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Bisnow Wins 3 Awards From NAREE For Excellence In Journalism

The Bisnow newsroom won three awards and earned three honorable mentions for real estate news at the National Association of Real Estate Editors' Journalism Awards in a digital ceremony Wednesday.


The NAREE competition recognizes international excellence in reporting, writing and editing stories about residential and commercial real estate, and Bisnow’s award-winning coverage included national investigations, legal entanglements and new forms of real estate storytelling.

"I am particularly proud of this year’s NAREE honors because the awards touch on every corner of what we have become known for: investigations, analysis, breaking news, audio, creative storytelling and bare bones daily reporting that spans international markets,” Bisnow Editor-in-Chief Mark F. Bonner said. “That’s Bisnow, and this haul of awards validates, once again, that our organization’s journalism is having a deep impact. Congratulations to all of the winners."

Awards were presented Wednesday at the virtual NAREE 54th Annual Real Estate Journalism Conference. The winners were selected by judges Ceci Rodgers, Desiree Hanford and Karen Springen of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

"Four years ago, we made the strategic decision to pivot our approach on editorial from fluff to hard-hitting journalism,” Bisnow CEO Will Friend said. “The results — from exponential traffic growth to a highly engaged audience to these prestigious awards that we are humbly grateful to receive — are only the latest evidence that it was the right move for our business. Ideas are part of the solution, but execution is everything, so I am doubly proud of what our newsroom continues to achieve.”

Bisnow received the following awards and recognition:

Best Online Commercial Real Estate Story

GOLD WINNER (TIE): Matthew Rothstein, “Incentives, Investigations And The Growing Distrust Of Real Estate Campaign Donations”

Judges’ comment: Using the Amazon HQ2 debacle in Long Island City, New York, as a jumping-off point, Rothstein’s story explores how the cozy relationships between real estate developers, money and local politicians are facing voter outrage and FBI scrutiny in major U.S. cities. Through interviews with developers, politicians, local experts and more, Rothstein deftly explains changing attitudes and how they are leading to, in some cases, more restrictive local laws.

GOLD WINNER (TIE): Deirdra Funcheon, “Inside The Wild Legal Battle Over EB-5 Fraud, Defamation And A $2.5B Times Square Project

Judges’ comment: Funcheon examines how the EB-5 visa program is easily susceptible to fraud and how some have taken advantage of the program’s weaknesses. The program encourages foreigners to loan $500,000 or more toward a U.S. business project, which in turn allows them to get a U.S. visa. Through excellent sourcing and poring over court documents, social media accounts, contracts and more, Funcheon focuses on a case involving a Florida developer, Chinese investors and projects in Times Square.


Best E-Newsletter By An Individual Journalist

BRONZE WINNER: Mike Phillips, “The $39B EOP Deal Should Have Killed Blackstone. Instead It Reaped A $7B Profit

Judges’ comment: Phillips interviews a Blackstone honcho and explains how a 2007 deal financed with $32 billion in debt was a winner. (The informative headline, too, notes that the deal “Should Have Killed Blackstone.” Did it? No. “Instead It Reaped A $7B Profit.”) Readers will also feel like insiders after finding out what the founder of a commercial real estate company and the head of a tech fund tell Phillips exclusively.


Best International Real Estate Story

Honorable Mention: Mike Phillips, “Can You Get Through Brexit Without Breaking Real Estate? A Bisnow Choose Your Own Adventure Game

Judges’ comment: After months of speculation about the impact of Brexit, Phillips has a refreshing and unique approach to the story that puts the reader in charge of the “what ifs.” It’s a clever series of click-throughs to various outcomes that offer well-sourced opinions and some surprises. The story plays with the endlessly frustrating uncertainty of how the UK will eventually handle its European Union divorce.


Best Audio or Video Report – Online or Broadcast

Honorable Mention: Miriam Hall, Bisnow, “Let’s Have A Drink NYC: Knotel CEO Amol Sarva

Judges’ comment: The premise of “Let’s Have A Drink” is to showcase the personalities behind the real estate movers and shakers in New York, even if the guest prefers kombucha to Scotch. In this episode, Hall hits the mark, drawing out the best in her guest, who is the CEO of a flexible workspace provider. She asks probing questions that elicit good stories from her guest.


Best Breaking Real Estate News Story

Honorable Mention: Cameron Sperance, “EXCLUSIVE: Chick-fil-A To Stop Donations To Charities With Anti-LGBT Views”

Judges’ comment: Sperance’s story featured an exclusive interview with Chick-fil-A’s president. He offered a unique perspective on the company’s decision to stop giving contributions to two charities that raised the ire of LGBTQ groups and increasingly hampered the company’s national expansion efforts.