Asian American Journalists Association honors

Walt and Milly Woodward

Special Recognition Award

The Asian American Journalists Association posthumously awarded its Special Recognition Award to Walt and Milly Woodward, whose newspaper, "The Bainbridge Review," courageously opposed the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. The Special Recognition Award honors a person or persons -- regardless of ethnicity, race or profession -- who have helped to advance the AAJA's goals.

As owners of the The Bainbridge Review during the 1940s, the Woodwards never forgot the Constitution when others did. They opposed the internment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II, a stand that cost them popular support and advertising dollars.

They appointed four "Camp Correspondents" -- Paul Ohtaki, Sa Nakata, Tony Koura and Sada Omoto -- to write articles about life at internment camps in Minidoka, Idaho, and Manzanar, California. The Woodwards printed the articles faithfully, so that their neighbors of Japanese ancestry would not be forgotten.

After the war, the Woodwards continued to be a strong voice in the community, leading campaigns for a new library, schools, and a commuter bridge. In the late 1940s, the Woodwards took leave from the paper and moved to Washington, D.C., to work for the National Republican Party.

Walt Woodward stepped down as editor of The Bainbridge Review in 1963 and sold the newspaper in 1988. He later worked on the editorial board of The Seattle Times and wrote columns as well as two books on boating. He was also appointed by Washington State Governor Dan Evans as chairman of the State Shorelines Hearing Board in the 1970s.

Milly returned to teaching high school and died in 1989. Walt died March 13, 2001, at the age of 91. A Bainbridge Island middle school in their community bears their name.

Paul Ohtaki, former Bainbridge Review employee, WWII camp correspondent, and resident of San Francisco received the award on behalf of the Woodwards, who were nominated for the award by Lori Matsukawa, KING TV News, Seattle.