Friday, June 25, 2010


Rant on possibilities for Hawaii media

by Larry Geller

There are a couple of remarkable things happening in journalism here just now. At least I think so, so I’ll remark about them.

I was first impressed this morning by Ian Lind’s post Finding public records online. It is very generous of Ian to share his methods and sources. Someone else might have just kept that a professional secret. Ian is an investigative reporter who shares his research through his blog, for anyone to read, and for all of us to learn from.

Next, again on Ian’s blog, was his post Longtime State Ethics Director comments on secrecy of complaints, inadequate budget in which he elevates a comment by Dan Mollway to a full post. It would otherwise have been less visible just as a comment. In Mollway’s comment we learn of Ian’s past involvement with ethics issues. This is a good reminder that sometimes a blogger is not just a blogger. Ian was involved to the extent his name is on a federal court case.

We are tuning in to some remarkable achievements here, folks.

Finally, back at Ian’s first post on sources, there is now a comment by Vicki Viotti, editorial writer at the Star-Advertiser and blogger. Her participation on Ian’s blog is not the first time that newspaperpeople have commented there, but Vicki has also mentioned bloggers (at least me) over in the newspaper. I am encouraged by the possibility that a new informal multimedia interaction might be beginning. Perhaps the evidence is still thin, but let’s see how it goes.

Now, I referenced Jacob Shafer’s commentary earlier. I don’t know if Vicki would have seen that or not, but if she reads my blog, perhaps she’s seen it now. It makes a strong statement about editorial style. And that commentary came to my attention in a tweet from someone else. See what I mean by multimedia interaction?

It’s not possible for a print publication to be as interactive as blogs or have the immediacy of Twitter, and at the same time, it’s not possible for blogs to reach the audience that a newspaper commands, no matter how excellent the writing. Nor would there be space in a print publication for Ian to share his list of resources or for Mollway to informally comment on current ethics controversies.

Imagine putting it all together.

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