Insurance Journal Wins Business Publication Editorial Awards

August 6, 2009

Insurance Journal magazine has won gold and silver editorial awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors’ western regional awards competition, recognizing the magazine for its editorial excellence.

The article “America’s Young Insurance Agents,” which appeared in Insurance Journal’s March 24, 2008, issue, received a gold “Azbee” award in the Original Research/magazine with a circulation under 80,000 category. The article was judged against other articles in the Western region “that had at its center a survey, product ranking, or statistical or other proprietary documentation by a publication,” according to ASBPE.

According to Vice President of Editorial Andrew J. Simpson, who conducted the research and wrote the article, the insurance industry is facing a pending personnel crisis as recruitment of young professionals to the business has not kept pace with the retirement of Baby Boomers. Without an inflow of young professionals, independent insurance agencies will struggle to carry on their success.

Given this problem, Insurance Journal surveyed and interviewed some of the industry’s current young agents to find out what attracted them to the industry, what they like and don’t like about it, and what they expect out of their jobs. The good news was that most young agents are optimistic about their future in the industry and glad they made the choice they did. Many commented that they had never been asked their opinion until the Insurance Journal survey and interviews. They offered advice on what the industry needs to do to attract and keep more young professionals. This article was a good complement to another article that ran in the same issue on what the industry’s “golden agents,” those with 50 years of experience under their belt, and what they love and regret about the insurance business

The article “AIG — Cracking Under Pressure,” which appeared in Insurance Journal’s Oct. 6, 2008, issue, won a silver “Azbee” award in the News Analysis/Investigative/magazine with a circulation under 80,000 category. Entries in this category were recognized for providing “insight into a breaking news story in a thorough context and demonstrated quality writing, reporting, editing, and usefulness to readers. Judges based their awards on editorial values of balance, source variety, proper attribution, timeliness, reader value, depth of information and proper emphasis, adequate development, enterprise, and clarity in presentation,” according to ASBPE.

According to Simpson, at the time the article was written, the insurance industry was shocked by the bailout of American International Group, the largest and one of the most respected insurance organization in the world. Insurance Journal not only kept up with events surrounding AIG’s financial deterioration and rescue but also reported how these events were affecting the agents and brokers representing AIG, its competitors and its customers.
“AIG Cracking Under Pressure” provided exclusive insight into what agents and brokers were thinking about the AIG collapse, the position they were placed in as a result of AIG’s troubles, and how they were dealing with their customers and the fallout. This article was part of a larger package about AIG in Crisis.

Insurance Journal Editor in Chief Andrea Wells, Design Director Guy Boccia and Designer Jamie Bethell also contributed to the articles.

ASBPE’s Azbee Editorial awards recognize outstanding editorial 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, and magazines are judged against the competition within their region and against magazines of similar circulation size. Editorial submissions are judged based on their quality of writing, reporting and editing; development of the subject; presentation, and value to readers, according to ASBPE.

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