OBJ wins business journalism award

Lincoln Fields mall
Beth Nagy pours coffee at P.A.M.’s Coffee and Tea in Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre in July 2019. The photo accompanied a feature on Ottawa's mid-size malls that was recently honoured by the Alliance of Area Business Publishers.

Ottawa Business Journal editor David Sali was honoured for his feature writing by the Alliance of Area Business Publishers at the industry association’s virtual annual conference Thursday night.

Sali was recognized with a silver award for his August 2019 feature, Ottawa's mid-tier malls face adapt-or-die retail landscape, that explored both the challenges and opportunities facing merchants and their landlords amid a rapidly evolving economic environment.

“By giving voice to the smaller businesses affected by mall closures, this story provides a peek at the human struggles that are behind any ailing business sector,” judges from the University of Missouri School of Journalism said in a statement. “The result is a piece with emotion and importance.”

The story built on several years of Sali’s reporting on the challenges facing Ottawa’s community malls as well as redevelopment plans to turn several of these retail properties into new mixed-use centres.

“Through his on-the-ground reporting, Dave helped the community understand what this massive shift means for many small business owners in Ottawa,” said Peter Kovessy, OBJ’s head of content.

The AABP represents 55 independent magazine and newspaper members in the U.S., Canada and Australia.