Reporting Fellow Wins National Award

Aug 252014
  • Kyle Iboshi working on the story. Photo courtesy of Iboshi.

The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) recently recognized 2013 ICFJ reporting fellow Kyle Iboshi for General Excellence in TV/Online Video.

Iboshi captured the AAJA National Journalism Award for the sweeping story “Washed Away,” which he reported last year during his ICFJ Bringing Home the World international reporting fellowship.

A broadcast journalist at KGW, the NBC affiliate in Portland, Ore., his story tracked debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan that washed ashore on the West Coast of the United States.

Iboshi came up with the idea for his report after observing that the debris bewildered Oregon beachgoers.

In a 2013 interview about his report, he said, “People would go to the beach just to see a dock that washed up from Japan, not knowing where it came from or what the story was behind it ... For me, that was the real story.”

This battered piece of wood that washed up on the Oregon Coast in April of 2013 was traced to a sacred shrine in Northern Japan. Photo courtesy of Kyle Iboshi.

Through scrupulous investigative work, Iboshi’s in-depth story ultimately traced boats and other items to their original owners in Japan. In one instance, Iboshi was able to return a volleyball to a high school in Japan.

The staff and students at the school were “overwhelmed and very grateful,” he said, when he returned their lost ball. “For the students, ...they really see something in the power of this item that had traveled so far and come back.”

You can learn more about Iboshi's project on his Tumblr and on Twitter.

ICFJ’s Bringing Home the World fellowship program offers minority journalists the opportunity to report from overseas on issues that resonate with their home communities. To learn more about the program, click here.