Monday, August 15, 2011
Catch up via Civil Beat’s live blog of the HSTA complaint before the Hawaii Labor Relations Board
Forget the newspaper. Be there.
Just go to the web page, check out what’s happened up to this point, watch the video, and you’re current with the hearing. Visit the web page today whenever you have a moment to catch up on what’s happening.
Some browsers allow you to right-click and have the page refreshed automatically every few minutes. That would be perfect. Otherwise, hit F5 to bring the page current (or whatever key does the trick).
(just a word in edgewise, if I may)
Live blogs let you be there, but you don’t have to actually sit in the room. Someone else is doing it for you. It’s a great way to cover news. And an important one. While some hearings are available by video on `Olelo, for example, you have to watch the whole thing yourself to find out what happened. As to the mainstream press, it is a hard and firm practice in Honolulu that the TV cameras and many print reporters stay only for the beginning of a hearing, for example, when a state department head testifies at the Legislature. Then they’re outta there. They have enough for six seconds at 6 p.m. Viewers never know that they have only part of the story.
It’s a real investment to keep a skilled reporter in a hearing room all day when there are other stories out there needing coverage.
I’ll end with an example out of ancient history. Senator Menor was holding a hearing on the gas cap (remember the gas cap?) at the lege. The press was in and out of there as I described. They had the story—the gas cap wasn’t working. Had they stayed toward the very end, when Menor was questioning the Public Utilities Commission representative on how the gas cap was calculated, they would have heard that the PUC used the maximum value permitted under the law. This assured the gasoline refiners the maximum profit and neutered the gas cap.
That critical information didn’t make it onto the TV screens or into the newspapers because no reporters had stayed in the room.
It is the willingness of Civil Beat to keep someone there throughout the course of the hearing, typing away every so often, that provides us with the news we need as interested and concerned citizens.
i just read Civil Beat's article on the HSTA ethics complaint. the HSTA's ethics complaint is misplaced for several reasons. first, the governor cc'd the union which doesn't make the letter ex parte. second, the ethics provision HSTA relies on is when government officials use their position to personally enrich themselves. it doesn't appear the governor wrote that letter to use his position as governor to enrich himself personally. i think good government advocates should oppose HSTA's complaint because it really looks like a legalized press release and that minimizes the true work of the ethics commission.
I think that says something very positive about the founder of Civil Beat and its mission to improve the quality of news in Hawai'i. Citizens need the truth presented in order to make informed decisions and to improve important discussions.
Anonymous #1, thanks for your comment. I did not get a chance to look at that yet. From your description, I do now wonder what's going on. If the complaint is misguided, it would say something about HSTA leadership.