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ASU Student to Receive National Business Reporting Award

May 10, 2019
SABEW Award

Andres Guerra Luz will receive the Best in Business award for his story on Puerto Rico tourism in the aftermath of two devastating hurricanes in 2017.

Andres Guerra Luz, a senior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, will receive the top student business reporting award from the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing.

Guerra Luz won a national Best in Business award from SABEW for a story on how Puerto Rico is trying to rebuild its tourism industry in the aftermath of the 2017 hurricane that devastated much of the island.

The award will be presented during the 2019 SABEW spring conference to be held at the Cronkite School in downtown Phoenix May 16-18. More than 200 of the nation’s top business reporters and editors are expected to attend.

Cronkite students have won six SABEW student journalism awards since 2010, the second most of any university in the nation. Cronkite students also received five finalist mentions during that nine-year span.

“(Guerra Luz) did a lot of legwork and wisely ventured outside San Juan to interview (bed-and-breakfast) owners in other tourist destinations,” the SABEW judges wrote. “Bravo on providing readers with relevant data and historical context.”

Guerra Luz was one of 19 Cronkite students who traveled to the island in 2017 to report and produce the multimedia project “Puerto Rico: Restless and Resilient,” which is available online and as a print magazine. The students worked under the direction of Cronkite faculty member Rick Rodriquez, former editor of the Sacramento Bee, and Jason Manning, executive director of strategic communication and digital media at ASU.

Students have traveled to other countries to report on immigration and border issues every year since 2006 under a grant from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the Illinois-based non-profit organization founded by the international photojournalist, author and philanthropist. Students have reported from Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Hungary, Nicaragua and Panama.

They are currently working on a project based on a reporting trip to Peru.

Guerra Luz focused on the tourism industry in Puerto Rico in part because of his interest in business journalism. He has specialized in business reporting at the Cronkite School and has interned at Reuters and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. A spring 2019 graduate, he will intern this summer at Bloomberg News.

"Getting to work on the Puerto Rico project was an incredible opportunity and allowed me to be on the island at one of its most significant times in history," said Guerra Luz. "Despite the tragedy wrought by two hurricanes hitting the island in the span of a month - many of the tourism businesses and NGOs were making the best of the situation and trying to use it as a launching point to reinvent their business or the industry."

The 56th annual SABEW conference is the world’s largest gathering of business journalists. It is the third time the Cronkite School will host the conference.

The 2019 conference will include workshops, discussions and panels related to the theme “Journalism in a Time of Disruption.” A number of Cronkite faculty will be featured, and Cronkite students studying business journalism also will participate and cover the conference for SABEW.

“We’re delighted to have SABEW hold its annual spring conference here at Cronkite,” said Andrew Leckey, president of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and a member of the SABEW board of directors. “These events give our students, faculty and staff a terrific opportunity to hear and connect with local, national and global editors and newsmakers.”