DES MOINES, Iowa – Providence Business News was named the “Most Improved Publication” in the Alliance of Area Business Publishers annual editorial excellence awards program held Saturday, the culmination of the association’s annual summer conference.
The judges from the University of Missouri School of Journalism noted that PBN “took a giant leap from its previous design to a new look that’s filled with light, content, context and a crisper presentation.”
PBN unveiled a new design in February 2015, one which emphasizes a significant cover story and more magazine-like features. The judges added that “stories focus on more top-of-mind topics. ‘For Starters’ and ‘It’s Personal’ sections create more interesting pacing.”
Changes made to less obvious visual elements were called out as well. “The nameplate has been modernized as well, making an attractive display. The Table of Contents reflects a major improvement with more details and visuals to help readers make their way through content,” they said.
“The overall result is a more personal and reader-friendly publication.”
The honors for PBN follow the newspaper taking third place last year in the best large tabloid newspaper category in the same competition. At that time the faculty judges said that “this publication has a strong sense of place and knows its audience.”
PBN took home second place honors in 2013 for best website among AABP members, which followed a 2012 second-place award for “best ancillary publication” for the newspaper’s 25th anniversary special section, and a 2011 first place award for breaking news coverage of the March 2010 floods and their aftermath in Rhode Island.
In February, PBN received first-place honors for Best Mobile Application design and best Transportation Reporting story in the New England Newspaper & Press Association’s 2016 Better Newspaper Competition. In addition to the two first place awards, PBN took home second place for both Best Overall Website and best Website Design for weekly newspapers, as well as third place for a Government Reporting story that focused on economic development plans of Gov. Gina M. Raimondo and previous administrations.
In April, PBN took home six awards, including first and second places in the business story category, in the Rhode Island Press Association’s 2015 editorial contest.
Forty-six publications from the United States, Canada and Australia submitted 644 entries in the AABP contest, which looked at work in design, journalism, digital and best of show categories.
In addition to PBN taking “Most Improved Publication,” the other winners in the best of show category included the following:
Best Newspaper: Medium/Large Tabloid, Los Angeles Business Journal
Best Newspaper: Small Tabloid, Daily Herald Business Ledger (from suburban Chicago)