Honolulu Civil Beat won two first-place awards in the 2016 Best of the West journalism contest for its special series, The Micronesians.
The series documented how Micronesians are leaving their home islands by the tens of thousands and coming to the United States in general and Hawaii in particular for health care, education and jobs. The report’s seven installments followed that migration and examined its effects on the communities where they are settling.
The Micronesians took top honors for Immigration and Border Reporting, and for Online Presentation. It was written by Chad Blair and photographed by Cory Lum and Mark Edward Harris.
The Best of the West contest annually attracts about 1,000 entries from news organizations in 14 Western states.
A judge in the Immigration and Border Reporting category wrote that “the authors took a humane and intelligent view of Micronesia’s crippling emigration problem, and conversely Hawaii’s immigration challenge, while ensuring that policy angles were also well covered.”
Second place went to the Seattle Times and third place to the Desert Sun of Palm Springs, California.
A judge in the Online Presentation category wrote that “the stories of Micronesian immigrants through text, graphics, beautiful photography, audio and video give an in-depth understanding of the challenges they face.”
The series was edited and designed by Patti Epler, Chloe Fox, Eric Pape, Chrystele Bossu-Ragis, Evan Nagle, David Chatsuthiphan, Alice Terry, April Estrellon, Heidi Pliszka and Nathan Fitch.
Second place went to News21 of Phoenix and third place to the Denver Post.