Civil Beat has been named the best overall news site in Hawaii for the fifth year in a row by the Society of Professional Journalists Hawaii Chapter.

Civil Beat also took home the top award of the night — the public service trophy for “Death on the Streets,” a series that revealed more than 400 homeless people have died in Honolulu in recent years. The series also won first-place for investigative reporting in the all-media category.

The annual awards competition, held Friday evening at the Japanese Cultural Center, honored the best work in 2014 by the state’s journalists in TV, radio, newspaper, magazine and online organizations. Independent journalists and public relations categories also are included.

HuffPost Hawaii, Civil Beat’s sister site, also won numerous awards this year, including a first place for best reporting using social media for Carla Herreria and first for the staff for headline writing in the all-media contest. HuffPost Hawaii was named a finalist in the best overall news site category.

SPJ 2014 awards Civil Beat Eric Pape

Civil Beat Deputy Editor Eric Pape holds the stack of awards given to Civil Beat by the Society of Professional Journalists honoring work done in 2014.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

In the all-media competition — any organization from any media can enter their work in a number of categories — Civil Beat took home five first place awards in addition to investigative reporting and public service:

• Government reporting: Adrienne LaFrance — “In the Shadows: How Serious Is the Military Sex Assault Problem in Hawaii?
• Special section: Eric Pape, PF Bentley — “The Face
• Editorial/Opinion: The Civil Beat Editorial Board
• News column writing: Neal Milner
• Features column writing: Evan Nagle

The award for breaking news reporting went to Keoki Kerr and Hawaii News Now for coverage of the firing of University of Hawaii Manoa chancellor Tom Apple.

Dennis Hollier of Hawaii Business won for health reporting  for “The Next Wonder Drug?” about a small biomed company.

Hana Hou staff won for sports reporting, Hawaii Magazine won for arts and entertainment writing, Hawaii Business won the editorial cartoon/illustration category, Hawaii Business  won for informational graphic.

First-place photography and videography awards went to the Maui News (news and sports), Hana Hou (feature and video essay).

Catherine Toth, a local journalism teacher and blogger, was named the state’s best independent journalist for her “Cat’s Dish” blog among other things.

In the online media competition, Civil Beat and HuffPost writers also placed well. Besides first-place awards, named finalists included Nathan Eagle, Chad Blair, Eric Pape, PF Bentley, Patti Epler, Denby Fawcett and Ian Lind from Civil Beat, and Chloe Fox, Carla Herreria, James Caves and Landess Kearns from HuffPost Hawaii.

Anita Hofschneider won first place in news reporting for “Molokai Has the Most to Lose But the Least to say in GMO Debate.”

Eric Pape won first place in feature reporting for his Living Hawaii piece “Houston, We’ve Got a Problem.”

Best multimedia presentation went to Pape and Bentley for “The Face,” a photo-audio package that featured black-and-white portraits of top candidates in the 2014 elections underlain with short audio recordings in which the candidates talked about something that had changed their lives.

Read the full list of results here.

This year’s awards competition was judged by SPJ members in Connecticut and the Kansas City Press Club.

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