Dispatch Wins 4 Journalism Awards

The Molokai Dispatch News Release

The Molokai Dispatch was honored with four Excellence in Journalism awards for coverage in 2020 from the Society of Professional Journalists Hawaii Chapter. The statewide awards are presented annually in newspaper, TV, radio and magazine categories and this year, recipients were announced via Zoom conference on Sept. 29. 

The Molokai Dispatch’s editor Catherine Cluett Pactol won first place for her story, “Sust’aina ble Molokai Launches Egg Production” in the general news/enterprise category of non-daily newspapers in Hawaii. The story, which printed in November 2020, highlighted the organization as the first of its kind to be certified in egg production and assisting community members to raise egg-laying chickens. 

The judges commented, “Relieving dependency upon imported eggs is the aim of the effort profiled here. An unusual and interesting story.”

In the same category, Pactol’s story series, “Molokai Business During COVID” took third place. Judges said, “Good effort to follow the twists and turns of the business community as stores open, close, contract and expand as the pandemic unfolds.”

In the feature writing category, “Shearwaters Return to Mokio” earned second place, written by Pactol in December 2020. 

“For the first time in years — maybe decades, maybe centuries, no one’s quite sure — fuzzy Uʻau kani, or Wedgetailed Shearwater, chicks hatched in the Anapuka area within Mokio Preserve,” the story begins.

“Who doesn’t love a story featuring cute birds, and foiling the villain (a cat) intent on wiping out the chicks?” commented the judges, calling it “an out-of-the-ordinary piece.”

In the community reporting category, “Molokai Navigates COVID-19” series won third place. 

“Well rounded chronicle of the pandemic’s effect on the area, from before the first case to the peak, to when it began to wane,” judges wrote. 

Stories can be found on themolokaidispatch.com. 

The Molokai Dispatch has now won 25 Excellence in Journalism awards since 2014 for its coverage of local events and issues. The paper has been printing weekly since 1985, the island’s longest-standing news source. 

“We are grateful to you, our community, for continuing to support us and allowing us to share your voices and tell your stories,” said Pactol. “I am humbled to receive this recognition for Molokai’s only newspaper among statewide news sources. And though these awards are given for editorial content, we wouldn’t be able to continue printing a newspaper without our small but dedicated sales, design and office team – mahalo to them for their hard work as well.”


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