Surviving the Storm: Checking in on Hawaii's World of Journalism

Flickr: NS Newsflash

Editor's Note: It's always awkward to write about yourself. But the media landscape in Hawaii has been changing and more change is in store when Civil Beat and Huffington Post launch a new website next month. It's an important issue, so we asked Adrienne LaFrance, a former Civil Beat reporter who has also worked for other news outlets in the state, to explore what the changes have been and what they mean for news consumers.

A half-decade is a long time in media years.

A really long time.

Since 2009 we've seen the demise of The Honolulu Advertiser and Honolulu Star-Bulletin, and the launch of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in their place (2010); a merger of local TV stations KHNL and KGMB (2009); the launch of Honolulu Civil Beat (2010) and The Hawaii Independent (2008); the recent shuttering of Honolulu Weekly (2013); the takeover of The Garden Island newspaper on Kauai by Oahu Publications which owns the Star-Advertiser (2013); plus enough high-profile staffing changes at local media organizations to make a news junkie's head spin.

Hawaii media is being fundamentally disrupted and reinvented by the profound changes that are whipping through journalism around the globe. Even as the Internet continues to dismantle the traditional print advertising-based business model, our increasingly wireless society is reconfiguring how we interact with news, information and one another.

Just months after we bid aloha to the 22-year-old Honolulu Weekly, we will witness the September launch of HuffPost Hawaii, which will be published as part of a partnership agreement with Civil Beat.

This summer feels a bit like a new chapter in local journalism, a time to reflect on what we're gaining and on what we're losing as we forge ahead. For all of the turmoil in the industry, I can't imagine a better time to be a journalist.

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