Sarah Scalet, managing editor of CSO, recalls that reporter Scott Berinato was doing some research last year when he ran across a series of articles describing a growing trend in metal theft and decided to investigate further.
“He talked with a lot of experts and put together the pieces no one had put together before,” Scalet said. “It really is a fascinating topic, with good guys and bad guys.”
The resulting article, “Red Gold Rush,” published in the February 2007 issue of CSO, won the Grand Neal Award last month at American Business Media's 54th annual Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Awards ceremony in New York. CSO is published by CXO Media, a subsidiary of IDG Communications.
The article connected the dots between the construction boom in China, rising prices worldwide for metals and the tremendous risks thieves will take to steal and sell them to scrap dealers.
For example, crystal methamphetamine addicts are pulling down municipal light poles to get at the copper wire so they can sell it to feed their drug habits, according to the article.
For CSOs, the increase in metal theft “is the most significant physical security concern today.”
The three runners-up for the Grand Neal were: Affordable Housing Finance's “The Trouble With HUD and How to Fix It,” published by Hanley Wood; ArchRecord.com, the Web site of Architectural Record, published by McGraw-Hill Cos.; and Heavy Duty Trucking's “Solving the Driver Crisis,” published by Newport Communications Group.
The Neal Awards competition drew 1,045 entries. For print, awards were given in three revenue classifications, based on a combination of gross advertising and circulation revenue. The categories were: less than $3 million; $3 million to $7 million; and more than $7 million. For the Web, awards were given in three classifications based on unique monthly visitors. The categories were: fewer than 100,000 unique monthly visitors; 100,000 to 500,000; and more than 500,000.
“Red Gold Rush” also won best single article for publications with combined advertising and circulation revenue of less than $3 million.
IDG earned multiple awards. PC World won for best subject-related series of articles and best staff-written editorials or opinion columns. Computerworld won three Neals, including best Web site.
ALM, which targets legal and business professionals, captured five Neal awards, with The American Lawyer winning four, including best single-theme issue and best single issue of a magazine.
Crain Communications Inc.'s Financial Week took home awards for best news coverage and best single issue of a newspaper/news tabloid. (Crain Communications also publishes Media Business.)
Boyce Thompson, editorial director of Hanley Wood's Builder, Multifamily and Tech Groups, received the Crain Award, given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the development of editorial excellence in business media. The award is named for G.D. Crain Jr., founder of Crain Communications.
“B-to-b media is at a crossroads,” Thompson said in accepting the award. “We have an unbelievable amount of media at our disposal. The biggest challenge is: How are we going to disseminate the information? Through blogs? Video? Print?”
Harry McCracken, VP-editor in chief of PC World, won the Timothy White Award for editorial integrity. The award is named after the late Billboard editor. McCracken was the subject of controversy last May when he abruptly quit parent company IDG because it tried to spike a story about Apple and Steve Jobs. McCracken rejoined the magazine about a week later after the disputed article was posted on PC World's Web site.
“Editors must earn and keep the trust of readers. Period,” McCracken said, as he accepted the award. “If you lose that, you'll lose everything.”
Daniel Verdon, editor in chief of Advanstar Communications' DVM Newsmagazine, which covers the veterinary field, was selected as the winner of this year's McAllister Editorial Fellowship. The fellowship promotes the study of b-to-b media by having the recipient spend a week as an adviser to the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
“It will be exciting to get into a program to talk about the strengths of b-to-b media and the role it plays in our markets,” Verdon said. “History will look back at this time as being so important. The industry is building a foundation that is stripping away any limitations of print journalism.” M