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Star-Advertiser’s breaking news coverage of false missile alert wins first place in Best of the West contest

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The Honolulu Star-Advertiser won first place in the breaking news category of the Best of the West 2019 journalism contest for its coverage of the false missile alert. The paper’s front page on Jan. 14, 2018 — the day after the false missile alert — was devoted to the story.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser has won first place in the Breaking News Reporting category in the Best of the West contest that includes newspapers, magazines and news websites in 13 states.

The contest, which receives about 1,000 entries a year, is open to media organizations in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

The Star-Advertiser staff won for its coverage of Hawaii’s false missile alert on Jan. 13, 2018, as tensions were rising between the United States and North Korea. Residents and tourists experienced severe anxiety and confusion for 38 minutes before a “false alarm” message was sent out after the initial warning.

The judge said “no stone was left unturned” in the coverage of the event that became a national story. “Multiple voices, interesting scenes, sharp analysis and provocative packaging on deadline make this effort stand out.”

The Best of the West program, based in Phoenix, describes the Breaking News Reporting category this way: “A single day’s reporting in print and online of one or more pieces of spot news, written under deadline pressure. The entry may include up to 10 stories and up to 10 other components (photos, slideshows, videos, audio files and graphics), plus the presentation either in print or online. Judged for quality of reporting and concise and comprehensive assembly and presentation of facts.”


Read complete Star-Advertiser coverage of the false missile alert and its aftermath at www.staradvertiser.com/tag/hawaii-missile-scare.

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