The annual competition recognizes excellence in journalism and design achieved by regional business publications. The competition is judged by members of the University of Missouri School of Journalism faculty. The awards ceremony was held virtually as part of the AABP’s three-day annual conference. Click here to see info about all of the contest winners. The AABP is a Norwalk, Connecticut-based nonprofit organization representing 70 regional and local business publications in the United States, Canada, Australia and Puerto Rico, with a combined circulation of more than 1.2 million.
The most significant award by BizTimes Milwaukee in this year’s AABP contest was a Gold (first place) Award in the Best Newspaper – Medium Tabloids category. The award recognizes overall excellence for a printed publication. Judges’ comments about BizTimes Milwaukee: “This publication hits all the buttons, with classy design, strong visuals, plenty of news, smart enterprise and superior graphics. When not devoted to news, the space is used well to provide stories readers are unlikely to get anywhere else. Design is clean and thoughtful, and white space gives visuals room to breathe.”
BizTimes Milwaukee reporter Alex Zank won a Silver Award in the Best Scoop category for medium-sized publications for his April 22, 2020 report: Amazon facility planned for former JCPenney warehouse in Wauwatosa. Judges’ comments: “Everybody was hunting down the company interested in taking over the vacant JCPenney warehouse. But this reporter’s sharp eyes saw ‘Amazon’ scrawled on a building drawing submitted to the city. Even insiders appreciated his hustle, and sources complimented when he phoned to follow up the tip. The news is backed up with thorough and detailed records reporting that beat the competition.”
BizTimes Milwaukee associate editor Lauren Anderson won a Silver Award in the Best Coverage of Local Breaking News category for medium-sized publications for her coverage on Dec. 31, 2020 of news that a pharmacist at Aurora Medical Center-Grafton had been fired and arrested for tampering with COVID-19 vaccines. Anderson filed three reports on the story that day, first reporting that the FBI and FDA were investigating alleged vaccine tampering by an Aurora employee. Later in the day, she reported that 57 people received potentially ineffective vaccines after an Aurora pharmacist left vials out overnight and then a follow-up report that the Former Aurora pharmacist was arrested for alleged vaccine tampering. Last month, the former pharmacist was sentenced to prison for vaccine tampering. Judges’ comments: “In a highly competitive national story, the reporter provided an intensive level of detail and context. She filed three stories in rapid fire succession, including an important one that indicated some recipients may have received compromised vaccine.”
BizTimes Milwaukee also won a pair of design awards in the 2021 AABP contest.
Art director Shelly Tabor won a Bronze Award in the Best Front Page – Newspaper category for the March 30, 2020 cover of BizTimes Milwaukee, which was an extensive report on COVID-19 as the pandemic took hold in the United States and measures to fight it, which would devastate the economy, were just beginning. Judges’ comments: “A frenetic illustration uses bold, saturated colors layered over the human form, accented by the faux chart, in a visually compelling attraction to the topic of the year and the lead story. The cover concept successfully communicates the tension of the situation.”
Tabor and graphic designer Alex Schneider won a Silver Award in the Best Overall Design – Medium Tabloids category. Judge’s comments: “Covers are especially good. The gray color on the ‘Lost Year;’ the art type on ‘Leading the Charge,’ and the illustration on ‘The Coronavirus’ all attract attention and promote the stories. The inside package on heroes featured strong photos and individual treatment on five pandemic ‘heroes.’ Ample white space and typographic color contrast ensure that each page has layers.”