It’s weird, isn’t it?
Either way, Honolulu will have to adjust to life without the Honolulu Advertiser. Whatever else one thinks of it, the Advertiser was the newspaper of record in Hawaii for at least a generation, and it documented life in these Islands every day since long before David Kalakaua entered politics. It was an imperfect paper, as all papers are, and at times in its history it was considerably more imperfect than most. But the Advertiser was part of the social landscape. It’s hard to imagine this city without it.
Over the last couple of years, Honolulu Weekly has largely abandoned our old habit of taking potshots at the larger papers. I know that many of our readers miss that kind of writing, and there is a definite role for media criticism in this community. We have simply felt that this was not the time to be nit-picking the Advertiser, not with a dwindling staff of committed journalists struggling to keep it afloat.
I can’t say whether that was the right choice, but today it’s one I feel good about. I am sorry, personally and professionally and mostly just as a citizen of Hawaii, to see the Advertiser go. Forget the nostalgia: It’s a sad day for good government in Hawaii, and for the future of these Islands. When you lose that many sets of eyes and ears, there is a certain amount of government and corporate and other malfeasance that will slide by as result. What comes next? More shenanigans, fewer people watching. We know that much.
We know a little more than that, actually. The photos above capture the last night of Honolulu Weekly’s long run at the MidWeek Press in Kaneohe. The new newspaper monopoly has already begun turning the screws on print publications by shutting down the Kaneohe press and forcing everyone–the Weekly,Pacific Business News and others–to pay higher rates at the press out in Kapolei. Why else would David Black pay $125 million for the right to close the Advertiser? That’s monopoly money, and he clearly intends to get what he paid for. All good for his bottom line, all bad for Hawaii.
Starting this week, Honolulu Weekly will be printed on Maui, at the Maui News press. We’ll have a much fuller report on all of this next week. For now, we want to say mahalo to Chris and the rest of the crew at the MidWeek press, who put up with unending challenges and always gave us their best, week after week and year after year. This begins a new adventure for them and for us. A hui hou.