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How Many Print Reporters are Left in Honolulu?

The city has witnessed a major journalism shake-up with layoffs, a merging of three broadcast news stations, folding publications, even reporters turning to public relations positions. We wondered—post newspaper merger—how many daily print reporters are left in Honolulu?


Illustration: Mike Austin

We still have three TV stations with daily news programming, an alternative weekly and various online-only news outlets, but this summer Honolulu officially became a one-paper town. According to Ernie Murphy, the new union representative for the Hawaii Newspaper Guild, “most of the news in this town is driven by the largest, and now only [daily] print media.” While the Honolulu Star-Advertiser has the largest reporting staff in the city’s daily history, there are still 25 fewer daily reporters than the town had in 2005. This also doesn’t take into account the dozens of broadcast reporters who lost their jobs in the TV station merger, nor those who wrote for smaller weekly or monthly publications that have since shrunk or folded.

But Murphy is hopeful. He says the Star-Advertiser has “the best reporting staff in the state. They cherry-picked an all-star cast. The biggest challenge ahead of them is to integrate the newsroom smoothly to exploit the talent.”

86 daily reporters in 2005*

61 daily reporters in 2010**

29% Decrease

* This figure includes the number of full-time staff reporters (50) from the former Honolulu Advertiser, according to then-editor Mark Platte, and an estimate of full-time staff reporters at the former Honolulu Star-Bulletin, based on a newsroom size of 95, according to then-editor Frank Bridgewater. Roughly half a newsroom consists of full-time reporters.

* * This number includes the current number of reporters at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, confirmed by the Hawaii Newspaper Guild.



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Honolulu Magazine July 2020
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