Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Florida Trend receives seven 'Editorial Excellence' honors from the Alliance of Area Business Publishers

LOS ANGELES — The Alliance of Area Business Publishers (AABP) presented 115 Editorial Excellence awards to newspaper and magazine business periodicals on June 23, 2018, at the closing celebration of its three-day annual Summer Conference in Washington, DC.

With 484 entries from 37 publications in the U.S., Canada and Australia, the competitive field was both impressive and diverse.

Awarded to Florida Trend at the AABP conference:

Best feature layout [Silver] — "Learning to Live with Water," Gary, Jason, Jeff Papa (freelancer) — The judges said: "This design begins with a well-executed opening layout. Strong, helpful graphics are used throughout to explain key elements of the story, along with photos that contribute to the visual storytelling. Of particular note is the multipage sea-level rise projetion chart that corresponds to information presented above on the pages. The consistent color palette aligns with the subject matter at hand, and the many elements are organized in a clear, readable way."

Best personality profile [Gold]"A League of their Own," Jason Garcia — The judges said: "In this informative and nuanced profile, Garcia teases out the complexities of Florida politics as well as the talents of Deirdre Macnab, who woke up a sleepy local Leave of Women Voters chapter, then did the same at the state level. Alsong the way, she offended some members and politicians who thought she was going beyond the organization's non-partisan portfolio. We get a picture of the ultime organizer and leader."

Best recurring feature [Silver] — "Around the State," whole staff — The judges said: "Around the State pairs storytelling with solid reporting to achieve an extensive and engaging set of news items. Smart packaging under a variety of local banners makes it easy to navigate, and the breadth of information makes it a satisfying read."

Best explanatory journalism [Silver] "Addicted to Rehab," Mike Vogel — The judges said: "Reporter Vogel found that the state's rehab industry was benefitting itslef more than the patients. He discovered that some owners of 'sober houses,' where patients stayed during rehab, colluded with lawyers and rehab centers to find patients. By following the cash flow, he found that many in this undustry were making money with little or no regard for the patients' welfare."

Best local coverage of national story [Gold]"Water World," Mike Vogel — The judges said: "It's a raging debate — climate change. Florida isn't arguing about it — the state is dealing with the reality of rising seas. This package aims to be an inclusive guide to the costs and challenges of rising waters on the state — all written with a focus on facts and not hyperbole. Extra elements like poll results, maps and charts found out an informative public service project."

Best bylined commentary [Gold]"Editor's Page," Mark Howard — The judges said: "Howard's columns, which focus on local matters, make for an intriguing read from start to finish. In one, he uses anecdotes and statistics well to argue against keeping Amtrak service in Florida. In another he uses a timeline — something seldom used in columns — to ask that readers reconsider their views about one mayor's actions on a LGBTQ rights ordinance."

Best magazine [Bronze] — Florida Trend — Florida Trend does a good job of packaging a wealth of information and making it readable and interesting. They use graphs, charts, photographs, and maps to tell a story, offering many points of entry. They aren't afraid to publish stories with a bite such as "Addicted to Rehab" and "Learning to Live with Water." Still, they offer something for everyone, including a mix of heavy and light stories."

As in past years, the most popular categories were Best Feature and Best Explanatory Journalism. This year, submissions for Best Body of Work from a Single Writer and Best Personality Profile also topped the list, with superb pieces from writers in all circulation categories.

“The high-quality journalism being done by these publications keeps readers thoroughly up-to-date and, importantly, includes a lot of data, context and historical perspective that are especially important as truth increasingly gets drowned in a flood of social media snippets,” said Reuben Stern, who coordinated the judging by faculty members at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. “The winning entries once again combine solid research, great sourcing, excellent on-the-ground reporting, deep community knowledge, and creative thinking.”

By uncovering news of business expansion and related economic impacts, keeping an eye on how public dollars and tax incentives are allocated, and providing guidance for business people trying to navigate a host of modern complexities, regional business publications continue to offer a vital information resource in print and online.

“With the highest standards of excellence in journalism and design, these regional business publishers deliver consistent, compelling and relevant news to their readers,” said Alliance Executive Director C. James Dowden. “And the resurgence of local — in retail, in restaurants and in relationships — means regional business publishers play a stronger role in communities than ever before.”

About the AABP

The annual AABP Editorial Excellence competition recognizes excellence in journalism, photography and design achieved by regional business publications. Twenty-four judges, faculty members from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, bring their expertise to the selection process. “The purpose of the Alliance competition,” according to Dowden, “is to encourage a high level of journalistic performance and service to communities by recognizing editorial excellence and outstanding visual presentation in regional business publications.”

Some highlights from this year’s awards include: Best Magazine to Hawaii Business; Best Newspaper: Small Tabloids to San Fernando Valley Business Journal; Best Newspaper: Medium/Large Tabloids to Crain’s Chicago Business; Best Cover: Magazines to Hawaii Business; Best Front Page: Newspapers to Crain’s Cleveland Business; Most Improved Publication to Biz New Orleans; Best Website to Springfield Business

Journal; Best Specialty E-newsletter to Crain’s Detroit Business; Best Use of Multimedia to Crain’s Chicago Business; and Best Daily E-Mail to Arkansas Business.

The award winners in each category and judges’ biographies are listed on the following pages.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, the Alliance is a nonprofit national organization representing 55 independent magazine and newspaper members in the United States, Canada and Australia. For more information about the Alliance, call 310/379-8261 or visit www.bizpubs.org.