Reporter Marcel Honore and Civil Beat have received national recognition from the News Leaders Association for “Are We Ready? Or Not?”, a multi-part, special project examining the vulnerability of Oahu to a major hurricane or other natural disaster.    

Honore won the NLA’s Punch Sulzberger Award for Innovative Storytelling in the small newsroom category. The award “recognizes excellence and innovation in the use of digital tools to tell news stories.”

Multimedia producer April Estrellon designed and produced the special project. Cory Lum was the photographer.

ABC Stores Kalakaua Ave shop boarded in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Lane.

An ABC Store in Waikiki boarded up in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Lane.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The project provided readers an in-depth look at what’s at stake if there is a direct hit on Oahu, Hawaii’s population center and main economic engine — and what steps are being taken to make the island better prepared.

“This project, through clear narrative and excellent use of photography, shows just how unprepared Hawaii is for the inevitable coming of a major hurricane — and how lucky it was to avoid a recent one,” the NLA contest judges wrote.

“The story is very clear, told through multiple pieces, and with a tone that makes it clear that failure to prepare means disaster. Very strong journalism throughout. You’d think volcanoes on the Big Island are enough.”

The News Leaders Association was created by the 2018 merger of the American Society of News Editors and the Associated Press Media Editors. The NLA journalism awards, which included 11 categories, drew more than 500 entries.


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