Business journalism students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Missouri were named the winners in the Society of American Business Editors and Writers annual student Best in Business contest.
Melvin Backman, a senior from UNC-Chapel Hill, won in the student publication category for a story in The Daily Tar Heel titled, "UNC’s Bowl Ban Could Put Funding from Nike and Learfield Sports in Jeopardy."
The judges wrote, "Looking at the 'sacred' issue of sports financing and revealing the financial vulnerability of the athletic department (even one with a sports program as successful as UNC) showed great enterprise. The well reported piece explained how the cut in funding affected not only the sports but students who would have to pay more in fees to make up the shortfall."
Joanna Somers of Missouri won in the professional publication category for a story she wrote while interning at the Seattle Times called, "Yelp’s Ad Pitch Gets Bad Reviews."
For the Yelp story, judges wrote, "This piece stands out from the pack, in part because it offers solutions to the problem. There is a good range of sources including interviews with affected business owners. The story is sophisticated, well written and original."
In addition, Walter Moskop of Missouri received an honorable mention in the student publication category for a story on foreclosure.
Jeanna Smialek of UNC-Chapel Hill received an honorable mention in the professional publication category for a story she wrote while interning at Bloomberg News on student debt.
Allison Prang of Missouri also received an honorable mention in the professional publication category for a story she wrote "Different Policies Regulate College Student Data" while working for the Kansas City Star.