Honolulu Civil Beat has been honored as the best news website in Hawaii for the eighth year in a row by the Society of Professional Journalists’ Hawaii chapter.

Civil Beat investigations editor John Hill won the group’s top award for public service reporting for a multi-part series on problems in the state’s workers comp system, “Waiting In Pain.”

Civil Beat reporter Nick Grube’s ongoing coverage of Honolulu police corruption was named a finalist for public service, as was Steve Petranik of Hawaii Business magazine for “Visions For Hawaii.”

The award competition honored work done in 2017. The awards were announced Friday night at the organization’s annual dinner at the Japanese Cultural Center.

Civil Beat staff members joined other local media Friday at the Society of Professional Journalists award banquet. Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

Civil Beat won 18 awards and the full list of winners is posted on the SPJ website. We won first place or were finalists — or both — in numerous categories. Highlights include:

Civil Beat won first-place awards for online news reporting ( a story on the dangers of full-face snorkel masks by Nathan Eagle) and online feature reporting (a story on the difficulties of recruiting and keeping new teachers by Suevon Lee.)

Reporter Nathan Eagle and videographer Alana Eagle’s visual journey through Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, “The Last Wild Place,” which has proven wildly popular with readers, was honored for best multimedia presentation. “I just wanted to keep clicking and keep learning,” the judge said.

In the All Media competition, Civil Beat columnist Ian Lind won first place for news columns while Civil Beat columnists Chad Blair and Neal Milner were finalists. Brittany Lyte, formerly our Kauai columnist now on staff, won first place for feature columns while our Maui columnist Tad Bartimus was named as a finalist.

Bartimus also won first place for health reporting for her work on rat lungworm disease and its discovery on Maui.

The Civil Beat Editorial Board, led by opinion editor Chad Blair, won first place for editorial opinion writing. the judges singled out a commentary critical of U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s controversial trip to Syria as “especially good.”

Anita Hofschneider won a first-place award for best explanatory journalism for her in-depth story about sexual abuse by priests on Guam, “Faith Betrayed.”

John Hill also won the top investigative reporting award for his series of stories on the plight of Peyton Valiente, the toddler who nearly died from an assault at his daycare. The stories prompted Honolulu police to reopen that investigation plus several others and led to the resignation of an HPD officer whose wife operated the daycare where Peyton was injured.

Civil Beat wasn’t the only news outlet that took home top honors and multiple awards in this year’s contest.

Rick Daysog of Hawaii News Now took home first place in the government reporting category his piece on corruption at OHA while Michelle Broder Van Dyke of BuzzFeed won in breaking news reporting for her coverage of the Hawaii vs. Trump travel ban legal case.

Hawaii Business magazine’s Timothy Schuler won in science reporting while Steve Petranik of Hawaii Business won for data journalism.

Other top honors in the All Media competition:

Sports reporting went to Kirk Lee Aeder at Hawaii Magazine; arts/entertainment writing was won by Nate Chinen at Hana Hou!; editorial cartoon/illustration went to Meen Choi of Honolulu magazine and the award for informational graphic was won by Mae Ariola-Ordonez of Hawaii Business.

The Maui News dominated the news photography/videography category with Matthew Thayer taking the top honor and a finalist spot. Thayer also won first place in photo/video essay.

The award for feature photography/videography went to Harold Julian of Honolulu magazine while Hana Hou!’s Donald Miralle and Matt Mallams won in sports photography/videoraphy.

Judges liked Hana Hou!’s headlines and awarded first place in that category to Michael Shapiro of the Hawaiian Airlines in-flight magazine.

The top award for special section went to Hawaii Magazine and a project called “Hidden Kauai” by Kevin Allen, Christine Hitt and Brittany Lyte.

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