It has been both painstaking and an honour to judge the ‘Oscars’ equivalent for business travel journalism - the Business Travel Journalism Awards 2020 (BTJAs). In a year where demand for sources of trusted information, news and insight has soared – the task of selecting winners amongst a sea of outstanding individuals and teams that have so greatly contributed to the business travel media landscape has been a tough gig.
Now in its 17th year and open to journalists globally, this year’s awards attracted high-calibre entries from Singapore to County Kildare and Queensland to New York, with a 22% increase in category submissions versus the last year, across all ten categories. Whilst many of the entries centred around the pandemic’s impact on our industry’s health, wellbeing and resurrection, there was a healthy dose of COVID-unrelated scoops, campaigns and front-page splashes too, all of which showed the tremendous work the press is carrying out throughout this difficult time.
This year’s 12-strong judging panel – made up of business travel heavyweights, ranging from communicators to consultants and buyers to suppliers – virtually reviewed 153 entries and 258 associated articles throughout October. Looking through the submissions was like digging through a goldmine of inspiring journalism. And deliberating over every entry, impartially and fairly scoring each against set criteria and ultimately agreeing on the ten BTJA 2020 winners saw the panel collectively rack up 132 (approx.) of judging hours.
During the judging process, it was a sentence in one award entry that for me, nailed the essence of why - especially during (and hopefully sometime soon coming to the end of) such a tough period – we need to celebrate the best of the amazing journalism which has come out of it:
“This subject was (SIC) important to our niche audience - or at least it was important until Covid came along and made so many prevailing concerns in our BC (Before Coronavirus) world pretty redundant.”
So, my congratulations go to every single entrant, short lister and winner of this year’s BTJAs. It’s been a privilege to be a judge this year, allowing me to understand the graft, pride and passion poured into each and every article submitted.
For more info on the winners, check out this video.