Up Front: August 2007

Prize catches

How do you manage to do an award-winning personality profile of someone who, his friends as well as foes admit, doesn’t have a whole lot of personality? Especially when the subject of said piece won’t give you but a half-hour of his time and doesn’t deign to do that until you’ve finished the feature, months in the making, which you then have to rewrite, dashing out a couple thousand words in an afternoon, on deadline. Senior Editor Ed Martin managed that feat with the cover story that ran in our November 2006 issue. It captured a gold prize in this year’s Alliance of Area Business Publications Editorial Excellence Awards.

“Far from just another story about a banker, Martin’s profile of Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis puts the subject’s — and the bank’s — success in both a business and cultural context,” wrote the judges, members of the University of Missouri journalism faculty. “A strong narrative that doesn’t pull punches.”

It was one of five magazine awards Publisher Ben Kinney brought back from the AABP summer conference in Denver. The competition had drawn a record 722 entries from 59 regional business newspapers and magazines in the U.S., Canada and Australia. “The best of the AABP publications is measuring up well against highest standards of anyone covering this field,” said Daryl Moen, the journalism professor who coordinates the contest.

We won the silver prize for best magazine. “With its clean design and substantial content, Business North Carolina serves its audience with in-depth, contextualized coverage of the business environment. Feature stories that explain complex relationships in ways that are accessible to readers deserve special recognition.” Last year, we got the bronze prize in this category. We also took three bronze prizes this year.

Overall design: “This publication nicely executes a traditional layout approach. Cover designs show a variety of solutions even within a rigid structure. The publication is clean, consistent and easy to navigate. The pages all seem to reflect the seriousness and quality of the intelligent story content.”

Use of photography/illustrations: “This publication manages to do both illustrations and photography well. The cover illustrations demand readers look and read. The elegant multiple-image pieces do a great job of telling stories visually.” The judges cited the work of contributing illustrator Rob Edwards and freelance photographer Steve Exum.

Cover: “The combination of an outstanding caricature coupled with the right words make this an effective words-and-picture package. The drawing will attract the eye; the words will engage and amuse. The red-based color palette plays off the devil nicely.” When Rob did this illustration for our January 2006 issue, he was BNC’s art director. The work of the devilishly clever Mr. Edwards, who now resides in Florida, continues to grace our pages.

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