Saturday, June 25, 2011


Somebody give Civil Beat a printing press

by Larry Geller

The Society of Professional Journalism awards were announced last night, but you’d never know it from today’s Star-Advertiser. Makes you wonder if anyone is working there over the weekend.

On the other hand, they did not really do very well this year. Check out the winners at the SPJ web page here.

Looking at incremental changes, I was most impressed by the showing of Civil Beat, which, since it has dropped its paywall and is available to anyone state-wide (actually, world-wide), was able to demonstrate its wealth of talent and experience. Here’s hoping they have a sustaining business model.

Now, if only that business model involved a printing press.

Too bad the Star-Advertiser skipped the award story, an omission which speaks for itself.

The SPJ awards didn’t include a category for news aggregation. The Star-Advertiser could have won that. In fact, I truly appreciate the increased national and international coverage in the paper now when compared to the slim national column in the Advertiser, but it really is just aggregation, the same as many blogs typically practice. Because they have a subscription and advertising base, they can run full articles. Blogs have no budget and so they provide a few lines (fair use) and a link. That’s the diff. Aggregation is valuable if well done, but there’s not much to award for it since it isn’t original material.

Also note the rise of the Hawaii Reporter. I have noted here Malia Zimmerman’s exceptional coverage of the human trafficking cases now working their way through the courts. And the Hawaii Independent made a good showing.

We’re doing well in Hawaii, I think, with good gains for on-line journalism. This is probably a reflection of the coming iPad generation (does generation i come after generation X or before it?).

Check the link for the complete list of awards, and congratulations to our hard-working journalists.


I love "General i" or maybe it's "iGeneration." If that's your idea, kudos. Regardless, run with it. I think it's accurate.

Real news is great

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