SBT Wins International Awards for Journalism

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:37 pm

Small Business Times has won three international awards for business journalism excellence. The Alliance of Area Business Publications (AABP) conducted its 2006 Alliance Editorial Excellence Awards Banquet in Little Rock, Ark., on June 3. SBT won the Alliance Gold Award in the “Best News Scoop by a Large Tabloid”

newspaper category for a cover story about the plight of Fresh Brands Inc. The story, headlined, “Food Fight: Fresh Brands struggles to survive,” predicted the sale of the parent company of Piggly Wiggly grocery stores. A few months later, the company was sold.

The award-winning SBT report

was written by reporter Elizabeth

Geldermann, who also was recently named the Wisconsin Magazine Journalist of the Year by the Milwaukee Press Club.

While presenting the Alliance Gold Award to SBT executive editor Steve Jagler in Little Rock, the judges remarked, “The retail grocery business teeters on the edge of change, as consumers balance demands for quality food at a low price. Thanks to Wal-Mart Super Stores and more high-end grocers, the industry is in flux in Wisconsin. Geldermann’s insightful report reveals why Fresh Brands is becoming the odd man out and points to specific problems within the company. Her reporting proved prescient when company execs announced just weeks later that the company would be sold.”

SBT also received an Alliance Silver Award for “Best Feature Layout” for a cover package headlined, “Big Brother: Should your company monitor employees’ Internet use?” The award was presented to SBT art director Shelly Paul. The editorial content was written by Geldermann and edited by Jagler and SBT managing editor Andrew Weiland.

The judges remarked, “The layout of this article matches the tone of the content – an ideal combination. The weight of the text with the ‘Big Brother’ caricature art used sparingly but appropriately along with the consistent color palette creates an appealing package. The use of breakout boxes with tips and facts also gives the readers more points of entry.”

SBT also received an Alliance Bronze Award for “Best Overall Design by a Large Tabloid” newspaper. The award was presented to Paul, production manager Vanessa Serkowski, graphic designer Kandy Stamborski and Jagler. The majority of the editorial content was produced by Geldermann and reporter Eric Decker. The judges stated, “This publication has nice covers, with good color use and a left rail that serves readers well. The paper’s type choices offer contrast, and the body copy is clean and readable. The inside features nice white space and good labeling, and the editorial content stands out clearly from the ads.”

The 2006 Alliance Editorial Excellence Awards contest attracted 680 entries from a record-breaking 61 publications in 28 categories. SBT competed against local publications throughout North America, including prominent publications such as Crain’s Chicago Business, Crain’s New York Business, Crain’s Detroit Business, Crain’s Cleveland Business, the Los Angeles Business Journal, the Indianapolis Business Journal, Arkansas Business and the Baton Rouge Business Report.

The contest entries were judged by faculty members of the prestigious University of Missouri School of Journalism.

“The purpose of the Alliance competition 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,” said Alliance executive director C. James Dowden.

“Once again, the judges were impressed by the quality of the work,” said University of Missouri professor Daryl Moen, who coordinated the judging of the contest. “The best often appeared in the most competitive categories, but it also appeared in other categories. The design work is consistently strong in feature layouts, not as strong for magazine covers and newspaper fronts, except for the top tier.”

Dan Meyer, publisher of Small Business Times, said, “This is the best Small Business Times has ever fared in the annual contest against some very prestigious competition in larger markets. The awards reflect the strong editorial content and graphic design that our staff is generating on a regular basis as we provide news and operational insight for the owners and managers of closely held companies throughout southeastern Wisconsin. I’m so proud of the team we’ve assembled here in Milwaukee.”

Headquartered in Los Angeles, the Alliance is a nonprofit organization representing 74 independent magazines and newspapers in the United States, Canada, Australia and Mexico. For more information about the Alliance, visit

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