2017 Best in Business Categories and Guidelines

Eligibility: The Best in Business contest is open to regular members of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in good standing as of the date of entry.

Regular membership is defined by SABEW’s constitution and bylaws, particularly Article III, https://sabew.org/about/constitution-and-bylaws.

Good standing means SABEW received your membership dues and your membership is current as of the date you submit your entries. Check your membership status on your member profiles, https://membership.sabew.org/membership/profile.

For entries with more than one byline, one person must be a SABEW member in good standing.

Please direct your membership questions to sabew@sabew.org.

Payment: Unless prior arrangements are made with SABEW, payment must be made by VISA, MasterCard, Discover or American Express through the secure BIB contest system. Payment must be received for an entry to be judged. Please note: When submitting multiple entries, the contest system does allow you to leave payment until all entries have been submitted.

Judging: Each category will be judged by a panel of business journalists who will award one winner and up to two honorable mentions. No honorable mentions will be named in categories with fewer than 10 entries. Up to one honorable mention will be named in categories with 10 to 20 entries. Up to two honorable mentions will be named in categories with more than 20 entries. Judges and the conference committee reserve the right to move an entry into a different category if they deem it mis-categorized. (In order for a category to be judged, there must be at least four total entries submitted from three different news organizations.)

Notification and recognition of winners: Winners and Honorable Mentions will be notified in March 2018. Winners will be recognized during the SABEW spring conference in Washington, D.C. on April 27, 2018.

 

CATEGORY DESCRIPTIONS

There are 27 contest categories in 2017, including the General Excellence and Student Journalism awards.

News organizations will be judged against similarly-sized organizations, regardless of format, unless otherwise noted. (Freelancers will be grouped based on size of the outlet that published their work.)

Categories are broken out by size, determined by the news organization’s total editorial staff.

Small: Fewer than 50 editorial staff

Medium: 51-300 editorial staff

Large: 301+ editorial staff.

Industry Publications: There will be an additional General Excellence category for industry- or topic-specific publications. Otherwise, these publications will compete against other similarly-sized news organizations.

 

GENERAL EXCELLENCE AWARD

Entries should showcase the depth and breadth of quality in your news organization.

Only one entry allowed per news organization or publication

A cover letter of up to 250 words may be submitted as a PDF attachment with entries. (Style the PDF title like this: yourpublicationcoverletter.pdf)

Entrants will demonstrate general excellence by submitting at least one element from three of the five following areas of coverage (as PDFs or permalink URLs). You may submit up to five elements.

1. Breaking news, scoop: A news story exclusive to your organization.

2. Breaking news, event: One story from your organization’s coverage of an unexpected breaking news event.

     Entrants may include a 100-word description of the full day’s coverage plan to give a broader context.

3. Explanatory/Feature: One enterprise story of the agency’s choosing.

4. Investigative/Project: The main story of a large-scale project or investigative piece. Entrants may include a 100-word description of the overall package.

5. Visual Storytelling: A stand-alone visual story — could be a video, a series of related photographs or an interactive data visualization.

 

STORY TYPE AWARDS

There is no limit on the number of entries per news organization; however, any individual story may only be entered into one story type. (For example, same story or package of stories cannot be entered into investigative and explanatory categories.)

News organizations compete against other similarly-sized organizations, regardless of format, unless otherwise noted. (Freelancers will be grouped based on size of the outlet that published their work.)

An entry shall consist of no more than three elements. Elements should all contain the same theme, though they don’t need to be directly related to each other. An element can be a text, audio or video story, or an interactive. Accompanying photos and static graphics will not be counted as elements.

A cover letter of up to 250 words may be submitted as a PDF attachment with entries. (Style the PDF title like this: yournamecoverletter.pdf)

Breaking News: Coverage of a single news event on the day it breaks. Proactive news broken by a reporter or news organization’s reporting staff, or quality reactive reporting.

Investigative: In-depth, enterprise reporting that: a) presents important and necessary information that was unknown to the general readership/viewership and was unavailable from other sources before publication; and b) demonstrates an obvious need for change in law/policy/behavior.

Explanatory: In-depth reporting that presents, analyzes and simplifies a single important topic and/or news event in a way that allows audiences to understand it more clearly.

Feature: Enterprise storytelling that may be presented as a trend story, a profile, or a narrative, that draws on in-depth reporting to offer fresh discovery or insight in a memorable way.

Commentary/Opinion: Reported coverage that reflects the point of view of the journalist or news organization. Category includes unsigned editorials, individual columns, and blogs.

Video: Coverage that is visually compelling and deeply engaging, demonstrating excellence in visual storytelling.

Audio: Coverage that demonstrates excellence in audio storytelling. (News organizations of all sizes will compete against each other in this category.)

Innovation: Entries should demonstrate a creative way to report, tell and/or distribute stories.

 

STORY TOPIC AWARDS

There is no limit on number of entries per news organization; however, any individual story may only be entered into one story topic. (For example, same story or package of stories about automated driving cannot be entered into autos/transportation and technology categories.)

News organizations compete against other similarly-sized organizations, not by format, unless otherwise noted. (Freelancers grouped based on size of outlet that published their work.)

An entry shall consist of no more than three elements. Elements should all contain the same theme, though they don’t need to be directly related to each other. An element can be a text, audio or video story, or an interactive. Accompanying photos and static graphics will not be counted as elements.

Submit entries as PDFs or permalink URLs.

A cover letter of up to 250 words may be submitted as a PDF with entries. Not required. (Style the PDF title like this: yournamecoverletter.pdf)

Energy/natural resources

Travel/Transportation

Health/science

Technology

Media/entertainment

Economics

Government

International reporting

Retail

Markets

Banking/Finance

Personal Finance

Small Business/Management/Career

Real Estate

 

STUDENT JOURNALISM

An entry shall consist of no more than three elements. Elements should represent the best work of the contributor(s) over the contest year. An element can be a text, audio or video story, or an interactive. Accompanying photos and static graphics will not be counted as elements.

Submit entries as PDFs or permalink URLs.

A cover letter of up to 250 words should be submitted as a PDF with entries indicating the year of graduation (or expected graduation for each contributor). Please also indicate if the student is an undergraduate or graduate student. The cover letter is required. (Style the PDF title like this: yournamecoverletter.pdf)

Stories Written for Professional Publications
Entries should feature one student. The elements submitted can include other bylines, contributors and producers, but all should primarily be the work of the entered student. The cover letter should address what contributions were made to the stories by others.

Stories Written for Student Publications
Entries should feature one student. The elements submitted can include other bylines, contributors and producers, but all should primarily be the work of the entered student. The cover letter should address what contributions were made to the stories by others.

Student Projects and Collaborations
Work done in the contest year by more than one student, with minimal contributions from non-students. Entries should all fall under one theme.

Student Public Service
Outstanding effort by a single student, not under a byline, in the service of business journalism in the contest year. This can be through editing, a project, work on behalf of a free press or other achievement that advances the cause of business journalism.

 

Note: Judges and the conference committee reserve the right to move an entry into a different category if they deem it miscategorized.

 

Click here for a PDF version of the 2017 Best in Business Contest Guidelines.

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