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    August 2018
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Meet the Flintstones… Yabba Dabba Doo Hawaii Tribune

Yesterday, I posted a blog asking the local papers to make it a bit more enjoyable:

“Is there any way that you folks can make your articles a bit more entertaining to read?”

I must say… I had to laugh this morning at one of the headlines on the front page of the print version… (I’ll give you Tribune Readers more on this since I actually saw this long before it was in the paper)

“Meet the Flintstones”

cave1

Although it is an AP generated article… at least it gave me a good laugh and a reason to read the rest of the article.

It is to bad that the Hawaii Tribune can’t provide more to it’s readers… Like an actual link to the EBAY auction on the “Flintstones House” for auction.¬† But if your interested in at least seeing the listing… I’ll provide it here.

You can also see an actual video of it here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNdTB7Bebq4&hl=en&fs=1]

This is exactly what I was talking about by making the paper a bit more entertaining to read… and while your at… could make it more interactive (well at least the online version of the Tribune… BUT WAIT… The article isn’t even listed in the ONLINE Version!)

Of course the caption in the picture that was on the front page also kind of cracked me up:

“The Ngs were awaiting delivery of a bag of Waipio Valley Poi”

I’m not sure what that had to do with the article about cigarette smoking… but it sure added a bit more of a personal touch to the picture then just a normal caption might.

*UPDATE* “Damon Tucker” Blackballed by the County

*update* The article itself is now available online at the Tribune Herald’s Website here.

I mentioned briefly yesterday, that I thought that a “Gag Order” was placed on county employees from speaking to me and a few other bloggers.

Today’s Hawaii Tribune Herald¬† confirms that (I will link article as soon as it’s posted online)

The county Department of Public Works has rescinded a recently implemented media policy that sheltered employees from public scrutiny, denied reporters access to road projects and blackballed Internet bloggers.

The 6-page document obtained by the Tribune-Herald directed DPW employees to stop filming attempts, not to talk about cause or fault, and to withhold information from so-called “citizen journalists.”

It said that “anyone implicated in the situation are not to speak to the media,” yet also advised “far more is lost by refusing to speak to the media than is risked by doing do.”

The policy ended when Warren Lee became Public Works director on Dec. 1, said DPW spokeswoman Noelani Whittington said.

“All of this has been rescinded,” she said.

Whittington wrote the policy, which contains her cell phone number and e-mail address, in mid-November. She initially said DPW had not implemented a media policy, then changed her answer after being read exempts from the document.

“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.

In crafting the policy, Whittington said she drew a distinction between bloggers with professional backgrounds and “citizen journalists” lacking that experience.

“It’s a fine line,” she said.

Bloggers often add personal comments to news information, which would be unethical for traditional journalists, including those who do only online reporting.

There was no incident that prompted the policy, but rather a desire to differentiate “new media” from traditional reporters and concern by some employees that they had been filmed for a TV newscast, Whittington said.

The policy specifically instructed DPW employees not to give out information to bloggers Aaron Stene (The Kona Blog) and Damon Tucker (Damon Tucker’s Weblog) and Dave Corrigan of Big Island Videonews.com.

“I’m actually kind of angry about it,” Stene said when told the old policy specifically named him. “It just stinks on all levels on this one.”

Stene, who said he gets about 200 hits daily on the blog he started in October 2005, said he suspected a change because it’s been about six weeks since Lee has returned his calls.

“I consider myself somebody that’s trying to get information for the general public,” he said.

Lee could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Tucker said he rarely asks the Department of Public Works for information, opting instead to republish information he gets from other sources.

“I’m honored they even know my blog exists,” Tucker said of comments he’s been posting for about six months.

There is no question this is not an acceptable media policy,” said Hunter Bishop, public relations specialist for Mayor Billy Kenoi.

“It is not in effect. We do not support this policy,” added Bishop, a former Tribune-Herald reporter who authored a popular blog before pulling it voluntarily when he started working for the county in December.

Bishop said he first heard of the DPW policy this week after the Tribune-Herald inquired about it.

“As far as I know, there are no other media policies in the county, but I can’t say that for sure,” he said.

But that status likely will change, Bishop said.

“We are working on a new general media policy for all departments mainly as a result of seeing this,” he said.

That forthcoming policy will call for fair and equal treatment, he said.

It will treat bloggers like any other media or member of the public,” he said.

When asked how DPW officials now respond to bloggers’ requests for information, Whittington said, “I have no idea.”

E-mail Jason Armstrong at jarmstrong@hawaiitribune-herald.com.