Monday, June 14, 2010

The good, bad and the ugly of Honolulu Star-Advertiser's first week

In a "Free" article on Civil Beat, I explore what the Sunday edition of the new Honolulu Star-Advertiser tells us.

I wrap up my review of the first week of the paper with a few conclusions:
  • The paper doesn't care about the web.
  • The front page is going to be dominated by "concept" covers, rather than documentary journalism.
  • So far, the paper isn't asking tough questions. The lead story on Sunday, the first Sunday since the new paper debuted, was lame. Most of the front page was dedicated to a package on how food distributors were paying an extra $300 weekly for overtime for state food inspectors and how that was driving up the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables. The huge headline: "Fresh Costs: Hawaii consumers are paying more for fresh produce because of state cutbacks." Please ....
  • The owner is being generous with news hole. It's a bigger paper than you'd find in most other cities of comparable size, based on my experience. Too bad so much of the space is used for long wire stories.
  • The owner is also showing more commitment to commentary, beefing up the section — which is a great move. Three pages of commentary many days. Two at a minimum. The old Advertiser used to run 1 and 1/2, with none on Saturday.
Read my series on the Star-Advertiser's full week at civilbeat.com.


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