Journalists Honored in SABEW’s 22nd Annual Best in Business Competition

Posted By Crystal Beasley on Friday March 17, 2017

The Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) on March 17, 2017, announces the results of its 22nd annual Best in Business competition, which recognizes outstanding stories published or aired in 2016.

The 112 winners and honorable mentions represent all formats and corners of the world. One hundred seventy-five news organizations submitted 946 entries across 65 categories. For a complete list of honorees, click here. To read the judges’ comments, click here.

Bloomberg News publications received 11 honors, Fortune reaped seven, and The Wall Street Journal five. Three news outlets received four honors apiece: The Associated Press, Crain’s New York Business and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

SABEW overhauled the contest in 2016 to better reflect journalism’s digital focus. This year’s entries were judged almost entirely by subject matter, regardless of format. To maintain fairness and competitiveness, news outlets competed against others of similar staff size.

“We’re living in a golden age for business journalism,” said SABEW President Cory Schouten. “The quality, depth, creativity, and impact of this year’s Best in Business entries were inspiring — and our judges faced a very difficult task winnowing the field.”

Contest honorees will be celebrated at a ceremony Saturday, April 29, 2017, during the 54th annual SABEW conference at the Westin Seattle hotel. They will be able to attend the conference at a special discounted rate. This year’s conference will focus on the future of business news and will unveil a new format. The program is packed with big ideas and TED-style talks, hands-on skills development, face-to-face conversations with C-suite leaders, and member networking. Journalists will be able to take back to their newsrooms plenty of new skills and innovative ideas to share and use.

Eight pieces honored in this year’s contest were the result of news organizations coming together for partnership projects. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, in concert with the McClatchy Washington News Bureau and the Miami Herald, garnered two awards for its Panama Papers series. And the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel teamed with the website MedPage Today to expose drug companies that invent or inflate diseases in order to sell more prescriptions.

Numerous honored works exposed injustice. BuzzFeed’s investigation into Universal Health Services found that the nation’s largest chain of psychiatric hospitals routinely admitted patients and held them against their will until their insurance ran out. Fortune won for its examination of the elements that enabled Volkswagen to perpetrate its fraud on millions of customers worldwide by tampering with auto emissions.

In a category for student journalists, Dalton LaFerney of the University of North Texas won for his expose of the “Frack Master,” a tech-company CEO who posed as an expert on hydraulic fracturing despite having little experience in the industry. LaFerney wrote the article while an intern for the Dallas Morning News. Also, Athena Cao, Zebrina Edgerton-Maloy and Logan Hendrix of Washington and Lee University were honored for their group project on high-interest payday loans.


SABEW, the world’s largest and oldest organization of business and financial journalists, began the Best in Business competition in 1995 to set standards and recognize excellence in the industry.

For more information on the contest, contact Crystal Beasley at [email protected] or 602-496-5188.

SABEW - Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication,
Arizona State University

555 North Central Ave, Suite 406 E, Phoenix, AZ 85004-1248

E-mail: [email protected]

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