Some Clues,”

The reporter excels at research and went beyond the call to get information required to answer the question of how much Google Glass could cost the average consumer. The result was an innovative story that surely was devoured by tech geeks.


Winner: Chad Garland, Andrew Knochel, Arizona State University/ News 21, for “Scoundrels, Thieves and Rip-off Artists’ Prey on Veterans.”

Clean, thorough, comprehensive presentation of what was clearly a hefty amount of data and interviews. The use of uncovering of significant information was stunning.  A tremendous job.

Finalist: Caitlyn McCabe, University of North Carolina/ Synapses, for “The Cost of a Scandal.”

Well written, thoroughly researched with a good amount of background.

Finalist: Marie J. French, University of Missouri/The Columbia MIssourian, for “Families, Child Care Providers.”

Important piece with “news you can use” applications. Use of interviews took the reporting past pure numbers and gave the problems a human face.


Winner: Nicole Perlroth, David Barboza, David Sanger, Michael Schmidt, The New York Times, for “China Hacking.”

When it found itself the victim of a high-profile hack, The New York Times did what it does so well: reported the hell out of it. Combining superlative reporting and fantastic storytelling.

Finalist: Jacquie McNish, Sean Silcoff, Steve Ladurantaye, Iain Marlow, Tim Kiladze, Boyd Erman, Globe and Mail,  for “BlackBerry Fall”

The judges were extremely impressed with the strong reporting and terrific writing throughout the Globe & Mail’s package on BlackBerry’s woes. The main piece was so rich with detail that the reader didn’t want it to end. The authors also did a great job covering virtually every aspect of  the story through executive profiles, stories from customers and a glimpse of what the future may hold for the embattled company

Finalist:  Tony Romm, Politico, for “Silicon Valley Dives Into DC.”

Excellent package of stories on technology lobbying, with the strongest article on Google’s lobbying efforts, in particular to the Federal Trade Commission.  That article showed, through interviews and a listing of the notables Google has hired, the reach of its lobbying operations.  The package also included some fresh ways to cover what could have otherwise been a ho-hum story:  When Apple offered an interview with its CEO, Politico also spoke to other tech executives to put those comments in context.


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