By Geoffrey Smith
March 20, 2017

Good morning,

It’s an article of faith at Fortune that we provide readers with the best in business journalism, but it’s nice to have that faith corroborated by others from time to time.

The Society of American Business Editors and Writers honored us with six prizes at its annual “Best in Business” awards for 2016 on Friday, a total topped by no-one and matched only by Bloomberg News (an organization with considerably more resources).

In the words of Fortune’s new editor-in-chief, Clifton Leaf, “This extraordinary string of SABEW awards is a recognition not only of our phenomenally talented journalists, but also of the culture these same journalists and their colleagues have created at Fortune—a culture that holds sacred deep and thoughtful storytelling, even as other media brands have abandoned such reporting as old-fashioned, or as somehow inconsistent with the demands of a modern digital audience. In truth, such reporting couldn’t be more essential today.”

The stories honored by the judges were:

Bitter Sweets, by Brian O’Keeffe, which exposed the intransigent problem of child labor in the cocoa industry;

Hot Mess by Erika Fry, which told the the saga of one of the strangest public relations stumbles by a major corporation in memory—after a crisis with Nestlé’s popular Maggi noodles product in India;

Hoaxwagen by Geoffrey Smith and Roger Parloff, which dug deep into the mess of Volkswagen’s emissions scandal;

The Disturbing Decline of Sumner Redstone by Peter Elkind and Marty Jones, which detailed the bizarre and alarming story of the controlling shareholder in CBS and Viacom.

Finance editor Steven Gandel and reporter Phil Wahba, for his consistently excellent reporting on the retail sector, round off the list of laureates. You can find the full list of SABEW’s winners here.

News below.

Geoffrey Smith


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