Los Angeles Business Journal

Honor Us With Your Opinion

By Charles Crumpley Monday, July 2, 2012

Normally, this column has something to do about you – those in the business community of Los Angeles. But I’m going to turn inward and talk about us for a few minutes.

My colleagues at the Business Journal are no different from those in most workplaces. They work conscientiously and creatively, often laboring well into the evening to do the best job possible. Many of us live this profession. We’re always thinking, always looking.

Of course, articles are at the heart of what we do. We try to bring you important or interesting L.A. stories you haven’t seen before and with a perspective you don’t find elsewhere. But we strive to do more; we emphasize creative and expressive photography, clever and intriguing headlines, and elegant design, for example.

We know it, we feel it, when we do a good job. The moment it all comes together is kind of like hearing the extra-sharp crack of the bat; you know that one’s going over the wall. Alas, we also know it when we fall short. It feels like the third whiff.

Wins and losses. Victories and regrets. They animate every workplace. All this is probably much like your shop.

But our profession has something many others don’t: awards. And plenty of them. Victories are on display; our industry knows who’s doing the very best work. And who, by omission, isn’t.

We participate in three journalism contests. Two of them concluded on the same recent weekend. An article about how we fared is on page 6 of this issue. So I won’t go over them here, other than to say that I’m particularly proud that the Los Angeles Press Club named our banking and finance reporter, Richard Clough, as Journalist of the Year in our size category.

Also noteworthy: Our newsdesk editor, Tom Hicks, who writes most of our headlines, swept the category in the L.A. Press Club, winning first, second and third place for headlines.

And I’m proud that in the other contest, a national one, the Business Journal got a bronze award for overall excellence. That breaks a string in which we won the gold award three straight years, but it’s assuring to be cited as among the best business journals in the country.

For me, it’s particularly gratifying to see that colleagues in all facets of our operation are acknowledged for outstanding work. In the two recent contests as well as in past ones, we have won awards for all kinds of journalism – investigative, explanatory and feature stories, for example – as well as for photography, headlines and design. We do well on several fronts.

Unfortunately, there aren’t award categories for editors, even though their contribution is exceedingly valuable. Laurence Darmiento, our managing editor, and Steve Silkin, our deputy managing editor, make our journalistic trains run on time. They’re kind of like directors, not the stars.

It’s rewarding to win awards. They tell us what we’re doing well. Still, we could do better.

So let’s turn this column back to you. Tell me what we could do to improve.

After all, our most important mission is to provide news and information that’s valuable to you, so please tell me: What would you like to see more of? Less of? What content would be helpful or informative for you?

Honestly, any constructive suggestions or ideas are welcome. My e-mail address is below. I know you’re busy, so I’m grateful for a minute or two of your time.

I can’t promise that we will act on every suggestion. I do promise to consider every one.

Charles Crumpley is editor of the Business Journal. He can be reached at ccrumpley@labusinessjournal.com.