Fees and guidelines

Entry Fees:
$85 for Story Type and Story Topic categories
$150 for General Excellence categories
$70 for freelancer (Use the promo code Freelancer when you pay for your entries on the contest website)
$40 for Students

Staff Hours:
SABEW staff is available to help with BIB questions and entries, Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. Email Tess McLaughlin (tmclaughlin at sabew.org) with any questions.

View SABEW Best in Business past honorees.


We are using the Award Force contest platform again this year; you can use the email and password of your choosing to get started, and then you’ll be asked to verify your membership. You will NOT enter the contest on this sabew.org website.

Guidelines

This contest covers work published, broadcast and posted in the calendar year 2020.

Deadline: The Best in Business contest deadline is Tues., February 9 at noon ET.

Eligibility: The Best in Business contest is open to regular members of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing in good standing as of the date of entry. International submissions are encouraged.

Regular membership is defined by SABEW’s constitution and bylaws, particularly Article III.

Good standing means SABEW received your membership dues and your membership is current as of the date you submit your entries. For entries with more than one bylineone person must be a SABEW member in good standing.

Send membership questions to Tess McLaughlin, tmclaughlin@sabew.org.

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 miscategorized.

Notification and recognition of winners: Winners and Honorable Mentions will be notified in March 2021.


CATEGORY DESCRIPTIONS (review our FAQs).

There are 29 contest categories in 2020, including the General Excellence and Student Journalism awards.

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 with your entry.

Entrants will demonstrate general excellence by submitting at least one element from three of the five following areas of coverage. 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, the 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 with your entry.

Story Type Award Categories:

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

Breaking News (we’ve updated the description this year to limit the timeframe): Coverage within the first 48 hours of a breaking story. Proactive news broken by a reporter or news organization’s reporting staff, or quality reactive reporting.

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

Data Journalism (new this year): Winners in this category will be recognized for exceptional content that is both premised on data and clearly and compellingly displays it.

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.

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

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.

Newsletter: Coverage published in a media outlet’s regularly produced newsletter distributed electronically or in printed format.

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


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, the 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 are 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, 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 with your entry. Not required.

Story Topic Award Categories:

Banking/Finance
Economics
Energy/Natural Resources

Government
Health/Science

International Reporting
Investing/Markets (we’ve updated the “Markets” category this year to include investing)
Media/Entertainment

Personal Finance
Real Estate
Retail
Small Business/Management/Career
Technology
The Business of Sports (new this year)
Travel/Transportation


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.

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. A cover letter is required.

Stories for Professional News Organizations
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 for Student News Organizations
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.

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

Enter the contest.