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Business Journal Earns National and Local Honors

The Los Angeles Business Journal has won nine prizes from a national business journalism group, including the top honor: the gold award for Best Newspaper.

This is the third straight year that organization has named this publication the best business journal in the country.

Several reporters, an editor and the newspaper’s design director also won awards from the group, which is the Alliance of Area Business Publications, at its annual awards ceremony June 25 held in Providence, R.I.

The following evening, the Business Journal won eight awards at the Los Angeles Press Club’s annual banquet, including five No. 1 awards.

The Business Journal’s editor, Charles Crumpley, noted the number of prizes was quite high and the variety of them – including honors for investigative reporting, design, headline writing, personality profiles and even sports business reporting – stood out.

“A newspaper has many difficult and creative facets,” Crumpley said. “And we’ve been acknowledged for doing great work, prize-winning work, in most of them. That’s really gratifying.”

The AABP judges, who are professors at the University of Missouri’s journalism school, said in giving the Business Journal the gold award for Best Newspaper among large tabloids: “Every word counts in the copy of this publication. The designs are good and there’s consistently good writing. This publication knows how to speak to its audience and understands what its readers want.”

The Business Journal’s publisher, Matt Toledo, said, “Receiving the award for best business journal is a clear acknowledgment of the leadership, high standards and commitment to journalistic integrity established by my editor Charles Crumpley. It is also great recognition of the contributions that our editors, reporters, design director and production artists contribute to our paper each and every week. I couldn’t be more proud.”

The AABP is a trade association that represents business journals as well as local and state business magazines. The annual contest includes all work published in the previous calendar year. The other prizes from the AABP, which gives gold, silver and bronze awards in each category:

• A gold award for Best Use of Photography/Illustrations to Robert Landry, design director.

“The strength of visual content throughout and the variety and impact of documentary and photo essays set this entry apart,” the judges said.

• A silver award for Best Scoop to reporter Richard Clough for his article headlined “L.A. Corporate Credit Union Faces Historic Damages.”

The article revealed how federal regulators were going after directors of Western Corporate Federal Credit Union personally. “Mr. Clough’s discovery of the case put the credit union industry on notice that it’s no longer business as usual,” the judges said.

• A silver award for Best Body of Work/Single Reporter went to Alfred Lee.

Lee’s entries included an article revealing how still-experimental stem cell treatments were being sold from a storefront in Koreatown, a critical examination of the tax subsidies the city gave to lure an electric car maker and his profile of a bankruptcy lawyer. Of the latter, the judges said: “His interviewing skills turn what could have been a humdrum Q-and-A … into an only in La-La Land exploration of the subject’s devotion to New Age energy healing.”

• A silver award for Best Headlines to Tom Hicks, newsdesk editor.

Judges said headlines in “the entries were spot on, leading readers into the stories with smooth word play and facts. And it was accomplished without overly relying on puns or cliches.”

The Business Journal won three bronze awards, for Best Overall Design to Landry; Best Feature Layout to Landry; and Best Scoop (Online) to Clough.

The awards from the L.A. Press Club:

• A No. 1 award in the Investigative category to Clough for his article headlined “FirstFed’s Fault Lines,” a story that questioned the reasons regulators used in closing FirstFed Financial. “This is a great example of top-notch investigative journalism

• A No. 1 award in the Personality Profile category to Daniel Miller, a former Business Journal reporter, for his story about developer Barry Shy headlined “Cornering Downtown.” Judges called it “cunningly insightful.”

• A No. 1 award for “Sports” to reporter Joel Russell for his profile of professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek. Judges said many unknown facts about the sport of skateboarding as well as a look at a champion performer “are brought out in this entertaining story.”

• A No. 1 award for “Columnist” to Crumpley for his column headlined “Drawing a Line at City Hall.” Judges called it “a witty – but factual – jab” at the city of L.A.’s lengthy business permit process.

• A No. 1 award for Headline to Hicks for “Cool With It.” Judges said: “Sixties lingo meets global warming in this headline for a story about businesses who see no reason to oppose California climate change laws.”

A second-place award went to reporter Alexa Hyland for her coverage of Mathew Krane, a tax lawyer for mogul Haim Saban who served prison time for his aggressive tactics.

An honorable mention award was given Landry for his design of the Business Journal’s Wealthiest Angelenos issue, and another went to Clough for his article about historic damages sought against WesCorp credit union directors.

Earlier in the year, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers gave the Business Journal three awards, the most the newspaper has ever gotten from that organization.

“It’s been an exceedingly good year, awardwise,” Crumpley said. “It’ll be hard to top. But our goal for this year is to do even better in next year’s competitions.”

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