Saturday, May 26, 2007

An Open Letter to the Honolulu Weekly

By Georgette Deemer
Director of Communications

In the May 23-29 issue of the Honolulu Weekly, editor Chris Haire wrote an article entitled "Holy Cowards" that was, in my opinion, a low-point for Hawaii journalism. As a staff person at the Legislature, I have seen lawmakers and leadership take hits from the media, and while we may not always agree with their position, most are professional, most write of issues and not personal attacks, and most are, at the very least, civil.

Mr. Haire insulted individual legislators at a very personal level, called them names, and got downright crude with his descriptors. In the aftermath, I hope advertisers will question their association with this publication and ask themselves if this is the kind of newspaper they want to support. If a newspaper is going to go on the attack, at least let it be for the purpose of making things in Honolulu better, not nastier.

In this week's issue, there is a letter from Senator Jill Tokuda which responds to a number of inaccurate statements made about the Senate. On the House side, Mr. Haire did not even speak to either Tommy Waters or Jon Riki Karamatsu prior to his ranting, nor has he ever covered first hand the issues of civil unions or the back story of the state jet bill.

It is our belief that Honolulu benefits from an alternative newspaper--the more voices out there the better. However, The Honolulu Weekly lacks political credibility when it repeatedly gets the facts wrong, and it brings everyone down when it stoops to personal attacks in order to get attention.

No comments: