From left: Hadley Jolley, Lisa Curtis, Linnea Bullion, Bethany McLean, Molly Smith, Max Rausch, George Bridges

WALLA WALLA – Pride and joy. Those words succinctly reflect the reaction of the five student winners of the 2010 Hosokawa Journalism Contest, announced March 4.

They were proud of their stories and photographs published in the Whitman Pioneer student newspaper over the last year and joyous in part because of their first-place $500 prizes.

In the five categories, the respective winners are:

  • News – Molly Smith '11, politics major/Spanish minor from Seattle
  • Opinion/Editorial – Lisa Curtis '10, politics/environmental studies major from Alameda, Calif.
  • Features/A+E – Hadley Jolley '13, biology major from Beaverton, Ore.
  • Photograph – Linnea Bullion '13, major under consideration major from Edina, Minn.
  • Sports – Max Rausch '10, politics major from Palo Alto, Calif.

The contest is part of an endowment established at Whitman College by David and Beverly Hosokawa and the Hosokawa Family Foundation. The endowment, intended to be a celebration of journalistic excellence, includes the annual contest and a lecture. It honors alumnus Robert R. Hosokawa ’40, David’s father, and brings a noted journalist to campus. The endowment also established the Hosokawa Prize to be awarded each year in recognition of outstanding achievement and excellence as demonstrated by student journalists and photojournalists of The Pioneer. Robert Hosokawa, a Whitman Alumnus of Merit, Class of 1940, was a reporter for several papers in Missouri, New York, Iowa and Minnesota. He held journalism professorships at the University of Missouri and the University of Central Florida and has been a mentor to many young journalists.

The panel of judges included:

  • Mary Beth Marklein – USA Today, higher education writer
  • Alex Beam – Boston Globe, columnist
  • Jeff Gottlieb – Los Angeles Times, general assignment and former higher ed writer
  • Tamar Lewin – The New York Times, higher education writer
  • Tracy Dahl – The Washington Post, copy editor
  • Jim Vesely – Seattle Times (retired opinion editor)
  • Nick Perry – Seattle Times, higher education writer
  • Scott Jaschik – Insider Higher Ed, editor
  • Rick Eskil – Walla Walla Union Bulletin, editorial page editor
  • Laure Bishop – Boulder Business Report, writer
  • Terry McConn – Walla Walla Union Bulletin, staff writer
  • Bret Rankin – Walla Walla Union Bulletin, sports writer
  • Matt Zimmerman – Walla Walla Union Bulletin, photographer
  • Jeff Horner – Walla Walla Union Bulletin, photographer

This year’s speaker was Bethany McLean, a contributing writer for Vanity Fair. McLean, a former investment banker turned investigative journalist, helped break the Enron scandal. She  addressed “Media as Watchdog: Exposing Corporate Scandal,” sharing that at the time no one had any way of knowing things would turn out as they did. She had received a tip from a colleague who told her, “You might want to take a look at Enron.” She did, looking first at what seemed like inflated stock prices. That ultimately led to a book she co-authored titled “The Smartest Guys in the Room – The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron.”

In addition to the lecture, McLean also spent time with Whitman’s student journalists – both in a leadership session with the publisher and editors and with Pioneer staff writers in a workshop.

“The Hosokawa program provides Whitman students who have aspirations in the field of journalism with access to professionals, both through the judging and the speakers,” said Ruth Wardwell, director of communications. “It is a tribute to its namesake, Robert Hosokawa, who achieved excellence in the field and valued mentorship. I envision seeing some of our Pioneer writers as contest judges and maybe even speakers someday.”