For four years, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee had raised interest rates or held them steady. With economic woes building and the housing market being torn apart, the committee finally cut rates by a half-point Sept. 18.
Bankrate, with its team of 15 reporters, editors, artists and producers, was ready for the news that would affect consumers and business.
An analysis of the Fed rate cut led the package that Bankrate published within minutes, followed by a “translation” — what the Fed said in its statement and what that meant in English — and three stories aimed at consumers, addressing the major money concerns in their lives.
Assistant Managing Editor Douglas Delp said, “For most people, the Federal Reserve itself is a mysterious and distant force, of little interest in itself. But readers do care about the Fed’s direct impact on their lives.
“They care about how quickly it will impact their lives. And perhaps most important, they care about what they can do about it. Our entire package is designed around answering those questions.”
Judges said: “This staff wrote knowledgeably about a breaking news event that was an integral part of its beat. But most of all, the staff knew its audience. The coverage dealt not just with the spot news but its effect on its readers in many different aspects of their lives.
“The staff could — and clearly did — plan some of its coverage, but as with any breaking story, the specifics had to be dealt with on the spot. The graphs and tables enhanced the coverage. The text was well-researched and well-written.”
Readers and users responded to this Fed package within minutes of the stories going live. Editor in Chief Julie Bandy said, “Our Fed coverage contributed to over 2 million page views on Bankrate that day alone.”