Best of the AP

Best of the Week - First Winner Jan. 27, 2023

AP's Boone spearheads 20-outlet legal challenge to Idaho college stabbings gag order

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The fatal stabbings of four college students at the University of Idaho campus in Moscow, Idaho, in November 2022 were initially shrouded in mystery and misinformation. As Boise, Idaho, Supervisory Correspondent Rebecca Boone worked to untangle all of this, a judge put up yet another barrier to getting the story to the public: a sweeping gag order prohibiting law enforcement agencies, attorneys or anyone else associated with the case from discussing it publicly.   

In the middle of one of the biggest stories in the nation, Boone suddenly had a new task on her plate: singlehandedly spearheading a legal challenge to the gag order — ultimately recruiting a coalition of 22 print and TV media outlets, including The New York Times, to join the cause.  

The AP couldn't have had a better advocate for the task. Boone has a track record of fighting for press access and has made the issue a top priority in her lengthy AP career. 

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Best of the Week - Second Winner Jan. 27, 2023

Census data highlights angst of Native Hawaiians priced out of their home

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Honolulu newswoman Jennifer Kelleher had noticed Native Hawaiians leaving for cheaper locales for years, and she finally found a hook to write about it in the 2020 Census. It showed the biggest population growth for Native Hawaiians in the past decade has been in Las Vegas and Sacramento, not Hawaii.

Kelleher knew something important was happening in the place where she was born and raised: Time and again, Native Hawaiians she knew were packing up for cheaper locations on the U.S. mainland.

Kelleher, who is not Native Hawaiian but was born and raised on Oahu, worked for months in between other assignments to find the right families to communicate the angst and despair of people uprooted from their homeland by median home prices that surpass $1 million.

She spent hours listening to their stories, and she said that after every interview, she cried -- but she continued until she talked to an aide to a Hawaiian lawmaker, who was the perfect main character for her narrative.

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