Industry awards are capricious, easy to discount when one doesn’t win, but glorious when one’s name is called. Business North Carolina has a tradition of winning awards in the Alliance of Area Business Publications’ annual competition. This year was no exception — so let me brag about my colleagues. At the annual conference, held in Charlotte for the first time, our magazine won eight awards, more than ever, including silver for best magazine. (D CEO of Dallas won gold, deservedly.) University of Missouri professors, who judged the work, credited us with “high-quality reporting, a clean and easy-to-consume design and exceptional feature writing.” Stories that won awards included Chris Burritt’s profile of Raleigh broadcaster Jim Goodmon and Edward Martin’s articles about the Duke Energy coal-ash spill and rising sea level. Ed’s success was no surprise because he has achieved Jordanesque-level status among business-magazine journalists. Judges also honored our Picture This feature that highlights some of North Carolina’s best photographers.
Successful magazines require a remarkable blend of reporting, writing, editing, graphics and photography. Four teammates who contributed to our success have retired or moved on to other challenges: David Kinney, Spencer Campbell, Jim Denk and Courtney Price. Thanks to colleagues Cathy Martin, Moira Johnson, Ben Kinney, Laura MacLean, Jim Dodson and Andie Rose and contributors including Ed, Lisa Davis, Ken Otterbourg, Ralph Voltz and many others, plenty of awards are in the magazine’s future. Enough bragging. Back to my friend Jay. A “right place, right time” experience changed his life, but his superb, consistent work over the next 35 years accomplished as much or more than his Pulitzer Prize honor. Awards are great, but the real reward of journalism is winning consistent respect of readers and advertisers through a devotion to accuracy, integrity and truth telling. Hold us to that standard every month.