IBJ won 10 national journalism awards for news coverage in 2018—three gold, five silver and two bronze honors—at the Alliance of Area Business Publications’ summer conference Saturday in Atlanta.
The annual AABP Editorial Excellence competition recognizes print and online writing, photography and design by regional business publications. IBJ competes in the largest publications category against business journals from Chicago, New York, New Orleans, Dallas and other major cities.
Two dozen judges from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism evaluated 511 entries overall from 41 publications from the United States, Canada and Australia.
IBJ received the bronze award in the category of “best newspaper,” finishing behind silver winner Crain’s Chicago Business and gold winner Crain’s Detroit Business.
“This publication is consistently strong in all areas,” the judges wrote of IBJ. “The editors are not afraid to experiment with design and they make sure to break up each page in a consistent manner. … In addition to strong reporting, the story selection takes on challenging and controversial issues in the community.”
“This story gives readers an incisive look at how a down-on-its-luck company profited after years of setbacks, thanks to a merger,” judges wrote. “The reporter details the ups and downs, relying on interviews with company insiders. A great lead and forceful writing grip the readers’ interest.”
IBJ reporters Hayleigh Colombo and Anthony Schoettle took gold in the category of “best local coverage of a business economic story” with their series about the region’s unsuccessful effort to land the Amazon HQ2 project.
“The stories are well-sourced and raise important topics for Indianapolis to consider as it goes after future high-income, high-impact opportunities,” judges wrote. “While painful to lose Amazon, the IBJ series made sure the community learned critical lessons about everything from workforce makeup to rising competition.”
“This newsletter is written in a way that’s conversational and personal,” judges said. “It tells readers a story, explains why it matters, makes them feel engaged, and then does an excellent job of pointing them to other relevant stories on the beat.”
IBJ’s entire staff won a silver award in the “best auxiliary publication category” for the newspaper’s annual “Innovation Issue,” which judges praised as “interesting, instructive and coupled with thoughtful graphics.”
Russell and Erdody received silver honors for “best scoop” for their story about St. Vincent’s plan to build a massive hospital complex at 96th Street and Spring Mill Road.
Colombo earned a silver in the “best investigative reporting” category for her ongoing “One City, Worlds Apart” series, which looks at the gap between the affluent and the poor.
IBJ’s staff received a bronze in the “best overall design” category for using “whatever best tells the story at hand, whether that’s graphics, photos or maps,” judges said.