She has covered stories around the world, from Seoul to Silicon Valley and subjects just as diverse, but Washington Post writer Cecilia Kang ’94 returned to familiar settings on campus March 31 to deliver the 2011 Hosokawa Lecture and join in the presentation of the Hosokawa Journalism Contest awards.

Kang writes about communications, media, high-tech and Internet policy and publishes a Washington Post blog titled “Post Tech.”

In her lecture, titled “Clicks and Views: The Transforming Media Landscape,” Kang spoke of the changes she has seen in the media industry since she got her start nearly 18 years ago. She discussed how the internet and technology have changed virtually every aspect of journalism – in newsrooms, advertising sales offices and corporate board rooms. Holding up a simple pen and reporter’s note pad, she illustrated the transformation of news gathering and reporting. She said long gone are the days when all she brought with her on assignments were those items. But with the emergence of pocket-sized technology, she had to carry a bag with a phone, recording device, camera, video camera and more. And now with the explosion of social media sites – which she says are the No.-1 way people get and share news – she’s thankful for her do-it-all iPhone.

Although the model of a traditional newspaper has changed dramatically since the introduction of the internet, Kang still views a bright future for journalism, one with multitudes of ways to tell a story, through video, graphics, photo galleries, Twitter and Facebook.

Prior to her lecture topic she addressed the students in the audience:  “The Pioneer has improved so much since I was a student here, and I am so impressed with the work you do.  And I am impressed that the college supports the Pio in the way it does.”  She said that the Pioneer  “started my journalism career and helped make me who I am today.”

Both President Bridges and Kang acknowledged and thanked the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, represented at the event by publisher Rob Blethen, for serving as the media sponsor of the event.

For the contest, students submitted stories that had been published in the Whitman Pioneer  in the last year.  The entries were judged by journalists from around the country. Winners received a cash prize of  $500 made possible by the Hosokawa endowment.

In the five categories, the respective winners are:
Opinion/Editorial: Derek Thurber ’11, Molly Smith ’11 and Gary Wang ’11
Photography: Ethan Parrish ’14
Feature: Kelsey Kennedy ’12 and Hadley Jolley ’13 (tie)
Sports: Libby Arnosti ’13
News: Rachel Alexander ’13

The contest is part of an endowment established at Whitman College by David and Beverly Hosokawa and the Hosokawa Family Foundation in 2000. 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:
Bethany McLean – Vanity Fair (and former Hosokawa speaker)
Katherine Long – The Seattle Times
Terry McConn ’74 – Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
Brooks Barnes – The New York Times
Marla Jo Fisher – The Orange County Register
Janet Tu – The Seattle Times
Jim Vesely – The Seattle Times (retired)
Susan Nielsen ’93 – The Oregonian
Rick Eskil – Walla Walla Union Bulletin
Autumn Brewington – The Washington Post
Jeff Horner – Walla Walla Union Bulletin
Paul Erikson – Tri-City Herald
Peter Haley – The News Tribune Tacoma

Contest winners pose with Cecilia Kang and President George Bridges.  From left to right, Libby Arnosti, Kelsey Kennedy, Ethan Parrish, Rachel Alexander, Derek Thurber, Molly Smith and Gary Wang.