Virginia Business wins two national business writing awards

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Virginia Business won two national journalism awards Saturday at the annual summer conference of the Alliance of Area Business Publishers (AABP).

Freelance writer Bob Burke won a silver award in the explanatory journalism category for “The Play is Under Review,” a story that looks at how Virginia and other states are more closely scrutinizing economic incentives.

Judges said of the story: “Virginia’s business recruitment agency was under pressure for losing $1.5 million and was the subject of a scathing state commission review. The reporter for this story used that situation as a launching point to explain not only what was happening with the Virginia agency but also to present context and ideas about possible solutions from other states trying to measure the effectiveness of these incentives.”

In addition, freelance writer Richard Foster received a silver award in the Best Local Coverage of a National Business/Economic Story for “Taking Aim at Short-Term Rentals,” a story about Virginia legislation that allows localities to require people offering short-term rentals, like Airbnb, to register.

“Lots of law-abiding Virginia citizens are skirting the law to make extra cash by renting their homes via Airbnb or other home rental services,” judges said of the story. “This comprehensive tale looks at all sides of the issue – from homeowners needing to make a profit off their stately homes to worried neighbors and government officials trying to regulate and tax the practice.”

The awards were judged by faculty at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Saturday’s award banquet capped AABP’s three-day summer conference, which was held this year in Washington, D.C.

AABP is headquartered in Los Angeles and represents 55 independent magazine and newspaper members in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

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