Honolulu Civil Beat has been named the Best Overall News Site in Hawaii for the 10th year in a row by the Hawaii chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

We’ve won the award every year since we launched in 2010. Pacific Business News came in second this year, and HawaiiNewsNow.com took third.

A series of investigative stories by Civil Beat Investigations Editor John Hill won the competition’s top prize for public service reporting. The stories were part of an ongoing series, “Black Market Babies,” and looked at how attorneys in Hawaii and other states were fueling a lucrative adoption market for babies from the Marshall Islands. One attorney, Arizona’s Paul Petersen, pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges related to the adoption scheme.

Second place for public service went to Mahealani Richardson and Davis Pitner of Hawaii News Now for “The Calling — Mauna Kea.”

The Civil Beat series, “Tourism’s Tipping Point,” by Brittany Lyte and Stewart Yerton, was awarded third place for public service reporting.

Civil Beat took home 28 awards this year in the local journalism competition, the 2019 Excellence in Journalism Awards. The contest was judged by the Louisville, Kentucky, chapter of the SPJ.

Check out a complete list of winners here.

Highlights of Civil Beat’s awards and others in the All Media category include:

Column Writing or Blog/News:

• First place, Sterling Higa, Civil Beat

• Second place, Neal Milner, Civil Beat

• Third place, Ben Lowenthal, Maui News

Column Writing or Blog/Features or Sports

• First place, Denby Fawcett, Civil Beat

• Second place, Marcel Honore, Civil Beat

• Third place, Kathy Collins, Maui News

Government Reporting

• First place, Nick Grube, Civil Beat — “Why Is It So Hard To Fire Honolulu Police Sgt. Darren Cachola?”

• Second place, Christina Jedra, Civil Beat — “Short-Term Rental Owners Consider Options: Lease, Sell Or Leave It Vacant?”

• Third place, Nick Grube Civil Beat — “Why Is Tulsi Gabbard Paying This Obscure Consultant Big Bucks?”

Breaking News Reporting

• First place, Anita Hofschneider and Blaze Lovell, Civil Beat — Mauna Kea coverage

• Second place, Michelle Broder Van Dyke — Mauna Kea coverage

• Third place, Kehaulani Cerizo, Melissa Tanji, Lila Fujimoto, Robert Collias and Lee Imada, Maui News — Fires

Health Reporting

• First place, Brittany Lyte, and April Estrellon, Civil Beat — “When Delusions Steal Your Daughter”

• Second place, Beverly Creamer, Hawaii Business — “The CHANGE Report: Health in Hawaii”

• Third place, Eleni Gill, Civil Beat — “Meth Deaths Soar In Hawaii Even As Opioids Grab Public Attention”

Best Explanatory Journalism

• First place, Jessica Terrell, Nathan Eagle, April Estrellon, Ku’u Kauanoe and Cory Lum, Civil Beat — “Hawaii 2040”

• Second place, Suevon Lee, Civil Beat — “Help Wanted: Teachers”

• Third place, Stuart Coleman, Hawaii Business — “Finally Tackling A Crappy Situation”

Investigative Reporting

• First place, John Hill, Civil Beat — “A Nonprofit Honolulu Rehab Center Mixes Taxpayer Support With Lavish Pay”

• Second place, Nathan Eagle and Patti Epler, Civil Beat — “Reeling It In”

• Third place, Lynn Kawano, Peter Tang, Monet Sadural, Daryl Huff and Jared Apilado, Hawaii News Now — “Bad Intentions”

Best Independent Journalist Not Supported By An Organization

• First place, Michelle Broder Van Dyke

• Second place, Shannon Wianecki

This year, the annual awards dinner was scrapped due to pandemic restrictions and the results released via email last week.

These are just a few of the categories and some of the competitors who were honored including those who work for newspapers, magazines, television stations, college and university publications and online sites and blogs. Please go to the SPJ website to look at all the winners here.

Before you go

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