SPJ Awards Testament to Terrific Work at Hawaii Reporter


Alexandria, VA – Hawaii Reporter, an online news bureau based in Honolulu, won four awards at the Society of Professional Journalists ceremony including top awards for investigative reporting and online journalism. Hawaii Reporter is a networked news organization of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, a national nonprofit news organization.

Among the awards won, Malia Zimmerman, editor of Hawaii Reporter, won the top investigative reporting award and top online news reporting award for her series of stories on alleged human trafficking of Thai workers at Aloun Farms. Jim Dooley, investigative reporter for Hawaii Reporter, won “finalist” awards in the best business reporting and best government reporting for his work on native Hawaiian contracting preferences.

“Hawaii Reporter’s awards are a testament to the terrific work that they do every day,” said Franklin Center President Jason Stverak. “Malia and the rest of the Hawaii Reporter team continue to exemplify what good journalism should be by breaking the stories that the legacy media is no longer able or willing to do. The Franklin Center applauds their work and looks forward to the many more years of excellent news produced by Hawaii Reporter.”

Due to Malia’s reporting on trafficking of Thai workers, the U.S. Department of Justice Human Trafficking division pursued charges against the Aloun Farms owners. Federal prosecutors filed a superseding indictment on October 27 against the Hawaii brothers accusing them of 12 criminal acts related to a forced labor scheme involving Thai workers at their Kapolei-based Asian vegetable farm on Oahu. The Sous pled not guilty October 30, and the case was scheduled to go to trial on July 27, 2011.

Hawaii Reporter is a networked news organization of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.  Dedicated to exposing waste, fraud, and abuse at all levels of government, the Franklin Center networks with journalists and organizations covering the daily activities of state government and continues our work holding elected and public officials accountable to the people.