Top business stories honored in SABEW’s 26th Annual Best in Business Awards


Some of the biggest business stories of 2020, including an investigation into President Donald Trump’s taxes, a special report on human trafficking in a booming southern city, and an ambitious package on racial inequality, are among the winning entries in the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing’s 26th annual Best in Business competition.

Judges awarded 78 winners and 69 honorable mentions to ground-breaking journalism produced in 2020, a year in which the pandemic, an economic downturn, and a presidential election converged into a nonstop news cycle. SABEW received 1,126 entries from 161 news organizations ranging from international, national and regional news outlets to specialized business publications.

“It is among the most consequential pieces of investigative reporting of the Trump era,” the judges wrote of the New York Times’ report on Trump’s taxes, which won the large division of the Investigative category.

Judges described the Nashville Business Journal’s human trafficking report, which won the small division of the Explanatory category, as “high-energy, persuasive, heartbreaking and infuriating. … A first-class job.”

A racial inequity package, which aimed to answer the question of how much has really changed for people of color in the past 125 years, was part of the Miami Herald’s winning entry in the medium division of the General Excellence category.

Bloomberg News won the large division of the Economics category with a deep dive into chronic economic and housing inequality exacerbated by the pandemic. Judges said the “well-written pieces put flesh on the bones of the biggest story of 2020.”

Highlights of the #SABEWBIB include:

  1. Bloomberg (including Bloomberg News, Industry Group, Green and Business Week) won eight awards, the most of any news organization. The New York Times won seven, and the Los Angeles Times won five.
  2. The Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald, Triangle Business Journal, and The Real Deal all won General Excellence awards.
  3. In the medium-size category ProPublica took home four wins, Fortune, three and in the small-size category, The Counter and Crain’s Chicago Business also had three wins. Sportico, a first-time entrant, won the new Business of Sports category in the small division.
  4. ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication students won three top-place awards and one honorable mention for student journalism published in The Arizona Republic, Dallas Morning News, Cronkite News and The Ryersonian won an honorable mention in the Stories for Student Media Outlets category.

The awards were announced at a virtual awards ceremony on May 11 during SABEW’s spring conference. The complete list of 2020 honorees and the judges’ comments are posted online.

SABEW is the world’s largest and oldest organization of business and financial journalists. SABEW Canada’s BIB winners will be announced next month.


For more information on the contest, contact Tess McLaughlin at

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