Tribune-Herald garners 14 awards

  • 5590145_web1_SPJ_Awards_1.jpg

HONOLULU — The Hawaii Tribune-Herald won 14 awards, including four first-place honors, in the annual journalism contest put on by the Hawaii chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.


HONOLULU — The Hawaii Tribune-Herald won 14 awards, including four first-place honors, in the annual journalism contest put on by the Hawaii chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The honors for work done in 2016 were presented during an awards dinner Friday night in Honolulu. The entries were judged by the Louisville, Ky., SPJ chapter. Winners were presented with the Hawaii chapter’s signature monkeypod wood engraved plates.

“I’m really proud of our dedicated and talented team of journalists,” said David Bock, the newspaper’s editor and publisher. “It’s nice to see their hard work and devotion recognized by the judges. On behalf of our readers and advertisers, we’re honored to win these awards.”

Tribune-Herald photographer Hollyn Johnson took home a first place and a finalist award for two entries in the open photography/videography category. The open category includes newspapers, television and radio stations, magazines and online news agencies.

Johnson’s “In the shadows of Hilo,” photos about homelessness, took the top award, with judges saying, “Images show an approach to preserving the dignity of the subjects and compassion of the work done by state agencies.”

Johnson’s “Peeling away” photo of local banana farmer Richard Ha was a finalist in the same category.

“Expert capture of Mr. Ha’s perceived anxiety over closing his banana operation in conjunction with a nicely composed image of the worker draws the reader in,” the judges said.

The Tribune-Herald staff was a finalist in the open special section category for “Celebrate Hula,” a section devoted to the annual Merrie Monarch festival. The section was designed by Nathan Christophel and Bonnie L. Rogers. Reporter John Burnett was the lead writer, and Johnson was the photographer.

“Takes an event and tells me everything I want to know and puts it in context with a strong design,” judges said.

Former Tribune-Herald reporter Colin Stewart was a finalist in the open category of public service reporting, considered the top category in the SPJ contest.

“Good, ongoing coverage of a public health issue,” the judges said about Stewart’s work explaining an outbreak of dengue fever.

Reporter Tom Callis, working with reporter Burnett, was a finalist in the open category of breaking news for an article describing the indictment of former Mayor Billy Kenoi.

“Great background on this three-part submission,” the judges said.

In the open category of health reporting, Ivy Ashe was a finalist for her series about concussions in youth and college athletics.

“Great consumer-friendly story probably read by every parent who picked up the paper to read each part of this well-handled series,” the judges said. “Each segment in the series built upon those before it. Well-rounded package. Kudos to the writers and others who contributed.”

In the daily newspaper category of long-form feature writing, Ashe took first place for “New generation,” a story about the ‘alala breeding program. Burnett was a finalist for “The king and I,” a story about a Big Island woman who starred in an Elvis Presley movie. There were no judges’ comments in this category.

In the daily newspaper category of feature page design, Christophel took first place for “New thrills.”

“This page has a ton of energy and makes the reader want to jump in and read the story,” judges said.

Christophel also was a finalist for his entry “Feeling blue?”

“This page is clean and well-designed,” judges said.

In addition, Christophel won first place for news page design in the all newspaper category for his retrospective on the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

“Great photo display on an important anniversary for Hawaii, the country and the world,” the judges said. “Headlines and grid are clean and simple. No tricks needed, no tricks used.”

In the daily newspaper category of general news/enterprise reporting, Burnett was a finalist for “Fired cop accused of sex assault.”

“The extra reporting on this sexual assault case adds essential information that helps readers understand how this assault should have been prevented,” judges said.

In the daily news category of spot news, Callis was a finalist for his story covering Kenoi’s acquittal on theft charges.

“Great analysis on short notice,” the judges said. “Provided plenty of background while capturing the immediate impact of the acquittal.”

In the all newspaper category for business writing, Burnett was a finalist with his entry “Tapped out,” a story about a bottled water company.

The Tribune-Herald’s sister paper, West Hawaii Today, also won awards Friday.

In the category of all media, Nancy Cook Lauer won first place in government reporting for her coverage of a questionable voting process by local Democrats in selecting nominees to fill late Hilo Rep. Clift Tsuji’s state House seat.

“Excellent reporting in uncovering this and writing in a compelling way,” the judges said.

Lauer also took first place in the open category of data journalism story. The judges also praised the layout and photos accompanying the article that looked at rising levels of fecal bacteria at Big Island beaches.

West Hawaii today also was a finalist in the following categories: open news photography/videography; open sports photography/videography; long-form feature writing (newspapers); and feature page design (newspapers).


The Tribune-Herald and West Hawaii Today are owned by Oahu Publications Inc., which also publishes the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

West Hawaii Today reporter Nancy Cook Lauer contributed to this story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email