2000 Excellence in Journalism Awards

Presented June 23, 2001, at Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel


Here are the results of the Hawaii Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists, Excellence in Journalism Contest 2001. The entries were judged by the San Diego Professional Chapter, SPJ. Results also are posted at http://www.flex.com/~smorita

Daily Newspaper

D1 Business reporting

WINNER: Michele Kayal, The Honolulu Advertiser, "Trickle-down Tourism"

Judges’ comments: Great package of information with tie-ins to Web version. Good stories and lots of data. Judges asked if they could keep it!

Finalist: Rob Perez, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, "Oil price gap comes to light"

D2 Spot news reporting

WINNER: The Honolulu Star-Bulletin staff, Christine Donnelly, Debra Barayuga, Suzanne Tswei, Pat Omandam, Crystal Kua, Gordon Y.K. Pang, Treena Shapiro, Steve Murray. "It's Over. But..." (Coverage of the verdict of the Xerox murders)

Judges’ comments: Incredibly comprehensive coverage for a spot news event. This paper had its act together. Judges especially liked the different angles and analysis of what could have been a routine and boring court story. The paper knew how to show the reader how impactful this event was to its readers using well-crafted stories in a pleasing layout. Good work.

Finalist: The Maui News, The Maui News staff, "Drug Ring Busted"

Finalist: Honolulu Star-Bulletin staff, Helen Altonn, Christine Donnelly, Pat Omandam and Gregg K. Kakesako, "Top court backs Rice in OHA vote challenge"

D3 General news/enterprise reporting

WINNER: Dan Nakaso, The Honolulu Advertiser, "Chasing Smoke: Hawaii's 24-year war on pot"

Judges’ comments: Generally well-reported and thought out; judges liked how the series showed how the drug interdiction unfairly caught up innocent folks; How it was massively expensive and how the government's efforts, to date, have been largely futile. Judges liked how the series showed how drugs -- specifically pot -- fuels a large part of Hawaii's so-called underground economy. The reporter showed off deep source development and was careful to get a variety of voices into his stories -- not just the standard cops/talking heads. Adequately supported by art and graphics. Nice job all around.

D4 Feature writing/short form

WINNER: Betty Shimabukuro, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, "Angel of Ewa Beach"

Judges’ comments: The clear winner. This story continually surprised, starting with The lead: "God lives in the Hard Rock Cafe?" Betty Shimabukuro's writing is concise, well-ordered and clever. Terrific storytelling.

1st Finalist: Dan Nakaso, The Honolulu Advertiser, "UH finds an itch, a rash, a mystery"

2nd Finalist: Kevin Dayton, The Honolulu Advertiser, "A community on the edge"

D5 Feature writing/long form

WINNER: Mike Gordon, The Honolulu Advertiser, "Apocalypse Then, Memories Now"

Judges’ comments: Mike Gordon's journalistic mosaic is a riveting picture of the fall of Saigon. There is tension and pathos in every passage. This piece has the drama of life and death and the reflection of hindsight. Gordon made history come to life here.

Finalist: Betty Shimabukuro, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, "Hawaii's Big-Time Bakeries"

Finalist: Tanya Bricking, The Honolulu Advertiser, "Transsexual Suffered as Most Shut Their Eyes"

D6 Page design/news

WINNER: Michael Rovner and David Swann, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, "Strength and Honor"

Judges’ comments: Strong display of a package saluting Hawaii's World War II veterans. Nice touch with the Medal of Valor cut-out. Good typography, carefully organized layering of type.

D7 Page design/feature

WINNER: David Swann and Michael Rovner, Honolulu Star-Bulletin "Strength and Honor"

Judges’ comments: Excellent design! Great use of images - wonderful job of making package look organized, not cluttered. Clean typography. Information presented in clean, manageable manner. Great job!!!

Finalist: Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Lucy Young-Oda, "Hook, line ... sunk?"

Nondaily newspapers

ND1 Business reporting

WINNER: Mark Vieth, Lahaina News, "After 30 years in business, McKelvey sells venture"

Judges’ comments: Brought a nice human touch to a story about local business in changing times.

Finalist: Ben DiPietro, Pacific Business News, "Adtech deal tests state tech priorities"

ND3 Feature writing/short form

WINNER: Debbie Sokei, Pacific Business News, "Tourism, nature at odds in lawsuit"

Judges’ comments: Although not a true feature - more a news/feature - this story caught the attention of the judges because of its clear, concise and descriptive writing. The writer painted word pictures, while presenting a factual

information in a highly readable format. This was far and away the best entry in this category.

ND5 Page design/news

WINNER: Pacific Business News, Ruben Duldulao, Kelli Wilinski, "Digital Island's precipitous plunge, Back to Earth"

Judges’ comments: Innovative -- and fun -- approach to a topic that can scare or intimidate many people. Nice use of typography. Clean and crisp presentation.

ND6 Page design/feature

WINNER: Tina Yuen, Ruben Duldulao, Pacific Business News, "Forty under 40"

Judges’ comments: Nice and lively approach to topic. Good use of typography.


M1 Business reporting

WINNER: Scott Whitney, Island Business Magazine, "Home-Care Hurdles"

Judges’ comments: Lost of personality and inviting writing on an important topic.

Finalist: John Heckathorn, Honolulu Magazine, "The Slump's Over!?"

M2 General news/enterprise reporting

WINNER: A. Kam Napier, Honolulu Magazine, "Voting in the Dark"

Judges’ comments: This was an interesting story worthy of mention but limited praise. Yes, Hawaii's local news media should do candidate fact-checking -- no question about it. This is pretty basic. But this is also definitely one

case where Honolulu Magazine would be well advised to consider the old saw: "Those that live in glass houses ... " While it's relatively easy to prove that the local newspapers and TV outlets are dropping the ball on political coverage, judges can't help but wonder what you would have produced if you had instead devoted the same time, money and resources to actually investigating the race yourself (and yes judges do acknowledge you are magazine with a limited publishing window.) Nevertheless, the article was well done.

M3 Feature writing/short form

WINNER: John Heckathorn, Honolulu Magazine, "The Heart of the Matter"

Judges’ comments: As fascinating as the high-tech medical device profiled in this story is, it would have been easy to produce dull, dry text. Mr. Heckathorn manages to paint a picture so vivid we felt like we were there with him (and without having to pay the $500 fee!). His flair for description is matched by his ability to impart valuable information in an easy to read style. Well done.

Finalist: A. Kam Napier, Honolulu Magazine, "Return of the Hale"

M4 Feature writing/long form

WINNER: Scott Whitney, Honolulu Magazine, "Waipio Off the Grid"

Judges’ comments: An impressive display of writing and initiative made this the best in a talent-packed field of entrants. Mr. Whitney could not have done this story without first gaining the trust of the proudly independent residents of Waipio Valley whom he profiled. Having done so, he takes the reader into a world few may have even knew existed, and he does so with sensitivity and a keen eye for detail. While this category honors excellence in writing, the judges want to note how impressed they were by the excellent accompanying photographs by Oliver Koning.

1st Finalist: Sam Low, Hana Hou! Magazine, "Voyages of Awakening" and "Gift of the Wind"

2nd Finalist: Katherine Nichols, Honolulu Magazine, "Hawaii's Hidden Heroes"

M5 Page design

WINNER: Michel V.M. Le, Honolulu Magazine, "A Post-Modern Playhouse"

Judges’ comments: An effective and smashing blend of words and images. The use of typography - in headlines, copy and captions - reflects the same artistic restraint as shown in the photos. A clean design always comes out a winner!

Finalist: Michel V.M. Le, Honolulu Magazine, "Reluctant Kahuna"

M6 Magazine Cover

WINNER: Darrell Grindstaff, Darrell Ishii, Spirit of Aloha, "Cool treats"

Judges’ comments: What a great cover -- the colors are bold, reproduction is crisp. Typography is clean. Overall, a fresh and bold cover.

Finalist: Michel V.M. Le, Honolulu Magazine, "20 great meals under $20"


P1 Column writing

WINNER: Diane Yukihiro Chang/Honolulu Star-Bulletin, "Changing Hawaii"

Judges’ comments: Chang's columns have a tough edge to them; They're evocative and polished. They're sentimental at times yet not mushy. Even as non-islanders, judges were caught up in her story-telling ability. Clearly, she's a strong

voice for her readers and her community. They should feel lucky to have her.

P2 Government reporting

WINNER: Capitol Bureau, The Honolulu Advertiser, Advertiser election coverage

Judges’ comments: Competition was fierce for this category. The Advertiser came through with a wide breath of election coverage focusing on fresh angles on the 2000 election. The stories had great analysis, catchy leads and were easy to read despite a ton of interesting and pertinent facts. Well done!!!!

1st Finalist: Lisa Asato, Honolulu Magazine, "The Shakedown"

2nd Finalist: Robbie Dingeman, The Honolulu Advertiser, "Councilman Andy Mirikitani -- investigation and indictment"

P3 Sports reporting

WINNER: Dayton Morinaga, The Honolulu Advertiser, ''Surfing for kids to sponsor''

Judges’ comments: An insightful piece that poses vital questions about how the multimillion-dollar world of surfing is influencing young minds. The writer masters a difficult skill -- taking a complex issue and weaving it into a

simple narrative for all to grasp. Whether you are riding waves every day at sunset or have never stepped foot on a long board, this is a solid read that tackles several important issues.

1st Finalist: Paul Arnett, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, ''Green Giant''

2nd Finalist: Thomas Kwock, Honolulu Magazine, ''Islander of the Year: June Jones''

P4 Arts/entertainment writing

WINNER: Liza Simon, Hana Hou! Magazine. "Frankly Speaking"

Judges’ comments: Great quotes, great color and sharp wit make this profile of Frank De Lima a highly inviting read. The writer does a fine job of matching style to subject, and of handling sometimes touchy topics.

1st Finalist: A. Kam Napier, Honolulu Magazine, "Doing It Wright"

2nd Finalist: Catherine E. Toth, The Honolulu Advertiser, "Oscar-challenged: Art-house films bypass Hawaii"

P5 Editorial opinion

WINNER: Kevin Dayton, Honolulu Advertiser, "A Community on the Edge"

Judges’ comments: Kevin Dayton's piece flows and makes its point without being preachy. The note of self-deprecation provides an authenticity that is too often lacking in such pieces. A clever commentary that is both informative and instructive.

P6 Editorial Cartoon

WINNER: Corky Trinidad, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, no title 11/9/00,

Judges’ comments: Corky Trinidad has made a pungent point with his clever rendition Of G.W. as beholden to the many special interests that bankrolled his campaign. The NASCAR driver imagery is especially apt because Bush's greatest appeal appeared to be that of a good 'ol boy, as opposed to the elitist rich guy image that has dogged GOP presidential candidates.

P7 Illustration

WINNER: Jason Nobriga, Hana Hou! Magazine, "Rolling the Bones"

Judges’ comments: Jason's a top-shelf artist. In an era where the computer is too-often used to create illustrations, it's refreshing to see traditional media again. His distinctive figure style makes his work easy to spot, and his choice of medium captures the feeling and the concept with deceptive ease. In the angular "Rolling the Bones," nearly half the illustration is devoured by a pair of dice, yet it never feels gimmicky or out-of-proportion. And the lead figure looks like a young Sean Connery, but sculpted like an Easter Island moai. Bravo.

1st Finalist: Cynthia Derosier, Honolulu Magazine, "What Island Women Really Think"

2nd Finalist: Christine Joy Pratt, Spirit of Aloha Magazine, "November 2000" cover

P8 Informational graphics

WINNER: Jon Orque, Stephen Downes, Martha Hernandez, Jerry Burris, The Honolulu Advertiser, "Dawn of the Millennium"

Judges’ comments: A massive effort! This couldn't have been told in a three-column black-and-white locator. The team or journalists squeezed a ton of information into every square pica of this January 1, 2000 double-truck. The readers were well-served by this pull-out poster-of-a-graphic, and I expect many of them will hang onto this indefinitely.

Finalist: David Swann, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, "Watching the Humpbacks"

P9 Headline writing

WINNER: Derek Ferrar, Hana Hou! Magazine, "Frankly Speaking," "Swing Votes," "High Society"

Judges’ comments: Each one is a clever play on words. Simple, yet able to get the point across and present an accurate introduction into the story.

P10 News photography

WINNER: Matthew Thayer, The Maui News, "Reunited"

Judges’ comments: The mother's reaction says it all. Strong emotion always wins in the end.

P11 Feature photography

WINNER: Ken Ige, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, "At the midway, what goes up..."

Judges’ comments: Judges all loved this shot. The emotion on the faces drew us into The photo. Just a captivating variety of reactions as people fly down the coaster. A really fun image.

P12 Sports photography

WINNER: Matthew Thayer, The Maui News, "Head and shoulders above the competition"

Judges’ comments: This image was no doubt the best in the sports category. Photo has great feeling! Photographer captured a wonderful moment.

P13 Photo essay

WINNER: Matthew Thayer, The Maui News, "Female Cane Gangs"

Judges’ comments: Nice selection of photos. Judges especially liked the close-up of workers hands on the shovel.

P14 Investigative Reporting

WINNER: Rick Daysog: Honolulu Star-Bulletin, "Bishop Estate Ex-trustees Politicking

Judges’ comments: Daysog should teach a course on how to turn complex paper trails into comprehensive, tell-all exposes on the clever corruption! His stories were extremely well-researched, yet written in a way that allows even an outsider to understand the subject and its environment. His work shined above the rest.

1st Finalist: Scott Whitney, Honolulu Magazine, "Bishop Museum Blues" series

2nd Finalist: John Duchemin, Pacific Business News, "The troubled trust of Parker Ranch"

P15 Public Service Reporting

WINNER: Christine Donnelly, Pat Omandam, Lucy Young-Oda, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, The Hawaiian Roundtable: Holo I Mua,

Judges’ comments: Nice effort to bring Hawaii's leaders together on the fractious issue of Hawaiian national sovereignty. The A-1 piece and the special section admirably reflect the concern this newspaper's concerns and its commitment to its readers on a big issue. Well done.


R2--Radio Feature Reporting

WINNER: Kayla Rosenfeld, Hawaii Public Radio, "Hokule'a Anniversary"

Judges’ comments: Rosenfeld seamlessly marries Jeff Brown's music recording with her own interviews to tell a vivid story. A good demonstration that a reporter need not always travel 5,000 miles to capture the spirit of those who do.

1st Finalist: Craig DeSilva, Hawaii Public Radio, "Honolulu Symphony--Playing on a Sour Note"

2nd Finalist: Renate Kossmehl, Hawaii Public Radio, "Pipemaster's Final"


T1 Government reporting

Winner: Bob Loy, Bill Beyer, KGMB, "Maui Disgrace"

Judges’ comments: Put a human face on those who suffer from government red tape. Results-driven report with a good job using supporting documents.

T2 Business reporting

Finalist: Angela Keen, KGMB, "Poi for Your Health"

Finalist: Pamela Young, KITV, "Big Island Biz"

T4 General news/enterprise reporting

Winner: Barbara Wallace, Duncan Armstrong, KHNL, "McCoy Twins"

Judges’ comments: Great storytelling. You captured the emotion of the family.

Finalist: Darren Pai, Duncan Armstrong, KHNL, "End of an Era"

T5 Feature reporting

Winner: Britt Riedl, Glenn Holcomb, KGMB, "Flying Nurses"

Judges’ comments: Natural moments were great and brought it to life. Way to find a good story.

Finalist: Angela Keen, KGMB, "Germs, Germs, Everywhere!"

T6 Investigative reporting

Winner: Mahealani Richardson, Bill Beyer, Amber Grigsby, KGMB, "Eye on Hawaii: Illegal Hiking Tours"

Judges’ comments: Very solid story. The proof is layed out for the viewers. Well told, this investigation clearly had the goods on the bad guys.

Finalist: Jim Dooley, KITV, "Illegal Gambling"

Finalist: Bob Loy , John Allen, KGMB, "State travel troubles"

T7 Series reporting

Winner: Gary Sprinkle, Rex Von Arnswaldt, KITV, "Molokai series"

Judges’ comments: This was a tough category to judge because of the high quality of work, but these stories win for the excellent writing, photographer and use of sound

Finalist: Jim Dooley, KITV, "Trucking, Hawaiian Style"

Finalist: Britt Riedl, Glenn Holcomb, KGMB, "Dishonorable Treatment"

T8 Sports reporting

Winner: Darren Pai, Duncan Armstrong, KHNL, "Iron Women"

Judges’ comments: Good story telling and good use of video.

Finalist: Dave Vinton, John Allen, KGMB, "Wheel Chair Coach"

T9 News videography

Winner: Darin Akita, KHNL, "Price of Freedom"

Judges’ comments: Nicely shot, effective nats. Captured the emotion, flags blowing in the wind and the smoke. Good dissolves.

T10 Feature videography

Winner: Tom Garbisch and Paul Drewes, KGMB, "Paragliding"

Judges’comments: We felt like we were flying with him. Great perspective.

Finalist: Alan Lu, John Allen, KGMB, "442nd Dedication"

T11 Special news program

Winner: Gary Sprinkle, Rex Von Arnswaldt, KITV, "Pacific Adventures: Molokai"

Judges’ comments: Wow...what a treat to watch.

Finalist: Bill Beyer, Kim Gennaula, Don Kozono, KGMB news team, KGMB, Hawaii's Humpback Whales"

T12 Public service reporting

Winner: Sharene Saito Tam, Jade Moon, Curt "Snake" Thackeray, Lawrence E. Pacheco, KGMB news team and production department, "Reading, Writing and Raising the Bar on Education in Hawaii"

Judges’ comments: Tough subject for television, but this team did a good job in bringing an important topic to the public

Hawaii SPJ