The Los Angeles Business Journal has won the Gold award for Best Newspaper in a national journalism contest of weekly business journals.

The top award for overall excellence was presented June 22 at the end of the Alliance of Area Business Publications conference in Nashville, Tenn. It marked the fourth time in the last five years that the Business Journal walked away with what’s akin to a best picture Oscar for large business journals.

Judges wrote that the Business Journal’s editorial staff “clearly knows its audience and delivers to it on every possible topic,” while also noting the newspaper’s strong photography, graphics and design.

In all, the Business Journal won seven awards at the AABP conference. (The AABP is a trade organization of local and regional business newspapers and magazines.) Separately, the publication won a dozen awards at the Los Angeles Press Club awards banquet June 23. The paper’s affiliated newspaper, the San Fernando Valley Business Journal, also won awards at each event. The awards were for work published last year.

“While many news organizations have shrunk over the past several years, we’ve continued to invest in our newsroom and in the quality of our publication,” said Matt Toledo, the Los Angeles Business Journal’s publisher and chief executive. “Winning these awards and maintaining the loyalty of our readers confirm that have made the right investments.

“These awards validate the high standards that my Editor Charles Crumpley and all of our reporters, editors and others at our publication are committed to delivering to our readers each week. I couldn’t be more proud.”

As for winning the top honor for general excellence, Toledo said, “I don’t believe any other business journal in the country has ever won this award four out of five years.”

In granting the Best Newspaper award to the Business Journal, the judges wrote: “The publication has a huge reach in a complicated demographic and town. It seems like the staff is ahead of the curve with content that’s densely packed with information. There are good headlines throughout the sections, a good mix of graphics and photography to support and enhance the text.”

Here is a summary of the awards given at the AABP Conference (which gives Gold, Silver and Bronze awards in most categories):

• The Business Journal and its design director Robert Landry, won the Gold award for Best Overall Design. “Reading this publication feels like driving a luxury car – you’re guaranteed a beautiful, consistent experience each time,” the judges wrote, noting the paper’s clear presentation and good use of strong photography.

• The Business Journal’s real estate reporter, Jacquelyn Ryan, won a Gold award in the category of Best Print Scoop for her Feb. 27, 2012, story headlined “Downtown L.A. Greets Wal-Mart.” She broke the story about how Wal-Mart planned to open a controversial grocery near Chinatown.

• Reporter Alfred Lee won a Silver award in the Best Feature category for his Jan. 2, 2012, article headlined “Police Make Business of Seizures.”

• Reporter Howard Fine won a Silver award in the category of Best Coverage of Local Breaking News for his account of how Occidental Petroleum Corp. planned to resume drilling in Carson, possibly employing the controversial technique of fracking (May 21, 2012).

• Landry also won two Silver awards, one for Best Feature Layout and the other for Best Special Section Design for the presentation of different special sections.

• Significantly, the San Fernando Valley Business Journal won a Silver award for Best Newspaper in its small tabloid class. Judges said the paper “reaches out to its readership with a combination of authoritative reporting, informed analysis and a lively writing style. Stories are timely and comprehensive as well as brightly edited; design elements are well chosen, and can be bold when appropriate.”

• The Valley paper and its editor, Laurence Darmiento, also won a Silver award for Best Headlines.

At the Press Club banquet at the downtown Millennium Biltmore hotel, the Los Angeles Business Journal won six 1st Place awards. They went to:

• Lee, for his “Police Make Business of Seizures” story in the News Feature category.

• Ryan for a package of articles in the Jan. 23, 2012, issue about the Miracle Mile headlined “Miracle Growth” in the category of Business.

• Editor Crumpley in the Columnist category.

• Landry in the Design category.

• Tech reporter Tom Dotan in the Entertainment News or Feature category for his Oct. 22, 2012, story about the rise of so-called transmedia that

was headlined “Sideshows/Webisodes, Games Augment TV Viewing Experience.”

• Newsdesk Editor Tom Hicks in the Headline category for penning “If Cochran Partners Don’t Fit, They Might Just Split” for an April 9, 2012, story about dissension between the partners of the old Johnnie Cochran law firm.

In addition, the Business Journal won four 2nd Place awards. They went to: Tech reporter Natalie Jarvey in the Entertainment News or Feature category for her Feb. 6, 2012, story headlined “YouTube Gets Creatives in Los Angeles”; Hicks in the Headline category for “Grace Period Over for Cash-Strapped L.A. Churches” for a story in the April 16, 2012, issue; David Nusbaum in the Sports category for his Oct. 22, 2012, story “Net Loss? Tennis Tourney Needs Money or May Pack its Rackets”; and to photographer Ringo H.W. Chiu in the Feature Photo category for his picture of Amanda Taylor, CEO of DanceOn.

The Business Journal’s two 3rd Place awards went to: Lee in the Personality Profile category for his March 26, 2012, story about Banker Dominic Ng headlined “Made in America” and to former reporter Richard Clough in the Investigative category for his Aug. 13, 2012, story headlined “Too Good to Be True.”

Also at the Press Club event, the San Fernando Valley Business Journal won two awards. They went to: Mark Madler, Judy Temes, Andrew Khouri and Angela Melero, who won 3rd Place in the Entertainment News or Feature category for their story headlined “Disney’s Frontier/Dissecting Disney,” and to Editor Darmiento who won 3rd Place in the Headline category for “Four Topping Fast-Growing Pizza Chain.”

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