2020 Best in Business Awards Honorees

Congratulations to our 2020 honorees! Submissions came from 161 news organizations across all platforms representing the breadth of business journalism, from international, national and regional news outlets to specialized business publications.

Press release

Judges’ comments

List of judges

Best in Business Awards Ceremony


• Winner – Bloomberg News; Foundering
Ellen Huet, Shawn Wen

• Honorable Mention –A collaboration of Gimlet Media and The Wall Street Journal; Race and business
Kate Linebaugh, Ryan Knutson, Sarah Platt, Annie Minoff, Pia Gadkari, Rob Szypko, Rikki Novetsky, Scott Calvert, Khadeeja Safdar, Willa Rubin, Afeef Nessouli, Griffin Tanner, Nathan Singhapok, Annie-Rose Strasser, Jarrard Cole

• Honorable Mention – The Center for Public Integrity; The heist
Sally Herships, Mei Fong, Sally Herships, Allan Holmes, Alison MacAdam, Curtis Fox, Sarah Kleiner, Kathryn Kranhold, Robin Amer, Andres Caballero, Nina Perry, Peregrine Andrews, Ali Swenson, Camille Petersen, Sarah Wyman, Brett Forrest, Lucas Brady Woods, Chris Zubak-Skees, Janeen Jones, Kristine Villanueva, Alex Eichenstein, Peter Newbatt Smith

Banking/Finance, Large division

• Winner – Bloomberg BusinessWeek; Private equity in health care
Heather Perlberg, Caleb Melby, David Kocieniewski

• Honorable Mention – The Wall Street Journal; The coronavirus credit conundrum
AnnaMaria Andriotis, Peter Rudegeair

Banking/Finance, Medium division

• Winner – Fortune Magazine; The first lady of Wall Street
Claire Zillman

Banking/Finance, Small division

• Winner –ACBJ National Content Desk; Access to capital
Craig M. Douglas, Matthew Kish, Malia Spencer, Suzanne Stevens, Kaleel Weatherly

• Honorable Mention – Washington Business Journal; PPP coverage
Andy Medici

Breaking News, Large division

• Winner – The New York Times; The F.D.A. and Pfizer
Katie Thomas, Sharon LaFraniere, Noah Weiland, Abby Goodnough, Maggie Haberman, Richard Pérez-Peña, Reed Abelson, Jan Hoffman

• Honorable Mention – Financial Times; Collapse of Wirecard
Dan McCrum, Olaf Storbeck, Guy Chazan, Stefania Palma

Breaking News, Medium division

• Winner – Bloomberg Industry Group; DraftKings, FanDuel fees deemed taxable in landmark IRS memo
Allyson Versprille, Sam McQuillan

Breaking News, Small division

• Winner – Ad Age; The Richards Group coverage
Judann Pollock, Lindsay Rittenhouse

• Honorable Mention – CoinDesk; PayPal crashes the gates of cryptocurrency
Ian Allison

Commentary/Opinion, Large division

• Winner – Los Angeles Times; When workers lose out
Michael Hiltzik

•Honorable Mention – Los Angeles Times; Medicare for all
David Lazarus

Commentary/Opinion, Medium division

• Winner – The Economist; The cost of managed trade
Soumaya Keynes

• Honorable Mention – The Plain Dealer; This Labor Day, workers are feeling the heat of a jobs bonfire
Marilyn Geewax

Commentary/Opinion, Small division

• Winner – Crain’s Chicago Business 
Joe Cahill

• Honorable Mention – Callaway Climate Insights
David Callaway

• Honorable Mention – Memphis Business Journal
Greg Akers

Data Journalism, Large division

• Winner – The New York Times; The pandemic economy
Lazaro Gamio, Ella Koeze, Lauren Leatherby, Rich Harris

• Honorable Mention – The Washington Post; Most unequal recession in modern U.S. history
Heather Long, Andrew Van Dam, Alyssa Fowers, Leslie Shapiro

Data Journalism, Medium division

• Winner – Kaiser Health News; Millions of older Americans live in counties with no ICU beds as pandemic intensifies
Fred Schulte, Elizabeth Lucas, Jordan Rau, Liz Szabo, Jay Hancock

• Honorable Mention – The Tennessean; COVID-19 crept from cluster to cluster, weaving a web over Nashville
Brett Kelman, Ayrika Whitney

Data Journalism, Small division

• Winner – Crain’s Chicago Business; Crain’s data package
Jason McGregor, Steven R. Strahler, David Mendell, Cassandra West, Bob Secter

• Honorable Mention – ACBJ National Content Desk; Small business, big mission: One system, unequal access
Mattew Kish, Malia Spencer, Craig Douglas, Suzanne Stevens, Kaleel Weatherly

Economics, Large division

• Winner – Bloomberg News; Left behind
Shawn Donnan

• Honorable Mention – The Wall Street Journal; The 2020 big/small dichotomy
Liz Hoffman, Marcelo Prince, Jennifer Maloney, Ruth Simon

• Honorable Mention – The Washington Post; The K-shaped recovery
Heather Long, Danielle Douglas-Gabriel

Economics – Medium division

• Winner – Houston Chronicle; Left behind
Rebecca Carballo

• Honorable Mention – Marketplace; United States of work
Kai Ryssdal, Nancy Farghalli, Bridget Bodnar, Maria Hollenhorst, Donna Tam, Daniel Ramirez, Ben Tolliday, Olga Oksman, Siobhán Brett, Carrie Barber, Deborah Clark

Economics – Small division

• Winner – ACBJ National Content Desk; COVID-19’s economic ripple effect
Craig M. Douglas

Energy/Natural Resources – Large division

• Winner – Bloomberg Green; How a booming business for phony carbon offsets is holding back climate progress
Ben Elgin, Zachary R. Mider, John Quigley

• Honorable Mention –The Wall Street Journal; Exxon runs low
Christopher M. Matthews

Energy/Natural Resources – Medium division

• Winner – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; After the explosion
Anya Litvak, Andrew Rush

• Honorable Mention – A collaboration with Economic Hardship Reporting Project and Rolling Stone; America’s radioactive secret
Justin Nobel

Energy/Natural Resources – Small division

• Winner – The Center for Public Integrity; Hidden hardship: Immigrant and foreign food workers toil, and die, in obscurity
Susan Ferriss, Joe Yerardi, Taylor Johnston

• Honorable Mention – Portland Business Journal; Smoked out: Wildfires deal Willamette Valley wine a harsh blow
Pete Danko

Explanatory – Large division

• Winner – Los Angeles Times; Overwarned, underinformed
Geoffrey Mohan, Ryan Menezes

• Honorable Mention – Bloomberg Businessweek; Working through COVID-19
Josh Eidelson

• Honorable Mention – Bloomberg News; Silicon Valley’s racial reckoning
Nico Grant, Priya Anand, Dina Bass, Shelly Banjo, Sarah McBride

Explanatory – Medium division

• Winner – Bloomberg Industry Group; Can businesses win fight over COVID-19 insurance claims?
David Schultz, Andrew Satter, Josh Block, Lydia Beyoud, Evan Weinberger, David Hood

• Honorable Mention – A collaboration of Oregon Public Broadcasting, The Oregonian and ProPublica; The cutting
Tony Schick, Rob Davis, Lylla Younes

• Honorable Mention – Yahoo! Finance; Yahoo U
Brian Cheung, Valentina Caval

Explanatory – Small division

• Winner – Nashville Business Journal; Human trafficking: Nashville’s boom cloaks a crisis
Adam Sichko

• Honorable Mention – Inside Climate Change; Hot molecules
Phil McKenna, Lili Pike, Katrina Northrop, Feng Hao

• Honorable Mention – The Counter; The American restaurant is on life support
Karen Stabiner

• Honorable Mention – Portland Business Journal; Smoked out: Wildfires deal Willamette Valley wine a harsh blow
Pete Danko

Feature – Large division

• Winner – The New York Times; An Oakland bar
Jack Nicas

• Honorable Mention – USA TODAY; Fighting to survive: Seven weeks, 30 million unemployment claims and the stories of people enduring it all
Alan Gomez, Deborah Barfield Berry, Charisse Jones, Dalvin Brown

• Honorable Mention – A collaboration of Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Businessweek; Breaking the food supply chain
Millie Munshi, Peter Waldman, Lydia Mulvany, Polly Mosendz, Catarina Saraiva, Carolina Gonzalez, Peyton Forte, Megan Durisin, Elizabeth Rembert, Tatiana Freitas

Feature – Medium division

• Winner – A collaboration of ProPublica and The New Yorker; How Dollar Stores became magnets for crime and killing
Alec MacGillis

• Honorable Mention – Forbes; Tony Hsieh’s American tragedy: The self-destructive last months of the Zappos visionary
Angel Au-Yeung, David Jeans

• Honorable Mention – Miami Herald; A history of broken promises
Andres Viglucci, Isaiah Smalls, Rob Wile, Yadira Lopez, Matias Ocner, Carl Juste, Jane Wooldridge

Feature – Small division

• Winner – Marker; Unlucky charms: The rise and fall of billion-dollar jewelry empire Alex and Ani
Aaron Gell

• Honorable Mention – Crain’s Chicago Business; Missing pieces
Danny Ecker

• Honorable Mention – Sportico; College sports dealmakers treat tampons same as porn, politics and tobacco
Emily Caron

General Excellence – Industry/Topic-Specific Publications

• Winner – The Real Deal
The Real Deal staff

General Excellence – Large division

• Winner – Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times staff

General Excellence – Medium division

• Winner – Miami Herald
Miami Herald staff

• Honorable Mention –Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel staff

General Excellence – Small division

• Winner – Triangle Business Journal
Triangle Business Journal staff

Government – Large division

• Winner – A collaboration of USA TODAY and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting; Meatpacking
Rachel Axon, Kyle Bagenstose, Sky Chadde, Kevin Crowe

• Honorable Mention – A collaboration of Kaiser Health News and The Associated Press; Underfunded and under threat
Hannah Recht, Lauren Weber, Laura Ungar, Anna Maria Barry-Jester, Liz Szabo, Michelle R. Smith, Jason Dearen, Kathy Young

Government – Medium division

• Winner – ProPublica; Pandemic profiteers
David McSwane

• Honorable Mention – Bloomberg Industry Group; Zoom courts
Madison Alder, Allie Reed, Holly Barker

Government – Small division

• Winner – Jacksonville Business Journal; Investigation into attempted privatization of downtown parking
Will Robinson

• Honorable Mention – The Center for Public Integrity; The favored few
Jamie Smith Hopkins, Allan Holmes, Sally Herships, Mei Fong, Alison MacAdam, Curtis Fox, Sarah Kleiner, Kathryn Kranhold, Robin Amer, Andres Caballero

Health/Science – Large division

• Winner – The New York Times; Nursing home abuses
Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Amy Julia Harris, Rachel Abrams, Jesse Drucker

• Honorable Mention – Business Insider; Inside the cultlike leadership of the Young Living ‘essential oils’ empire
Nicole Einbinder

Health/Science – Medium division

• Winner – Fortune; The risky business of breast implants
Maria Aspan

• Honorable Mention – Fortune; Fertility Inc.
Beth Kowitt

• Honorable Mention – Forbes; Why Pfizer may be the best bet to deliver a vaccine by fall
Nathan Vardi

Health/Science – Small division

• Winner – The Counter; What does a vertical farm taste like?
Jessica McKenzie

• Honorable Mention – Indianapolis Business Journal; Pandemic threatens smaller hospitals while wealthiest get billions in aid
John Russell

Innovation – Large and medium divisions

• Winner – The New York Times; Designed to deceive
Jeremy White, Nick Bartzokas, Noah Pisner, Or Fleisher, Karthik Patanjali, Kashmir Hill

Innovation – Small division

• Winner – Crain’s Chicago Business; Crain’s innovation package
Jason McGregor, Alex Garcia, Bob Secter, David Mendell

International Reporting – Large division

• Winner – The Wall Street Journal; Inside Facebook’s struggle to police hate in India
Jeff Horwitz, Newley Purnell

• Honorable Mention – The Wall Street Journal; How Ant’s IPO unraveled
Jing Yang, Lingling Wei, Xie Yu

International Reporting – Medium and small divisions

• Winner – The Economist; Land rights in Africa
John McDermott

Investigative – Large division

• Winner – The New York Times; The president’s taxes
Russ Buettner, Susanne Craig, Mike McIntire

• Honorable Mention – The Associated Press; Palm oil labor abuses
Margie Mason, Robin McDowell

• Honorable Mention – The Wall Street Journal; Deadly cruise ships
Jacquie McNish, Rebecca Smith, Erin Ailworth, Suryatapa Bhattacharya, Rachel Pannett, Gabe Johnson, Lisa Schwartz, Joel Eastwood, Max Rust, Miho Inada

Investigative – Medium division

• Winner – ProPublica; How global meatpacking companies exposed workers and communities to COVID-19 while government agencies failed to protect them
Michael Grabell, Bernice Yeung

• Honorable Mention – A collaboration of the Youngstown Business Journal, WKSU and ProPublica; Desperation town: How Youngstown gave itself away for the promise of jobs
Dan O’Brien

• Honorable Mention – Tampa Bay Times; Cash driven
Bethany Barnes

Investigative – Small division

• Winner – Syracuse.com; How a British con man lured slumlords from around the globe to Syracuse
Chris Baker

• Honorable Mention – Memphis Business Journal; DMC housing
Jacob Steimer

Investing/Markets – Large division

• Winner – Financial Times; Blackrock’s black box
Richard Henderson, Owen Walker

• Honorable Mention – The Wall Street Journal; In the room where it happens
Liz Hoffman, Justin Baer, Gregory Zuckerman, Julia-Ambra Verlaine, Paul J. Davies

Investing Markets – Medium division

• Winner – Forbes; 20-year-old Robinhood customer dies by suicide after seeing a $730,000 negative balance
Sergei Klebnikov, Antoine Gara, John Dobosz, Jeff Kauflin

Investing Markets – Small division

• Winner – The Counter; Why COVID-19 plant shutdowns could make the Big Four meatpackers even more profitable
Joe Fassler, H. Claire Brown

Media/Entertainment – Large division

• Winner – The Wall Street Journal; The collapse of Quibi
Benjamin Mullin, Lillian Rizzo, Sahil Patel

• Honorable Mention – Bloomberg News; Video gaming’s #MeToo moment
Jason Schreier

Media/Entertainment – Medium division

• Winner – The Atlantic; A newsroom at the edge of autocracy
Timothy McLaughlin

Media/Entertainment – Small division

• Winner – Quartz; How to save TV ads from extinction
Adam Epstein

Newsletter – Large division

• Winner – The Financial Times; Moral money
Gillian Tett, Billy Nauman, Patrick Temple-West,Tamami Shimizuishi, Kristen Talman

Newsletter – Medium division

• Winner – Axios; Axios Capital
Felix Salmon

• Honorable Mention – Yahoo! Finance; Yahoo Finance Morning Brief
Myles Udland, Sam Ro, Amanda Fung

Newsletter – Small division

• Winner – STAT; D.C. Diagnosis
Nicholas Florko

• Honorable Mention – Callaway Climate Insights
David Callaway

Personal Finance – Large division

• Winner – CNBC; Where’s the money
Scott Cohn, Scott Zamost, Dawn Giel, Jennifer Schlesinger, Karina Hernandez, Lorie Konish, Steve Banton

• Honorable Mention – A collaboration of Kaiser Health News and National Public Radio; Bill of the Month
Laura Ungar, Anna Almendrala, Victoria Knight

Personal Finance – Medium division

• Winner – Financial Planning/Arizent; A conflicted question: What is fiduciary advice?
Tobias Salinger, David Evans

Personal Finance – Small division

• Winner – AARP The Magazine; True tales of love and money
George Mannes, Judith Newman, Emily Paulin, Anonymous

Real Estate – Large division

• Winner – The New York Times; Housing and the pandemic
Conor Dougherty

• Honorable Mention – The Wall Street Journal; The pandemic housing boom
Nicole Friedman, Ryan Dezember

Real Estate – Medium division

• Winner – POLITICO; The next great real estate crisis
Zack Colman

• Honorable Mention – Houston Chronicle; All corners
R.A. Schuetz

Real Estate – Small division

• Winner – Bisnow; At CRE’s biggest companies, talk about diversity is rarely followed by action
Miriam Hall, Jon Banister, Dean Boerner, Ethan Rothstein, Riley Gutiérrez-McDermid 

• Honorable Mention – Bankrate.com; Housing affordability: The squeeze tightens
Jeff Ostrowski

• Honorable Mention – Puget Sound Business Journal; Pieces of an empire
Andrew McIntosh

Retail – Large division

• Winner – CNN Business; Dozens of Amazon’s own products have been reported as dangerous — melting, exploding or even bursting into flames. Many are still on the market
Melanie Hicken, Blake Ellis

• Honorable Mention – Bloomberg News; Buying Black
Jordyn Holman, Gerald Porter Jr., Deena Shanker

Retail – Medium division

• Winner – ProPublica; Walmart was almost charged criminally over opioids. Trump appointees killed the indictment
Jesse Eisinger, James Bandler, Doris Burke

• Honorable Mention – A collaboration of ProPublica and The New Yorker; How Dollar Stores became magnets for crime and killing
Alec MacGillis

Retail – Small division

• Winner – The Counter; Why aren’t distilleries making more hand sanitizer? Because FDA forces them to make their alcohol undrinkable first
Leigh Kunkel

• Honorable Mention – Tampa Bay Business Journal; Retail Package
Ashley Gurbal Kritzer

Small Business/Management/Career – Large division

• Winner – Bloomberg Businessweek; Greater awareness brings welcome challenges to Black-owned small businesses
Loren Feldman, Carol Hymowitz, Jordyn Holman, Karen Toulon

• Honorable Mention – The Wall Street Journal; The insurance fight of a lifetime
Leslie Scism

Small Business/Management/Career – Medium division

• Winner – Fortune; How Chinese American restaurants are ensuring their future
Karen Yuan

• Honorable Mention – Minneapolis Star Tribune; After the riots, the painful cleanup
Jeffrey Meitrodt

Small Business/Management/Career – Small division

• Sacramento Business Journal; Minority-owned businesses take a harder hit from the coronavirus crisis
Felicia Alvarez

Student Journalism – Projects and collaborations

• Winner – The Arizona Republic; Nationwide Insurance bought one of the state’s most valuable parcels of land in Scottsdale. It also got a great deal
Katie Surma, Anne Mickey, Jamie Fields

Student Journalism – Stories for Professional Media Outlets

• Winner – Dallas Morning News; It’s as if Hurricane Katrina hit every city around the US: How COVID is impacting 5 of the largest nonprofits
Natalie Walters

• Honorable Mention – Poynter.org; How journalism interns reported on places they’ve never been over the summer
Agya K. Aning

Student Journalism – Stories for Student Media Outlets

• Winner – Arizona State University, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication; Cannabis farms struggle to survive California wildfires without insurance
Lauren Hernandez

• Honorable Mention – The Ryersonian; Adoption of surveillance tech for online exams sparks student backlash at Ryerson
Josh Scott, Alex Cyr

Technology – Large division

• Winner – Los Angeles Times; Harsh realities for gig workers in perilous times
Johana Bhuiyan, Sam Dean, Suhauna Hussain

• Honorable Mention – The New York Times; Disinformation
Davey Alba, Kevin Roose, Jack Nicas, Adam Satariano

Technology – Medium division

• Winner –Houston Chronicle; Next commercial frontier
Andrea Leinfelder

Technology – Small division

• Winner – The Information; From despair to deluge: Silicon Valley during the pandemic
Cory Weinberg, Kate Clark, Zoe Bernard, Amir Efrati, Kevin Dugan

The Business of Sports – Large division

• Winner – Financial Times; Sporting goods retailers grappling with race
Sara Germano, Leo Lewis

• Honorable Mention – The New York Times; Covering the NFL during a pandemic​
Ken Belson

The Business of Sports – Medium division

• Winner – Bloomberg Industry Group; DraftKings, FanDuel fees deemed taxable in landmark IRS memo
Allyson Versprille, Sam McQuillan

The Business of Sports – Small division

• Winner – Sportico; The Business of Sports package
Peter Schwartz, Brendan Coffey, Lev Akabas

• Honorable Mention – St. Louis Business Journal; Sports business package
Nathan Rubbelke

Travel/Transportation – Large division

• Winner – Los Angeles Times; Fumed out
Kiera Feldman

• Honorable Mention – The Wall Street Journal; Airlines in distress
Alison Sider, Benjamin Katz, Mike Cherney, Ryan Knutson, Pia Gadkari, Jarrard Cole

Travel/Transportation – Medium division

• Winner – Miami Herald; COVID cruises
Taylor Dolven, Sarah Blaskey, Alex Harris, Nicholas Nehamas, Jane Wooldridge

Travel/Transportation – Small division

• Winner – The Information; Uber
Amir Efrati

• Honorable Mention – Crain’s Chicago Business; Now we know what your United air miles are worth
John Pletz

Video – Large division

• Winner – The Wall Street Journal; 31 days in March
Frank Matt, Robert Libetti, Liz Hoffman, Darnell Stalworth, Denise Blostein

Honorable Mention – A collaboration of the Financial Times and PBS; Opioids, Inc.
Financial Times, PBS Frontline

Video – Medium division

• Winner – Miami Herald; Stranded at sea
Taylor Dolven, Emily Michot, Sohail Al-Jamea

Video – Small division

• Winner – San Francisco Business Times; Small business, big mission
Todd Johnson

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