The Canadian chapter of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW) is excited to (belatedly) announce the list of finalists for the 6th Annual Best in Business Awards competition, recognizing outstanding business reporting published and produced in Canada in 2019.
This year’s finalists covered a wide range of stories, including a rags-to-riches-to-rags tale of Dofasco’s founding family, the spin-off effects of climate change, the future of work, an inside look at how lawyers get paid, money laundering, and the mysterious death of a crypto CEO.
We hope to be able to hand out the awards in the After Times, once Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted (maybe sometime in the fall, with plenty of free drinks in hand). In the meantime, as we all sit at home in our sweat pants, searching for a glimmer of good news, here are the winners and finalists for this year’s awards:
Jeff Sanford Best Young Journalist Award
Our second annual Best Young Journalist Award (named after former Financial Post and Canadian Business journalist Jeff Sanford) goes to Natalie Wong of Bloomberg News. Soon after joining Bloomberg in 2017, Natalie broke news about the Canadian government’s plan to impose steel tariffs on importers, which moved the loonie and shares of some of the biggest steel companies. Last year, she penned a feature about college kids living in Vancouver mansions amid a luxury housing upheaval, which garnered global attention. It was the most-read Bloomberg Canada story of 2019. She also scooped her competitors on some of the biggest real estate stories in Canada last year, including Oxford’s sale of its Fairmont portfolio and the state of talks between Waterfront and Sidewalk Labs.
Natalie’s impact extends beyond real estate: She wrote a profile on the co-inventor of BlackBerry for Bloomberg Businessweek magazine and spent days in a courthouse digging up documents essential for the feature, “The Unsolved Murder of an Unusual Billionaire,” which chronicled the mysterious circumstances behind the deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman and won a 2019 Best in Business Canada Award. She also broke news about NBA player Steph Curry’s investment in a Canadian travel startup, landing an exclusive TV interview with him.
When a commercial property reporter position opened in New York late last year, the U.S. team snatched Natalie up and gave her ownership over one of the biggest real estate markets in the world. She has approached that beat with gusto and has already developed an array of sources that led to scoops about the fallout from WeWork’s botched IPO and the impact of the retail apocalypse on iconic high-streets, among other stories.
Outstanding Achievement Award
The winner of our second annual Outstanding Achievement Award is Marina Strauss, who retired from The Globe and Mail last summer. Marina has been among the most important voices in Canadian retailing over the past two decades, gaining the respect of both her peers and industry executives (who often dreaded her phone calls but took them anyway). She was known for her tenacious probing, critical eye and profound knowledge of the sector, bringing analysis and context to her stories, but with an easy-to-understand style that broadened her appeal beyond the business pages. As a beat reporter, she consistently broke news but also delved deep into big stories, providing definitive coverage on the collapse of Sears Canada, early troubles at Target Canada, the ups and downs of Hudson’s Bay Co., tensions between Tim Hortons franchisees and their new Brazilian owner, and so much more. She won Best in Business Awards in both the U.S. and Canada in 2019 for her story, “Inside the messy transformation of Tim Hortons,” and won best beat reporter at SABEW Canada’s inaugural awards in 2015.
Beyond her writing, Marina was the model citizen in the office, often collaborating on stories and helping mentor other journalists. Internally at The Globe, she led workshops on writing business stories, developing sources and covering bankruptcies. She loved her work, and her enthusiasm rubbed off on her colleagues. Even after retiring, she took time to prepare her successor for the beat and still provides counsel—a mark of her commitment to her craft.
Audio or Visual Storytelling
Scott Gill and James McLeod (Financial Post), “Focals by north”
Sean Stanleigh, Stephanie Chan, Laura Regehr, Ann Lang and Tara Deschamps (The Globe and Mail), “Industry interrupted”
Matt Lundy (The Globe and Mail), data visualizations
Brent Jang, The Globe and Mail (natural gas industry)
Eric Atkins, The Globe and Mail (transportation)
Catherine McIntyre, The Logic (the gig economy)
The Logic (Amanda Roth and Catherine McIntyre), “Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto reach a deal”
The Globe and Mail (Josh O’Kane, Alex Bozikovic, Jeff Gray, Rachelle Younglai and Tom Cardoso), Sidewalk Lab negotiations
The Globe and Mail (Emma Graney, Jeffrey Jones, Carrie Tait, Kelly Cryderman, Gary Mason, James Bradshaw, Christine Dobby, Andrew Willis, Ian McGugan, David Milstead and David Berman), “Encana to move its headquarters to U.S.”
Kevin Carmichael (Financial Post)
David Parkinson (The Globe and Mail)
Rita Trichur (The Globe and Mail)
HuffPost Canada (Daniel Tencer), HuffPost Canada Housing Newsletter
The Logic (The Logic staff), Daily Briefing
Financial Post (Yadullah Hussein and Pam Heaven), Posthaste
Charles Wilkins (Report on Business magazine), “Castaways”
Zander Sherman (Report on Business magazine), “Forged by fire”
Joe Castaldo, Alexandra Posadzki, Jessica Leeder and Lindsay Jones (The Globe and Mail), “Crypto chaos”
Joe O’Connor (Financial Post), “An historic gold mine in a tiny Ontario town…”
Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News), “In planet’s fastest-warming region, jobs come with thaw”
Sean Silcoff (The Globe and Mail), “Montreal analytics startup uses AI to play a big role
in NHL playoffs”
Matthew McClearn, Geoffrey York and Stephanie Nolen (The Globe and Mail),
“See No Evil”
Gordon Hoekstra and Kim Bolan (Vancouver Sun), money laundering
Joe Castaldo, Alexandra Posadzki, Nathan VanderKlippe and Jessica Leeder
(The Globe and Mail), “How did Gerald Cotton die?”
Geoffrey Morgan and Vanmala Subramaniam (Financial Post), “Rural Alberta (dis)advantage”
Ryan Stuart (BCBusiness Magazine), “The future of work”
Chris Fournier, Erik Hertzberg, Natalie Wong, Kevin Orland and Paula Sambo (Bloomberg News), consumer debt
Personal Finance and Investing
Victor Ferreira (Financial Post), “The inconvenient truth about responsible investing”
Tim Shufelt (The Globe and Mail), “The data game”
Mark Brown, Sandra E. Martin, Julie Cazzin, Chris Richard and Daisy Barette (MoneySense), “Canada’s best dividend stocks 2020”
Kristine Owram and Susan Berfield (Bloomberg News), Bruce Linton
Steve Kupferman (Pivot), “Toy Story”
Jason Kirby (Report on Business magazine), “Trash talking”
Geoffrey Morgan (Financial Post), “Billionaire Koch brothers dump Canada’s
oil sands leases…”
Niall McGee and Rachelle Younglai (The Globe and Mail), “Barrick eyes hostile bid…”
Mark Rendell and Jeffrey Jones (The Globe and Mail), “CannTrust allegedly used fake walls to hide pot…”
Kelsey Rolfe (Benefits Canada), “Rise of the machines”
Daniel Fish (Precedent Magazine), “Paying the partners”
Leah Golob (Investment executive), “Singles: a growing demographic”
Thank you to everyone who entered and to all our amazing judges. Stay tuned!