Entries for the 2020 Azbee awards will open in November!

The American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) will open entries for the 2020 Azbee Awards of Excellence in November. The Azbee Awards are highly competitive and celebrate the highest quality reporting, editing and design in business-to-business, trade, association and professional publications. The awards honor all types of publications including magazines, newspapers, newsletters, websites, and digital media. Take a look at the 2019 winner’s gallery for inspiration.

About the Azbee Awards

ASBPE’s Azbee Awards of Excellence program is one of the most competitive there is for business-to-business, trade, association, and professional publications. The awards recognize outstanding work by magazines, newsletters, and digital media — Web sites, e-newsletters, digital magazines, and blogs.

The competition is open to all U.S.-based publications. Free ASBPE membership is not required for entry, but members receive a discount on entry fees.

For both print and digital awards, the top entries nationwide receive national awards.

Entries also compete against others in their own regions. The regions for the Azbees are as follows:



Young Leaders Scholarship

To help young editors who are just starting their careers, ASBPE started the annual Young Leaders Scholarship in 2001. The scholarship allows younger editors who might otherwise be unable to attend the ASBPE National Conference or Boot Camps. It is open to all business editors, including print and Web.

Scholarships pay the conference or boot camp and hotel room costs for up to five U.S. applicants. (Applicants or their publishing companies are responsible for transportation to and from the conference, any nonconference meals, and other incurred costs.) Scholarship recipients also receive a free one-year membership to ASBPE if they are not already members.

Qualifications for the scholarship include the following:

  • Applicant must be 30 years of age or younger.
  • Applicant must have worked at least two years as an editor of a business magazine or the magazine’s associated Internet publication.
  • Candidacy must be sponsored by applicant’s chief editor.
  • Applicant must plan to continue in the business press as a career.
  • Applicant may not be a past ASBPE Young Leaders Scholarship winner.

About the Judging Process

Experienced judges with background in business publications read each editorial, design, Web, newsletter, and Magazine of the Year entry. Their introduction to each entry are required and important essays of 250 words or fewer, one describing the publication’s mission and readership and one discussing both the work that went into the entry and its significance to readers.

The following are the general criteria for judging:

Editorial (and newsletter) judging — based on quality of writing, reporting and editing; development of the subject; presentation, and value to readers.

Design judging — layout and composition; use of typography, graphics and photography; content; originality; relevance to the related story or publication, and how easily the entry communicates useful information to the reader.

Web judging — reporting, writing, design, usability, readability, organization, value to readers, interactivity and effective use of online technology.

Previous Awards of Excellence winners

1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
2017 2018 2019 2020 











Magazine of the Year

Top honors go to the Magazine of the Year in our two revenue divisions: More than $3 million revenue and less than $3 million revenue. The divisions are based on average revenue among all participating publications. (More on the revenue divisions.)

Judging is based on five criteria:

1) quality of writing, reporting and editing;

2) value and usefulness to the reader

3) editorial organization

4) interaction with readers

5) layout and design

Past winners include:

2020 Security Management
2019 tED Magazine
Professional Builder
2018 Cannabis Business Times
IEEE Spectrum
2017 Security Management Magazine
QSR Magazine
2016 The American Lawyer
Emergency Management
2015 FSR magazine
Restaurant Business
2014 ABA Journal
2013 Emergency Management H&HN (Hospitals & Health Networks)
2012 Music Inc. IEEE Spectrum
2011 Stitches The Scientist
2010 SC Magazine Computerworld
2009 The Scientist Fortune Small Business
2008 The Scientist Restaurants & Institutions
2007 Public CIO Builder
2006 CSO Computerworld
2005 CMO Restaurants & Institutions
2004 CSO Computerworld
2003 SQL Server CFO
2002 HealthLeaders CIO
2001 Sales & Marketing
Selling Power
2000 Meetings & Conventions Selling Power
1999 HomeCare CIO
1998 CFO
1997 Best’s Review Selling Power

B2B Website of the Year

Entries for the B2B Website of the Year category are judged on:

1. the quality of writing, reporting, and editing

2. value and usefulness to readers,

3. design,

4. effectiveness in quick communication of information,

5. navigation ease,

6. interactivity and community,

7. use of Web technologies and graphic design to support and add usefulness to editorial,

8. legibility and readability,

9. clear distinctions between editorial and advertising,

10. depth of information, and

11) information architecture/editorial organization.

Past winners include:

2020 The Scientist
2019 American Banker
2017 Big Law Business
2016 Architect
2015 Hotel News Now
2014 SHRM Online
2004 Tie: and

Cross-Platform Package of the Year

The Cross-Platform Package of the Year category recognizes the coordination of print  and digital media packages in the presentation of a single topic. It honors excellence in coordinating print with digital platforms, e.g. Web sites, e-newsletters, blogs, Webinars, or podcasts.

Judges examine:

  • coordination of print and digital media that makes excellent use of the qualities of both approaches
  • the originality in using the print and digital forms
  • the journalism
  • design, information architecture/editorial organization
  • other criteria mentioned in the Web Site of the Year category

Past winners include:

2020 Automotive News, “Retail Realities”
2019 Architect, “The R.W. Kern Center at Hampshire College”
2018 dvm360, “Pet pain and death: A dvm360 leadership challenge”
2017 Meatingplace, “Automated for the people”
2016 dvm360, “Burden of Care: A dvm360 leadership challenge”
2015 Computerworld
2014 Pensions & Investments
2013 Crain’s Cleveland Business
2012 Professional Builder/Professional Remodeler
2011 Today’s Garden Center, “Steal This Idea”
2010 Veterinary Medicine
2009 Today’s Garden Center
2008 Network World

Newsletter of the year

The Newsletter of the Year category is open to B2B for-profit or not-for-profit print newsletters, whose frequency is weekly or less, i.e. do not enter dailies or twice-a-week publications.

Judges examine:

  • editorial organization
  • reporting/writing
  • usefulness to readers
  • reader engagement
  • layout and design

Past winners include:

2018 CEO Update
2017 No-Till Farmer

Journalism That Matters Award

The Journalism That Matters Award was first presented in 2009. The award was inspired by ASBPE’s book of the same title, which features case studies of B2B journalists whose articles brought about change within their industries. Editors may nominate themselves or a deserving colleague.

The first winner of the Journalism That Matters Award was HSToday editor David Silverberg in 2009. Silverberg was honored for his criticism in the pages of his homeland-security magazine of the National Football League’s unwillingness to run advertisements mentioning terrorism, borders, and immigration. After the HSToday articles, the NFL changed its policy.

And in 2011, ASBPE presented its second Journalism That Matters Award to The Spine Journal, which took a major step toward protecting the integrity of all scientific publishing in its June 2011 issue. The special issue was devoted to “shining a critical light on the limitations of industry-sponsored research.”

In May 2018, the ASBPE Foundation recognized the nonprofit VTDigger, an online publication covering Vermont business and government, for its investigative reporting. In 2014, VTDigger uncovered possible financial improprieties by one of Vermont’s most prominent business people, Bill Stenger, and his partners in an investment firm developing Jay Peak, a winter recreation resort near the Canadian border. As a result of several years of reporting, led by Founding Editor Anne Galloway, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission launched an investigation and later brought charges against Stenger and his partners.

More about the establishment of the Journalism That Matters Award. 

Stephen Barr Award

This “best in class” prize, which comes with a $500 cash award, goes to the individual writer whose work most reflects inventiveness of approach (and especially use of narrative style), insightfulness, balance in the presentation of a complex subject, depth of investigation, and impact among the community of readers.

More About the Barr Awards

Past ASBPE president Roy Harris reflects on Barr winners present and past, the judges, and the fun of giving out the awards in this blog post.

Those qualities are among the ones exemplified by Stephen Barr, a perennial ASBPE excellence-award winner in his role as senior contributing editor of CFO magazine. Stephen died in 2002, at age 43. The award is endowed by his family, and awarded through the ASBPE Foundation. Past winners include:

Contest entrants don’t compete directly for the Barr Award. Rather, a panel of judges will select the “best in show” among the top feature-writing categories, identifying the finest example of writing that displays the qualities Barr’s work exemplified:

  • inventiveness of approach (and especially use of narrative style),
  • insight and balance in the presentation of a complex subject,
  • depth of investigation, and
  • impact among the community of readers.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Our Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2000 to recognize editors who have made significant and lasting contributions to our editorial profession and to the industries their magazines serve. Recipients have included:

To receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, a candidate must meet four requirements:1) Significant involvement (25 years or more) with business publications. Nominees need not currently hold editorial positions, and may be retired, but ideally will have spent the bulk of their careers in senior editorial positions or will have served the industry in some significant way. Nominees need not be members of ASBPE. Past nominees not selected in previous years are encouraged to reapply.Please provide the nominee’s current title and employer/business (if retired, please state such). Provide a brief description or résumé of the nominee’s job history. Include dates, job titles, magazines, companies.2) A commitment to editorial excellence. This may be demonstrated by general reputation of their publication(s); industry-related awards (e.g., ASBPE Azbees, Neal Awards, Folio:, Tabbies); internal company awards; other forms of recognition or other valid measures of editorial success.3) A commitment to the business/professional press. Nominees should be or should have been involved in lending their experience and time to benefit others in the business press. For example, this may be participation in local or national business press or related organizations; corporate or university teaching; mentoring programs; or significant research or publication of articles on business press issues.4) A commitment to the industry(ies) the nominee’s publication(s) serve. Examples might include committee work with trade or professional associations or standards groups; frequent speaking engagements at industry events; significant research or publication of articles on industry issues; or significant advocacy work with government agencies.The Lifetime Achievement Award winner will receive the award on the evening of the awards banquet, where the honoree also will receive a special tribute. The winner’s name will be announced to the public prior to the banquet. A call for nominations goes out around the beginning of each year.