Friday, February 26, 2010

One year later, there's life after death

It’s deja-vu all over again.

Here I am in Honolulu, one year after the announcement by the E.W. Scripps Co. that it would shut down the Denver Rocky Mountain News, and what do I hear? That another newspaper company is dealing essentially the same death knell to another proud title, this time the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

It wasn’t unexpected. It hasn’t seemed possible since I arrived here in January that Honolulu could support two major newspapers. I thought it was only a matter of time until there would be just one. I still think I’m right.

Of course, the owner of the Star-Bulletin says it’s putting the paper up for sale. But that appears to be just a way to say it did everything possible for the paper.

I know the uncertainty and even despair that some newspaper journalists here must be feeling. We felt something similar a year ago.

Tomorrow, in Denver, former Rocky journalists will gather at the press club and mark the anniversary of the paper’s final edition. I will be with them and my other colleagues in spirit.

I never could have imagined last Feb. 26 that one year after telling my staff that our next issue would be our final edition, I would be in Hawaii, launching what we’re calling a next generation news service.

I won’t say I don’t feel a sense of loss. Of course I do. I’ll never forget my days at the Rocky or the friends I made there. But perhaps my words - and experience - can encourage some of the new friends I’ve made in the journalism community here and the many newspaper people here I’ve yet to meet.

Yes, it’s difficult to move on to the next stage in life. And, no, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to make the kind of money you once made. Or that you’ll be able to work in journalism again. But there’s life after the death of a paper. You can see that in what has happened to many who were at the Rocky. I had hoped to do a survey and report what had happened to the staff, the way I did after six months. But frankly, I’m too busy building something new to look back. And that’s the good news.

I feel so lucky to be here. I feel liberated by not having the tug of the newspaper holding us down as we imagine what the future of journalism might look like. I have only a map of where we’re going and I don’t know all the people I’ll be going with, but each day I get to put one foot in front of the other and help us try to find our way.

I would encourage others to do the same. Don’t abandon your belief in the importance of the work or your dream of doing work better than anything you’ve done until now.

Yes, the announcement Thursday in Honolulu was probably another grave marker along the road to doom for newspapers. But I feel even more strongly today than a year ago that what we should be thinking about reinventing is journalism, not newspapers. I still love newspapers - I read three a day in print - and I admire the work that many are still doing at them. To those who can still work at them, and to their owners, I would just ask that you take more chances. Just because something used to be a certain way doesn’t mean it always has to be that way.

And to those at both Honolulu papers, I would tell you what I told our staff when Scripps announced the Rocky was for sale. Don’t waste the time you have. Do the stories you’ve always wanted to do. You won’t regret it. In the end, that’s what it’s all about.


  1. Thoughtful post, John! Now more than ever we - the community at large - NEED real journalists! With anyone and everyone posting stuff without doing REAL homework - there's just so much garbage and outright falsehoods spread across the net - that people are reading and believing. Or worse, people become jaded, apathetic and only believe what suits their fancy. We need real reporters and journalists to continue to give us their stories and perspectives.
    Arleen Boyd

  2. One writer points out that if the Star Bulletin isn't sold, it will merge with the Advertiser. And that it appears that Advertiser folks would move to Star Bulletin offices, if the Star Bulletin is not sold. Also, today's coverage indicates that if Star Bulletin is not sold, a new title will emerge somehow incorporating both names. Good nuance. Bottom line remains that Honolulu will have one major daily and that a number of journalists inevitably will lose their jobs unless a buyer is found.

  3. In Denver, when the DNA (Denver Newspaper Agency, not the nucleotide strands) was formed it represented the beginning of the end for The Rocky Mountain News (although you may disagree Mr. Temple). As you have described, the RMN was always a half-step behind in keeping up with the major innovations in the industry despite maintaining its high standards of journalism.

    Today's development may mark the same moment in Hawaii newspaper history. Even if both papers survive in some form I believe this will lead to Honolulu becoming a one-newspaper town. It's sad but I guess it's inevitable.

    What will become of the Maui News, Maui's only daily? It has the same corporate owner as the Advertiser.

    I am a refugee of Denver newspapers and would love to be an assistant editor on Molokai — the Last Hawaiian Island. I have submitted my resume to media@omidyar as well as at Please check out my news blog

    David Lichtenstein

  4. Here is a kind of life after death you can be sure of...

  5. really interesting reading, when i am read very pleased and want to continue to read it. Good luck with this article. I also have articles that may be beneficial, as this article: obat kusta obat puru-puru cara mengobati ayan pada anak The article discusses health treatment. The next article also discusses the same thing cara mengobati gagal ginjal selain cuci darah cara memulihkan patah tulang The article discusses health treatment. The next article also discusses the same thing obat tradisional mata minus dan mata plus cara mengobati sakit sendi obat luka di kaki akibat diabetes May I share articles, it may be useful to other people.

  6. I was confused to comment, if I exaggerated when I said it was a remarkable article. I was amazed by the contents and it would like to continue reading even if the eyes are tired. really good article anyway. may I share articles like this obat alergi kulit cara menghilangkan jerawat batu May I share articles, it may be useful to other people pengobatan alternatif hepatitis ramuan tradisional tetanus The article discusses health treatment. The next article also discusses the same thing obat gondongan The article discusses health treatment. The next article also discusses the same thing tips cara diet sehat mudah obat luka di kaki akibat diabetes these articles I created to share information that might be useful for everyone cara mengobati perlemakan hati cara membuat tubuh langsing I'd love sharing goodness as with this article, hopefully it can benefit others.
    erwin herbal

  7. Hello There I found your blog the use of msn This is an extremely smartly written article i'll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the great post I will definitely come back.
    Obat Flu dan Batuk
    Cara Mengatasi Gatal Pada Kulit
    Obat Infeksi Saluran Pernapasan Akut
    Fatty Liver Herbal
    Obat Herbal Penghancur Batu Empedu

  8. Mengatasi Kutil Di KemaluanKUTIL KELAMIN PADA PRIA DAN CARA MENGHILANGKANYA Penyakit kutil kelamin ini bisa menjadi hal yang sangat menyiksa bagi penderitanya. Jika yang mengalami adalah pria, kutil ini biasanya akan muncuk di dasar atau pada bagian batang penis dan menampakkan diri dalam uretra atau daerah dubur. Bukankah hal ini bisa membuat penderitanya sangat malu selain juga tidak nyaman. untuk cara pemesanana silahkan kunjungweb kami

    obat untuk wasir externalWasir adalah penyakit dimana penderita mengalami kondisi berupa pembuluh darah yang teriritasi dan meradang dan lokasi terjadinya terletak di anus. untuk cara pemesanana silahkan kunjungartikel kami

    obat kelamin keluar nanahPenyakit kencing nanah sering dikaitkan dengan penyakit sipilis atau yang juga terkenal dengan sebutan raja singa, karena gejala dan bentuk penyakitnya yang mirip. Namun, sebenarnya ada sedikit perbedaan antara kedua penyakit ini jika diperhatikan secara seksama. Mulai dari gejalanya, penyebarannya dan kompilkasi yang mungkin ditimbulkan.untuk cara pemesanana silahkan kunjungartikel kami

    obat ambeien wasir ambeienWasir merupakan penyakit yang sering dialami oleh orang yang kekurangan serat ataupun terlalu lama duduk. Wasir yang juga sering disebut ambeien adalah penyakit yang terjadi di anus dimana terjadi pembengkakan terhadap bibir anus. Pembengkakan di bibir anus ini terkadang dapat juga menyebabkan pendarahan. untuk cara pemesanana silahkan kunjungbaca disini

    obat kelamin keluar nanahDan kondisi ini dapat semakin parah dan kemudian menimbulkan berbagai macam komplikasi seperti peradangan sendi dan infeksi jantung. Hal yang seperti ini dapat dicegah dengan mengenali gejala awalnya, sehingga penyakit ini tidak bertambah parah. untuk cara pemesanana silahkan kunjungartikel kami

    Mengobati Kutil Pada Kelaminentu saja kita agak seram membayangkan hal ini jika terjadi pada kita, tapi setidaknya cara ini memang terbaik karena dilakuka dengan bersih dan efisien. untuk cara pemesanana silahkan kunjungartikel ini

    Obat Kutil Di Kemaluan WanitaHal inilah yang menjadi penyebab kenapa akhirnya banyak penderita yang mencoba berbagai solusi pengobatan herbal dan semacamnya. untuk cara pemesanana silahkan kunjungklik disin

  9. Thank you very much for your post, it makes us have more and more discs in our life, So kind for you, I also hope you will make more and more excellent post and let’s more and more talk, thank you very much, dear.
    facebook lite |resignation letter|qr code generator