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About the judging process

Become a judge

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Awards are given on a national and regional level for categories with a sufficient number of entries. 

Experienced judges with backgrounds in business publications read each Print, Design, Online, and Overall Excellence entry. The judges review two required and important essays of 250 words or fewer that describe the publication’s mission and readership and discuss both the work that went into the entry and its significance to readers.

Print, Design, and Online category criteria

The following are the general criteria for judging:

  • Print entries: Quality of writing, reporting and editing; development of the subject; presentation, and value to readers
  • Design entries: 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
  • Online entries: Reporting, writing, design, usability, readability, organization, value to readers, interactivity and effective use of online technology

Magazine of the Year criteria

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

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

Website of the Year criteria

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

  • The quality of writing, reporting, and editing
  • Value and usefulness to readers
  • Design
  • Effectiveness in quick communication of information
  • Navigation ease
  • Interactivity and community
  • Use of Web technologies and graphic design to support and add usefulness to editorial
  • Legibility and readability
  • Clear distinctions between editorial and advertising
  • Depth of information
  • Information architecture/editorial organization

Multi-Platform Package of the Year criteria

The Multi-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., websites, e-newsletters, blogs, webinars, podcasts, and other emerging digital media platforms.

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 Website of the Year category

Newsletter of the Year criteria

The Newsletter of the Year category honors B2B for-profit or not-for-profit print newsletters whose frequency is weekly or less. 

Judges examine:

  • Editorial organization
  • Reporting/writing
  • Usefulness to readers
  • Reader engagement
  • Layout and design

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