First Prize

Alia Wong of Honolulu Civil Beat

Source: Honolulu Civil Beat

Are Hawaii Schools Doing Enough to Prevent Youth Sports Concussions?

UH Spending Millions On PR Efforts to Get Its Message Out

Legislature Subsidizes Construction at Private Hawaii Catholic School

Ed Reform Puts Millions Of Dollars In Pockets Of Private Consultants

Bursting at the Seams: Skyrocketing Enrollment Crowds Campbell High Classrooms

Fo Teach Pidgin o Not Fo Teach Pidgin — Das Da Question

Judges’ Comments

“Alia Wong demonstrates a dexterous ability to get beyond the surface of education stories, and in this collection gives readers a sample of her ability to report with fairness and respect the differing voices she includes. The Pidgin story, especially, delivers nuance and food for thought on an issue that so often produces only knee-jerk reactions. The piece on consultants and millions in education reform contracts and the piece on conditions in the state’s largest high school are examples of watchdog journalism that must be encouraged at every turn.”

“Alia Wong works to hold state and schools officials accountable for their actions, a key focus of journalism today. From how schools treat concussions in their athletes to whether the state should be funding private schools or spending millions to promote itself, Alia presents the facts in an easy-to-read style. She’s skilled at putting things into context and answering that key question: Why should I care? Entry demonstrates good breadth of reporting.”