UpFront: August 2014
Score: four more
Including two gold prizes, as Ed Martin adds to his cache and we're judged by our cover.
Ed Martin is the nation’s best regional business magazine writer. That news may have lost its novelty but certainly not its wow factor. After all, this is the seventh time he’s won first place for best body of work in the Alliance of Area Business Publications Editorial Excellence Awards — and the 11th time he’s placed in that category — a record nobody has come close to matching and, in my opinion, ever will. The same goes for his tally of 30 prizes from the AABP for his reporting and writing, 21 of them first places.
As they have so often in the past, the judges — members of the University of Missouri journalism faculty — cited our senior contributing editor’s gift for infusing flesh, blood and emotions into work that, in the hands of one less talented, would be as soulless as ciphers on musty ledger pages. “Martin’s stories,” they noted, “are fine examples of how to humanize business stories without losing sight of the numbers. The writing has many lively turns of phrase that keep the reader engaged to the very end.”
Ed shared a byline on the story that inspired the cover of our February 2013 issue, which also won a gold prize. Designed and illustrated by former Art Director Merissa Jones and fine-tuned by longtime Design/Production Director Moira Johnson, their handiwork provoked some teeth-gnashing among executives of the world’s largest retailer. “BNC took Wal-Mart’s slogan and happy-face visuals and turned it on its head to create a humorous cover with an edge,” the judges wrote. “The title focuses the magazine’s angle on the impact of low wages on the economy.”
Another contributing editor, Ken Otterbourg, wrote the cover story that appeared the following month in our March 2013 issue. It won the silver prize for best local coverage of a national business/economics story in the category open to both magazines and newspapers. “Using social media, great graphics and wonderful storytelling, Otterbourg tells the fascinating story of the birth of e-cigarettes. Lots of detail is packed in the story, giving great twists and insight about how an industry is being reinvented amidst health concerns and heavy regulation.”
We also won a bronze prize for best recurring feature in the open category for our Regional Report section (rechristened Statewide in our new redesign). “The Regional Report uses inviting graphics and crisp text to show readers from anywhere in North Carolina how their own locale stacks up. The beautifully illustrated data sets cover an impressive array of topics.”
Based in Los Angeles, AABP represents 64 independent magazine and newspaper publishers in the U.S., Canada and Australia. This year’s competition drew 659 entries from 43 of them.