My Thoughts on The UH Hilo Media Symposium

Last Saturday the University of Hawaii Hilo Student Paper, Ke Kalahea, along with numerous community organizations sponsored a Media Symposium that was held in a few rooms of  the University of Hawaii Hilo’s Campus Center.

The UH Hilo Media Symposium was well attended

I have to give credit to the Ke Kalahea Advisor and Big Island Chronicle founder Tiffany Edwards-Hunt for her hard work in putting this together.

Tiffany Edwards Hunt and Jay Hartwell

Tiffany Edwards Hunt and Jay Hartwell go over the AP Quiz that we all learned seems to be changing each and every year

I guess I have to write good things about the symposium since my fee to it was waived because I was going to write a blog post about the symposium.  How ironic is that… considering I get so much grief given to me at times for taking freebies? Now I get a freebie to a “Media Forum” because I’m going to blog about it later… the irony of that, makes me laugh a bit.

Campus Center Room 301

Campus Center Room 301 was where much of the symposium took place

I arrived as the Introduction to Blogging/New Media Journalism Panel was beginning, a panel that I had been asked to speak on but declined for my own reasons.  Ian Lind, John Temple (Civil Beat) and Andy Parx were talking about the use of blogs and how blogging has changed the way folks receive information.

Ian Lind, Andy Parx and John Temple talk about Blogging and New Media Journalism

Ian Lind, Andy Parx and John Temple talk about Blogging and New Media Journalism

I’m still a bit confused about the following statement that Andy Parx made on his post following the symposium:

…The “Old Media versus New Media” panel contained the mucky-mucks of Hawai`i journalism… and Andy Parx- who almost didn’t get to go because one of the sponsors said with an upturned nose “he’s just a blogger…”

I’m not going to worry about that too much, although it does show in a sense that us bloggers are still disrespected as viable sources for information.

Old Media versus New Media Panel

Old Media versus New Media Panel (left to right) Ian Lind, Baron Sekiya, Andy Parx, Hugh Clark, Moderator Kathy Frankovic, Nancy Cook Lauer (hidden), John Temple, Brenda Salgado and Steve Petranik

There were numerous topics discussed throughout the day from the Sunshine Law, to Ethics in Journalism, to Current Trends  which my favorite quote of the day was when West Hawaii Today Journalist and All Hawaii News publisher Nancy Cook Lauer stated that she gets most of her news from twitter.

Dr. Rick Castberg discusses citizens rights and responsibilities

Dr. Rick Castberg discusses citizens rights and responsibilities

The Citizens Rights and Responsibilities class lead by UH Professor Dr. Rick Castberg got me emotionally involved due to the topic matter as Dr. Castberg spent a good time discussing my legal case which I didn’t know he was going to do until right before the class .

One of the last subjects covered during the day was “Fair use in the age of new media” moderated by Stephanie Salazar.

Fair use in the age of new media

Fair use in the age of new media with (left to right) Baron Sekiya, Steve Strauss Dr. Rick Castberg and Senator Les Ihara moderated by Stephanie Salazar

Here are some of the other posts that were generated from the symposium:

Tiffany has already mentioned possibly having another one next year that I already have a bunch of ideas tossing around in my head that I’ll be passing onto her if she does have another symposium next year… one of them being to spread it out over two days as there is just so much information to be taken in and one day is hardly enough time for everything.

*I will eventually find out who that sponsor was that didn’t want Andy Parx to attend because he was a blogger!

Got Windmills – “…Don’t Mess With Hawai`i Bloggers”

I’m very thankful of the support I’ve been receiving regarding the Texas attorney who is thinking of suing my blog for my write up on December 8th about the Umauma Ziplines.

Andy Parx of Got Windmills today wrote a post entitled “My Oh My What a Wonderful Day” where he describes one of the oldest tricks in the books that lawyers like to scare people with and that is the cease and desist letter.

Parx writes more about the differences between journalist and bloggers stating:

… With the advent of “bloggers” the question is whether, when they engage in the act of reporting, they are de facto journalists. While many of the more stogy practitioners may argue for all sorts of self-serving and exclusionary rules for what a journalist is or isn’t, there’s still “no license required. ”

In fact, after much debate our own Hawai`i state reporters’ “shield law” essentially defines a reporter by the act of reporting- something bloggers do every day whether, like Ian they consider themselves journalists or, like Damon and Larry, not.

In this case Damon simply reported on the situation, citing and naming his source. Whether or not “The Umauma Experience” is actually safe or not his report is true in that the story is that two co-owners are alleging they are not safe.

And in libel cases, truth is the ultimate defense…

I just wanted to say thanks for all the support that I have been getting on this. I really didn’t want to stir the pot so much as to just let folks know that KapohoKine was opening a new zipline course. In the course of things… I guess we all may learn a lesson or two.

I really like the way Parx finished his post….

“…The other lesson may be that, even if you’re from Texas, don’t mess with Hawai`i bloggers.”

The Garden Island Newspaper Fesses Up

On Tuesday I mentioned how journalist Paul Curtis, of The Garden Island Newspaper,  failed to give credit to a blogger and copied and pasted material the blogger had researched nearly two years before.

Andy Parx sent me a link today showing me that The Garden Island Newspaper made a correction in their paper and attributed the bullet’s to blogger Charley Foster.

The Dec. 12 story “Judge: Hapa Trail belongs to state” should have attributed to Charley Foster’s Planet Kaua‘i blog the six bullet points that Theodore Blake’s lawsuit contends.

Of course the newspaper didn’t have the link to Foster’s original post “Local Activist Sue Over Villages at Poipu Development“.

Parx also blogged about the Curtis’s plagiarism the other day in a post entitled “Just A Little Bit, Just A Little Bit” where he states:

…You can’t help but notice that the dispatches from courts and police beat “reporter” Paul Curtis seem to emanate solely from hanging around the courthouse and cop shop and recording and regurgitating whatever they dump in his lap.

But this Saturday might have been a new low according to a post from attorney-blogger Charley Foster…

Parx posted more of his thoughts today in a blog post entitled “Theft, Shmeft” where he not only blasts journalists and newspapers for the blatant plagiarism, he takes it a bit further and blasts those journalist who are supposedly sworn to the Society of Profession Journalists code of ethics for rewriting press releases which happens all the time with our local Stephens Newspapers.

Parx writes:

…One of the staples of a daily “newspaper of record” is the rewritten press release, especially those emanating from local and state government public information offices.

Editors, usually those on the “night shift” of larger papers, avoid plopping the copy directly in their news hole- the place left for news when the predetermined advertising is laid out.

In order to avoid charges of plagiarism they re-write the releases shifting the sentence constructions and using other wordsmithing techniques.

But while you’ll always find the words “according to a county release” or another appropriate credit in our local Kaua`i newspaper, when the identical release is rewritten in the Honolulu paper that attribution is never to be found…

Here are just a few bullets from the Society of Professional Journalists website that state that Journalists SHOULD Do:

  • Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources’ reliability.
  • Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story
  • Never plagiarize
  • Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid

Parx Rant on Pakalolo Grant

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the Pakalolo Grants that were available and it does appear that I have at least one reader of this blog.


Kauai blogger Andy Parx writes in his post “Suckling on the Teat of Absurdity“:

…No this is not a joke. And what’s more it wants people to study only indigenous groups including “Native Hawaiians”.

This stuff is absolutely too bizarre to make up.

According to a “funding opportunity notice from the U.S. Health & Human Services Department’s National Institutes of Health” six $500,000 grants- for a total of $3 million- are available…

…Your tax dollars at work. Anyone still looking for hope and change?

Andy… I know this disturbs you greatly… but I got a kick out of seeing the release written the way it was, and I’ve seen much more waste with a lot of other projects that the government funds.

Got Windmills – Department of PUBLIC Works?

Kauai columnist/blogger Andy Parx has an interesting piece on the recent news of the Hawaii County Department of Public Works attempting to “Blackball” me and a couple other bloggers here on the Big Island.  I sure hope there is no connect between the Post Office incident and this.

“Take It From the Pros” writes Parx…

“One thing all of the journalists who are routinely air lifted into Kaua`i quickly find out is that getting information directly from county officials or personnel can’t even be compared to pulling teeth because eventually with enough effort you can get the gums to relinquish a tooth…

…And if you’re a private citizen- phew, forget it. At the end of each phone line is someone to refer you to someone who will refer you to someone else who will eventually refer you back to the one who originally answered the phone who will put you on hold until you just give up…

…But someone on the Big Island forgot to consult the Kaua`i stonewalling pros recently when a six page document landed on the desk of the Hawai`i Tribune Herald “direct(ing) DPW employees to stop filming attempts, not to talk about cause or fault, and to withhold information from so-called ‘citizen journalists’” the paper reported today

…When contacted yesterday apparently in anticipation of being revealed as a liar, in a classic response to being caught red handed told the reporter,

“I wasn’t denying anything on it. I just didn’t know what you were referring to,” Whittington said in a follow-up interview Wednesday.

Whittington said she might have been very busy when first interviewed occurred Feb. 19.

“Sometimes it takes me a minute to focus,” she said…

The incident we reported on twice last December and January where blogger Tucker was harassed by a Big Island police officer for taking a picture of her in public was not cited in the article…