Ode to Hawaii’s Newspapers

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Growing up in Hawaii, I was afforded a few luxuries that others around the country weren’t so lucky to have.  I was able to play baseball or head to the beach in the winter and not worry about frigid temperatures.  I grew up thinking cold weather meant high-60’s in Wahiawa.

I was afforded one more important luxury, every Sunday I could walk a couple of blocks and buy the Sunday edition of the Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.  There was a time in this great country where one could not walk down to a busy street corner and fail to see a young boy hollering about the newest edition of the local paper.  Those were the golden days of newspapers when people could count on solid reporting on important events of the day.  Imagine a vintage Ford truck slowly creeping along a busy street.


Now imagine a young boy holding two copies of the same paper but with differing headlines and waiting for the verdict of a juicy trial.  Talk about instant analysis of the news!

I was not alive during the boom of newspapers during the 40’s and 50’s.  However, nearly every movie from that time frame will feature a scene of a small child standing on a busy street corner shouting the headlines of the paper he is trying to sell.  I love those movies!

These days we are left with scenes of people sitting in front of a computer reading the scrolling footnote about the recent happening with Justin Bieber.  For all the Bieber fans that are reading this(I doubt there are even two right now), no offense, but I would prefer to open the front page of a newspaper and read about Hawaii’s battle against gnats then read about some teen idol failing in door opening 101.

Call me old-fashioned, but I love to sit at the kitchen table while sipping the coffee I don’t drink, and reading the Monday edition of the Honolulu Advertiser or Star-Bulletin.  There is something calming about opening up the paper and gathering information from the printed word.  I have not been able to reproduce this effect while reading a CNN news story while being inundated with advertisements for Salonpas.

Perhaps I am getting way ahead of myself and exaggerating the effects of this loss.  Maybe I will enjoy reading the Star-Advertiser and fail to notice a difference.  I doubt that will be the case.  Losing those two independent voices is like watching my San Francisco 49ers lose to the Dallas Cowboys.  The sadness will pass, but the pain will always be there.  So it was with a heavy heart that I made my way to the news stand and picked up the final copy of both the Honolulu Advertiser and Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

Monday, June 7th, 2010 marks a new era in the way news is covered in Hawaii.  The date also marks a new era in print media for our tiny, yet tight-knit community.  The unveiling of the Star-Advertiser marked the end of the Honolulu Advertiser and Star-Bulletin.  The new publication marked the end of differing opinions and differing voices that have been read and heard by all of us over the years.

Thank you to all current and former employees of both newspapers.  Your hard work and dedication inspired me to become a writer and be involved in my community.  I am sure that others share the same fondness with both papers.  To the staff of the new Star-Advertiser, good luck in your quest to deliver quality reporting and commentary for all readers.  It is my hope that you will continue with the legacy of the men and women before you and serve Hawaii well.

Goodbye to the glory days of the newspaper.  You will be missed.

Ryan T. Adverderada can be reached at ryanad411@yahoo.com