2002 Excellence in Journalism Awards



Excellence in Journalism Awards were handed out June 14 by emcees Cathy S. Cruz (Hawaii Business), John Heckathorn (Honolulu Magazine), Jade Moon (KGMB-TV) and Denby Fawcett (KITV) at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel.

Judging for the contest was done by the Inland NW Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Duplicate copies of trophies and finalist boxes may be purchased by calling Stirling Morita at 529-4755 or e-mailing spj@flex.com for the following costs:


Business Reporting

Winner: "9-11-02: Hawaii's Changing Economy", The Honolulu Advertiser Business Staff

Judges’ comments: Because this as a Sunday story, it had a bit more depth and detail than the other entries. A good general overview of what forces are at work in the islands’ economy.

Finalist: "Aloha-Hawaiian Merger Off," The Honolulu Advertiser Business Staff

Spot News Reporting

Winner: "Girl's Body Found," The Honolulu Advertiser staff

Judges’ comments: Every angle of the story captured. Good balance of hard news with personal details of Kahealani’s life. Nice team effort on what must have been a difficult story to cover.

Finalist: "Harris Quits Race," The Honolulu Advertiser staff

Finalist: "Raging Water," Mark Adams, The Maui News

General New/Enterprise Reporting

Winner: "Where Rene Went Wrong," Cynthia Oi, Honolulu Star Bulletin

Judges’ comments: Balanced look at Mansho’s downfall and her strengths. A personal, insightful look at the woman’s weaknesses, backed by background, history to fill the story out.

Finalist: "Coming Home," Lyn Danninger, Honolulu Star Bulletin

Finalist: "Sandy Beach," Diana Leone, Honolulu Star Bulletin

Feature Writing/Short Form

Winner: "Pauley Boy," Valerie Monson, The Maui News

Judges’ comments: Lede was interesting and at the same time captured the direction of the story. Nice job mixing present tense with history – to lead the reader back to the present. Subject is compelling and has an important story to tell.

Finalist: "Kahului Harbor – It’s a Busy Place," Matthew Thayer, The Maui News

Finalist: "Healthy in Hawaii," Jaymes Song, The Associated Press

Feature Writing/Long Form

Winner: "Crystal City," Craig Gima, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Judges’ comments: The author applies a powerful voice in telling a sad story of American history.

Finalist: "North Shore Surf Dreams," Tanya Bricking, The Honolulu Advertiser

Finalist: "Serenade of Sounds of Silence," Jennifer Hiller, The Honolulu Advertiser

News Page Design

Winner: "Taking a Great Fall," Mike Rovner, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Judges’ comments: Fantastic graphics – relevant tie-in to content. Nice use of typography, very well done. I like the chart treatment – the graphics tell the story at a glance.

Finalist: "When Lawyers Go Bad," Mike Rovner, Kip Aoki, Honolulu Star Bulletin

Feature Page Design

Winner: "Road Warriors," Bryant Fukutomi, Honolulu Star Bulletin

Judges’ comments: Visually gold – headline – graphic – map tied in nicely with the story. Nice layout and font choices.



Online Reporting/Breaking News

Winner: "2002 General Election Coverage," The Honolulu Advertiser Online Staff

Judges’ comments: The Advertiser did a complete, thorough job of covering an important election. The video clips added a nice dimension and the deep background on candidates was a nice feature. However, this entry is not a great example of "breaking news" in the sense that the coverage was planned well in advance of a scheduled event. The other entries in this category were more traditional representations of breaking news but showed no particular depth or enterprise and were of events that took place over weeks. Incremental coverage of "breaking news" is not very inspiring.

Online Reporting/Feature

Winner: "Hawaii State Art Museum," The Honolulu Advertiser Online Staff

Judges’ comments: Good use of interactive media to give the sense of the museum.


Business Reporting

Winner: "Foundering Kauai Shrimp Farm Awaits Receipt of Government Loans and Land," Teresa Dawson, Environment Hawai‘i

Judges’ comments: A thorough, well-sourced report on a questionable venture, from both a business and environmental standpoint.

Finalist: "What now?" Cathy S. Cruz, Hawaii Business magazine


Winner: "Robert Kiyosaki," Jacy L. Youn, Hawaii Business magazine

Judges’ comments: In a field of one-dimensional entries, this one showed the complexity of successful people

Feature Writing/Short Form

Winner: "Portraits of Power," Derek Ferrar, Hana Hou! Magazine

Judges’ comments: Nice job capturing this man’s interesting life and personality. Good use of anecdotes from Bentley’s experiences. This was a pleasure to read.

Finalist: "Special Delivery," Kate Robertson, Island Scene

Finalist: "Wow! Waikiki," Martha Noyes, Spirit of Aloha

Feature Writing/Long Form

Winner: "Kalo Culture," Leslie Lang, Hana Hou! Magazine

Judges’ comments: Good cultural information. I’d make the Kumulipo myth the opening.

Finalist: "Healing Ourselves," David K. Choo, Honolulu Magazine

Page Design

Winner: "Not Giving in to the Target," Jonathan Tanji, Island Scene

Judges’ comments: Excellent typography and use of space on the opening spread. Great photo sequence on subsequent page; excellent use of time. Overall, a very contemplative feeling design, exactly what the article conveys with words.

Finalist: "The Quality of Rain," Darrell Ishii, Spirit of Aloha

Finalist: "Sailing the Winds of Time," Steve Shrader, Hana Hou! Magazine

Magazine Cover

Winner: March/April 2002, Darrell Ishii, Tony Novak-Clifford, Spirit of Aloha

Judges’ comments: The great macro shot of the grass isn’t cramped by text, and the colors all work very well together. Overall, a very spacious, non-claustrophobic design without feeling sparse.

Finalist: October Issue, Michel V.M. Lę, Honolulu Magazine

Finalist: "Top 250," Jayson Harper, Hawaii Business magazine


Business Reporting

Winner: "Hawaii Cruise Industry Grows," Prabha Natarajan, Pacific Business News

Judges’ comments: More than just following a story, this writer has found a series of topics that illustrate the many impacts of the industries and how Hawaii can maximize them. Well reported and interesting stuff.

Finalist: "Keeping a Family Business Alive: Succession Planning Critical to Transition," Ben DiPietro, Pacific Business News

Finalist: "State Tourism Promo Undergoes Major Upheaval," Steve Jefferson, Pacific Business News

General News/Enterprise Reporting

Winner: "Fallout: Enewetak atoll 50 years ago this week," Beverly Keever, Honolulu Weekly

Judges’ comments: Although 3,000 miles from Hawaii, the story of nuclear testing in the remote Pacific is one of the nation’s least understood stories. This story fills that void on a variety of fronts, from the human cost, the cost to the environment and by correcting historical inaccuracies. An important story that should have found a national audience.

Finalist: "Good Fish Bad Fish," Joanne Fujita, Honolulu Weekly

Finalist: "Hollywood heeds call of high-tech tax incentives," Terrence Sing, Pacific Business News

Feature Writing


"After the storm: 10 years after ’Iniki Kauai remembers September 11 for a different tragedy," Ben DiPietro, Pacific Business News

Judges’ comments: Like any good "look-back" story, this one delivers on both the then and now with comprehensive reporting. The details are strong with statistics, human interest and even Elvis. Great story!

Finalist: "Kona lands the big one," Terrence Sing, Pacific Business News

Finalist: "Beyond Sugar," Laura Dierenfield, North Hawaii News

Community Reporting

Winner: "Lahaina targets crime," Mark Vieth, Louise Rockett, Lahaina News

Judges’ comments: This new initiative will have impact on the community, and these stories will help the community understand and buy into the plans. Textbook community news.

Finalist: "Fun hats benefit food bank," Laura Dierenfield, North Hawaii News

Finalist: "Outrigger: Hotel growth rides on city intervention," Steve Jefferson, Pacific Business News

Page Design

Winner: "Hawaii uncorked," Jessica Yu, Pacific Business News

Judges’ comments: Simple graphic communicates message quickly and clearly. Use of color screen helps add emphasis too.



Column Writing/News

Winner: "Board Talk," Teresa Dawson, Environment Hawai‘i

Judges’ comments: Dawson "hits where they ain’t," reporting on an undercovered yet critical area – the environment. Her writing is clear and straightforward but we found it captivating as well. Her use of language is strong. Her facts are well-documented and supported. And most of all, she’s writing for the betterment of her state.

Finalist: "Raising Cane," Rob Perez, Honolulu Star Bulletin

Judges’ comments: Very solid reporting.

Finalist: Lee Cataluna, The Honolulu Advertiser

Judges’ comments: Nice writing.

Column Writing/Feature


"Making the Scene," Rick Chatenever, The Maui News

Judges’ comments: Just as a column should be – smart, funny, insightful, and about more than the topic at hand.

Finalist: "Hawaii's Backyard," Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Finalist: "Hawaii's Backyard," Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Judges’ comments: Ms. Tsutsumi’s writing was a pleasure to read. Gorgeous word choice. Nice imagery. Perfect balance of personal experiences and the columns’ subjects/topics.

Column Writing/Sports

Winner: Ferd Lewis, The Honolulu Advertiser

Judges’ comments: Consistently good.


"What a Shame," Kalani Simpson, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Government Reporting


"The Automatic Tourism Money Machine"

Scott Whitney

Honolulu Magazine

Judges’ comments: Too much so-called government reporting these days is actually political reporting in disguise: profiling candidates, reporting on the scandal of the month, analyzing the legislative process. Not so with Honolulu Magazine writer Scott Whitney’s piece, "The Automatic Tourism Money Machine." Whitney and his colleague, Ronna Bolante, investigated the network that is charged with promoting Hawaii’s massive tourism industry. Their solid reporting exposed a bureaucracy that is sucking up public money by the millions, is unresponsive to the people it is supposed to represent, is virtually unregulated and largely unproductive. Any Hawaii resident who read the article should have been outraged to learn the way their tax dollars are being frittered away. The watchdogs at Honolulu Magazine have teeth. Nice work.

Finalist: Democratic Funds; Lingle Campaign Funds, Rick Daysog, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Breaking News Reporting

Winner: "Harris Quits Race," The Honolulu Advertiser staff

Judges’ comments: Context and perspective can often get lost when journalists are chasing a big breaking news story, and that can leave readers grasping for meaning. But the Honolulu Advertiser staff showed in the coverage of Jeremy Harris’ sudden withdrawal from the Hawaii gubernatorial race that, when done right, a breaking news report can do it all. The Advertiser’s first-day coverage was insightful, well-written and thorough, not easy to pull together in one news cycle. Particularly strong were the mainbar by Johnny Brannon and Kevin Dayton and the analysis by Lynda Arakawa and Robbie Dingeman. While Brannon and Dayton provided the what of Harris’ pullout, Arakawa and Dingeman supplied the why and how with detailed reporting and obvious institutional knowledge. The reaction pieces were insightful, and the man-on-the-street quotes were a nice touch. It was a potent combination masterfully delivered, on deadline no less.


"Patsy Mink," The Honolulu Advertiser staff

(tie) Finalist: Kahealani Indreginal murder coverage, Honolulu Star Bulletin staff

(tie) Finalist: "Girl’s Body Found," The Honolulu Advertiser staff

Sports Reporting

Winner: "Sprinter makes run of a century," Kalani Simpson, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Finalist: "Eddie & the Duke," Stuart H. Coleman, Honolulu Magazine

Arts/Entertainment Reporting

Winner: "Doris Duke's Fantasyland," Nadine Kam, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Judges’ comments: The author takes us on an intriguing stroll through a woman’s mansion and an heiress’ life.

Finalist: "Heart of the Sea," Naomi Sodetani, Hana Hou! Magazine

Finalist: "All Things Buffy," Gary Chun, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Editorial Opinion

Winner: "Hawaiian Forests: How do you celebrate a century of loss?" Patricia Tummons, Environment Hawai‘i

Judges’ comments: Knowledgeable, well researched. Clearly states desired course of action.

Finalist: "Sanctimony threatens death with dignity bill," Lee Catterall, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Finalist: "None of the Above," Kam Napier, Honolulu Magazine

Editorial Cartoon

Winner: "Go Fish," John Pritchett, Honolulu Weekly

Finalist: "Bless me father for I have sinned," Corky Trinidad, Honolulu Star Bulletin


Winner: "Ka 'Ohana o ka Wa'a," Garry Ono, Island Scene

Judges’ comments: This illustration is a step above the rest. By being painted on wood, it really lends the article more substance because the art is more substantial. It’s obvious the illustrator took time with the piece, and the contemplative nature of the illustration lends a nice tone to the article. The presence of a second painting further establishes a feeling of community and purpose to the article.

Finalist: "The Winter Games," Martha Hernandez, The Honolulu Advertiser

Finalist: "The Nose Knows," Scott Goto, Hana Hou! Magazine

Informational Graphic

Winner: "King of Streets," Michel V.M. Lę, Honolulu Magazine

Judges’ comments: Although it’s not what most people would think of when posed with the term "informational graphic" it looks too darn good (and it’s informative enough) to not get first. The typography is great, the colors are vibrant, and the aerial photograph is large enough and labeled sufficiently to pull the reader (especially someone familiar with Honolulu) into the graphic, looking for landmarks and orienting themselves with the map.

Finalist: "When it rains it pours," David Swann, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Finalist: "Hawaii State Art Museum," Jon Orque, The Honolulu Advertiser

News Photography

Winner: "Raging Waters," Amanda Cowan, The Maui News

Judges’ comments: Good enterprise on Amanda Cowan’s part to be there when news was happening.

Finalist: "The Voter," Jeff Widener, The Honolulu Advertiser

Feature Photography

Winner: "Fan tastic," Jeff Widener, The Honolulu Advertiser

Judges’ comments: An inventive way of seeing ourselves in portraiture made the back stage photo of a dance group very funny and surprising.

Finalist: "Dogged," Jeff Widener, The Honolulu Advertiser

Sports Photography

Winner: "Marathon spray," Jeff Widener, The Honolulu Advertiser

Judges’ comments: Clean background helps the subject pop out, but the expression on the face of this runner makes the photo a winner.

Finalist: "Warriors get costly win," Richard Walker, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Photo Essay

Winner: "The Quality of Rain," Darrell Ishii, Spirit of Aloha

Judges’ comments: A sparkling essay about water in its many forms. The combination of great color, landscapes, details and people pictures made this gorgeous entry a winner.

Finalist: "Harsh Beauty," Darrell Ishii, Spirit of Aloha

Photo Illustration

No winners

Investigative Reporting

Winner: "Exposing a Garment Factory," Malia Zimmerman, Hawaii Reporter

Judges’ comments: In a very difficult category to judge, Malia Zimmerman noses out the competition because of the extraordinary effort it took to report this story. This story exposed the horrendous treatment of Vietnamese workers in a garment factory in American Samoa. Most reporters would be unwilling to go to the great lengths Zimmerman did to get interviews – hiring a translator, going undercover and calming frightened workers. Superb work.

Finalist: "Prices at the Pump," Tim Ruel. Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Finalist: "The Automatic Tourism Money Machine," Scott Whitney, Honolulu Magazine

Public Service Reporting

Winner: "Shaky Shelter," Jason Armstrong, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Judges’ comments: This is a thorough exploration of an issue that affects a large segment of the community. It holds government accountable while telling the story with compassion for the people who seem to have no choice but to live in illegal homes. It also illustrates how easy it is for most people to break the law. The series served the public for compelling Hawaii County to take action.

Finalist: "When lawyers go bad," Rob Perez, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Finalist: "Retirement fund in peril," John Duchemin. The Honolulu Advertiser


General News/Enterprise Reporting

Winner: "Jim Darling: Song of the Whales," Heidi Chang, National Public Radio

Judges’ comments: Beautiful use of natural sound and clear writing make this story a winner. It’s a very deep look at the world under the sea and the whales who live there.

Public Service Reporting

Winner: "Duke Kahanamoku: Hawaii Surfing Legend Gets a Stamp," Heidi Chang, The World

Judges’ comments: immensely interesting story of Hawaii’s surfing and swimming legend.


News Writing

Winner: "Building a Bridge to the Future on the Stones of Kahikinui,'' Emma Yuen, Environment Hawai‘i

Judge's comments: "Beautifully written and well-sourced. The writer demonstrates that she has a full command of the ability to tell a story and provide context and meaning for the reader."

Finalist: "New Visa Rules Causing Trouble," Sacha Mendelsohn, Ka Leo O Hawaii

Feature Writing

Winner: "Myth in the Mists of Moloka‘i’s North Shore," Emma Yuen, Environment Hawai‘i

Judge’s comments: Terrific Visual writing. It is cold and gray here and sounds warm and

beautiful in the place Ms. Tummons wrote about. The best travel writing makes you want to go there now.

Finalist: "At-large OHA Candidate Is Proud to be on the Ballot," Julian Billson, Ka Leo O Hawaii

Finalist: "We Recycle!" Reenie Young Rea, HPU Kalamalama


Government Reporting

Winner: "Manoa Primary Election Voting Problems," Keoki Kerr, KITV

Finalist: "Who’s Working for Linda?" Garett Kamemoto, KGMB-TV

Government Feature

Winner: "Fishing Village Methane Contamination," Keoki Kerr, KITV

Judges’ comments: Very thorough investigative reporting.

Finalist: "DOE buried in paper," Garett Kamemoto, John Allen, KGMB-TV

Business Reporting

Winner: "Hawaii's J.C. Penney Stores Closing," Keoki Kerr, KITV

Judges’ comments: Most thorough piece in this category.

Finalist: "Shark Feeding Business," Mahealani Richardson, Rex Von Arnswaldt, KITV

Finalist: "Kuakini Nurses," Mariza Reyes, KGMB-TV

Spot News Reporting

Winner: "Harris Withdraws," Garett Kamemoto, KGMB-TV

General News/Enterprise Reporting

Winner: "Patsy Mink," Garett Kamemoto, John Allen, KGMB-TV

Finalist: "Ala Wai Park Roof Problem," Keoki Kerr, KITV

Feature Reporting/Short Form

Winner: "Dangerous Crosswalk," Mariza Reyes, Beau Cuizon, KGMB-TV

Finalist: "Hauula Mold," Mariza Reyes, Beau Cuizon, KGMB-TV

Feature Reporting/Long Form

Winner: "Turtles," Alan J.D. Lu, KGMB-TV

Judges’ comments: Visual and equally informative. It made us care about the creatures.

Finalist: "Academic All-Star," Darren Pai, Dell Ison, KHNL-TV

Finalist: "Airman Eisel," Gary Sprinkle, KITV

Investigative Reporting

Winner: "Beach Encroachment," Alan J.D. Lu, KGMB-TV

Judges’ comments: Excellent storytelling. Shot very well. Personable and interesting.

Finalist: "Marisco," Alan Lu, KGMB-TV

Finalist: "Speed Camera Threshold Revealed," Daryl Huff. KITV

Series Reporting

Winner: "Marshall Islands-Pacific Sacrifice," Jim Mendoza, Tom Garbisch, John Allen, KGMB-TV

Judges’ comments: Nice work!

Finalist: "Predators Next Door," Stacy Loe, KGMB-TV

Finalist: "Guardians in the Sky," Louise Kim McCoy, George Hurd, John Allen. KGMB-TV

Sports Reporting

Winner: "Skiing Hawaii Style," Duncan Armstrong, KHNL-TV

Finalist: "A True Warrior," Liz Chun, Glenn Tengan, Neil Noble, KGMB-TV

Finalist: "Academic All-Star," Darren Pai, Dell Ison, KHNL-TV


Winner: "Marshall Islands," Tom Garbisch, KGMB-TV

Judges’ comments: Informative, personable and well-constructed. Preproduction and file footage gave great depth to each piece.

Finalist: "Skiing Hawaii Style," Duncan Armstrong, KHNL-TV

Finalist: "Warrior Workout," John Allen, Glenn Tengan, KGMB-TV

Special News Program

Winner: "Hawaii's Greatest Storm -- The Hurricane," Sharie Shima, KHNL-TV

Judges’ comments: Excellence in producing and production value. Very visual and educational.

Finalist: "Warrior Pride: The Road to Respect," Liz Chun, John Allen, Glenn Tengan, KGMB-TV

Judges’ comments: Fresh and energetic!

Finalist: "Mystery of the Whale Song," Gary Sprinkle, KITV

Public Service Reporting

Winner: "Behind the Cinnabar Gate," Pamela Young, KITV

Judges’ comments: Outstanding photojournalism and preproduction. Educating, inspiring and revealing. Excellent use of natural sound.

Hawaii SPJ