Barstow, Grow are co-Business Journalists of the Year

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The bread and butter of business journalism is company coverage.

A good business journalist knows how to cover a company inside and out. He or she has great sources inside and outside a company. He or she also writes stories that aren’t spoon-fed to them by the company’s PR staff. Those stories are fair while being critical.

A great business journalist can write company stories that have impact and can change the way consumers, and investors, look at that company.

David Barstow of The New York Times and Brian Grow of Reuters are two such journalists. And they are the co-winners of the Talking Biz News Business Journalist of the Year competition.

Barstow’s coverage of Wal-Mart this past year has been an investigative virtuoso, while Grow’s coverage of Chesapeake Energy has consistently chipped away at the veneer that a company’s executive team strives so hard to present by reporting what goes on behind the scenes.

To use sports metaphors, Barstow’s coverage has been a grand slam home run in the bottom of the ninth inning while Grow’s coverage has been a series of game-winning three-pointers at the buzzer.

Past winners of the Talking Biz News award have been Joseph Weisenthal of The Business Insider in 2011 for changing how business journalists deliver information to consumers and Andrew Ross Sorkin of The New York Times in 2010 for his insider coverage of Wall Street.

Other business journalists considered this year for the award were Carrick Mollenkamp of Reuters, Kai Ryssdel of “Marketplace,” Alan Murray of The Wall Street Journal, and Dan Primack of Fortune.

The selection of Barstow and Grow is purely subjective, but this year Talking Biz News expanded the review of the finalists to its team of contributors.

What follows are profiles of Barstow and Grow and their work in the past 12 months.