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Winners of NAREE’s 66th annual real estate journalism contest announced

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Last week at the National Association of Real Estate Editor’s (NAREE) conference, an award ceremony was held to honor some of the best real estate journalism published in 2015.

The top award of the night — the Platinum Award — was given to Josh Salman of the Sarasota HeraldTribune, whose in-depth coverage of the EB-5 visa for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune earned him the prize. The judge’s comment: “The reporter exposed a government program, known as the EB-5 visa, which was prone to international corruption. His investigation not only touched on real estate but matters of national security. Mining a treasure trove of 50 interviews, thousands of court cases, and property records, which resulted in building an impressive data base, the story led on the following day to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announcement to crack down on EB-5 enforcement.”

Other noteworthy winners included:

Best Collection of Work by an Individual Covering Residential Real Estate

  • Gold Winner: Michelle Jarboe, The Plain Dealer — “This reporter offers solid, interesting writing on a wide range of stories from the super wealthy to rust belt carcasses. Particularly standing out was a story about the prices of rental homes in Cleveland for the Republican National Convention this summer. She provides context and detail with hotlinks and maps.”
  • Silver Winner: Jason Blevins, Denver Post — “This reporter’s stories have engaging leads and strong narrative structures. He uses colorful, in-depth details, with a lot of interviews, to examine issues in the Rocky Mountain area. A good example was his story about resorts struggling to survive side by side with homelessness.”
  • Bronze Winner: Marilyn Kalfus, Orange County Register — “The Orange County Register gives this reporter great play and the opportunity to write on a wide spectrum of real estate topics. These range from the nuts and bolts of crowd funding a purchase to coming up with a sales price for an over-the-top cartoonish house worthy of Fred Flintstone.”
  • Honorable Mention Winner: Audrey Hoffer, Freelance Writer, The Washington Post — “This writer does a good job with stories that emphasize aesthetic qualities, whether in a 1920 kit house or in gardens designed to be living spaces. Thanks to this reporter, the Washington Post real estate section is a more beautiful space.”

Best Online Residential, Mortgage or Financial Real Estate Story

  • Gold Winner: Prashant Gopal, Bloomberg News — “The reporter offered lively writing about techies on the prairie. Why would anyone move from a glitzy coastal city to flat, Midwestern Lincoln, Nebraska? With engaging graphics and hotlinks, the story answered this surprising question in a fashion that kept readers going to the end. As the reporter showed, housing prices are dramatically lower in Lincoln for hipster 20 somethings.”
  • Silver Winner: Kathy Orton, The Washington Post — “The reporter combined multimedia to invite readers into a Washington home once occupied by Lyndon Johnson’s family before he was President. Both contemporary and historic photographs embedded in the story and slide shows made good use of the web. What a great real estate topic on Presidents’ Day.”
  • Bronze Winner: Amy Hoak, MarketWatch — “The reporter noted the steady decline of the number of real estate appraisers in the country and showed how this will have an adverse effect on those selling their homes. Photographs, hotlinks, and graphics helped the story immensely and showed why readers should care.”
  • Honorable Mention Winner: Maya Srikrishnan, Voice of San Diego — “What an interesting notion — commuting sometimes daily from Tijuana to nearby San Diego. This article outlined how something that sounds utterly crazy might just work. It made good use of hotlinks in discussing the pros and cons of building, as well as living, in Mexico.”

Read the full list of 2016 winners.

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