Kristen Hwang

Journalist. Storyteller. Nerd.


I’m a multimedia reporter at the Desert Sun in Palm Springs covering education.

I graduated with a master’s in journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in May 2015. If that isn’t a long enough description for you, I also graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Earth and environmental studies from ASU. Go devils!


In 2014, I was chosen to be the Reynolds Fellow for the Carnegie-Knight News21 investigative journalism program. I spent eight months researching and interviewing gun enthusiasts, advocates and victims across the country. I wrote a long-form narrative examining the history and effectiveness of California’s gun control laws and traveled to Isla Vista, Calif. to speak with survivors of Elliot Rodger’s killing spree. I also helped compile a state-by-state database of gun laws across the country by digging through each state’s firearms and public safety statutes.

The project spurred my interest in investigative journalism, and allowed me to explore and develop ways to tell stories through photography and documentary film.

The News21 Gun Wars project won an Online News Association award and an EPPY. A short documentary I made on water shortage in the town of Williams, Ariz. won a Rocky Mountain student Emmy, and a piece I wrote for The Arizona Republic about golf course water use won a first place Hearst award for student sports writing.

As part of the Desert Sun team, I hope to be able to pursue my passion for storytelling in a way that is impactful and meaningful to my readers and viewers.

Happy Reading,