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From Parade Magazine to the Streets of Unemployment – A Sign of the Times

A sign of the times?

When the Star-Bulletin and the Honolulu Advertiser merged to become the Honolulu Star-Advertiser many jobs were lost.

Now it appears one of the top brass at the former Star-Bulletin has literally hit the streets in an attempt to find employment.

Nancy Christenson was laid off after working 12 years for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and was even featured in Parade Magazine in an article entitled “What Do People Make” back in 2002 where it was reported that she was making $56,000 per year as a copy editor for a local paper.

She has changed her name since then

Two days before the papers merged after working as 9 years as the assistant editorial editor and then a while as the director of online content, Nancy was laid off.

Today on Facebook she posted the following picture:

I asked Nancy more about this and she stated that she was standing at the bottom of Waialae exit (off H-1) by Kahala, just about a half block Ewa of the Kahala Mall and received lots of positive feedback and aloha from motorists.

I’ve met Nancy personally I would recommend her for anything she may be applying for.  If your interested in hiring Nancy… she can be reached at PleaseHireNancy@gmail.com.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser… You Are NO Wall Street Journal

Just over a year after the Star-Bulletin and the Honolulu Advertiser merged to become the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, today they announced that they are going to be charging for its online content almost as if it were a printed newspaper being delivered to your door.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser will begin charging for premium online content Aug. 3, joining an industry trend that has accelerated since the beginning of the year.

Subscribers to the print edition will receive all-access passes to premium online content at no extra charge. That will allow access to all website content and includes a new e-edition, a digital replica of the print edition. Star-Advertiser content can be delivered to a subscriber’s computer, iPad, iPhone or smartphone…

My guess is those folks that do actually subscribe to the paper… have been reading it online for quite some time now anyways.  But for those who do subscribe to the paper… may do so because they don’t want to read their newspaper on a computer screen.

This next statement is hilarious:

…Readers who want to forgo the print edition or live outside of the newspaper’s delivery area will be offered special rates to digital-only premium content on a daily, monthly or annual basis...

There are so many ways to get around this… how would the Star-Advertiser determine if folks started signing up through proxy servers in Timbuktu?

“We understand that news outside of what our local reporters generate can be had elsewhere and for free, but there are literally thousands of such stories each day,” he said. “Our professional journalists work through these each day to produce a lively, informative and entertaining newspaper each and every day of the year…”

Well I will say that at least those of us who give news out for free… do so because we enjoy doing it… not to make a profit at times… or suck up to the corporate world or sponsors at times.  I guess its time for local bloggers to step it up even more now.

…Nonsubscribers still will have free digital access to several areas, including breaking news, Associated Press stories, the website’s front page and section fronts, event calendars, Ho­nolulu Pulse, TGIF, photo galleries, blogs, classifieds, travel, obituaries and traffic, Francis said….

Pfft! well this is all we really want anyways!

…”Frankly, the newspaper industry should have adopted this approach 10 years ago, but the thinking was always on page views and unique site visits,” he said. “We all thought that, like in the print model, the more circulation you had or, in this case, page views, the more desirable for advertisers. What played out though is that people utilize advertising on the Internet much differently and the ad dollars never really materialized in any significant way.”…

I’ve been telling this to folks for years!

…Brady has been skeptical about charging for online content because it can reduce page views and make content less discoverable. However, he pointed to the Wall Street Journal, Consumer Reports and the Financial Times as examples of publications that have been successful at charging for online access…

All I can say is that the Star-Advertiser is NO where close to what the Wall Street Journal is.

You can read the entire article here: Star-Advetiser to Charge for Premium Online Content

This is almost as sad as the day that Oahu became a one paper island!

Hawaii Newspaper Guild and the Hawaii Tribune Sign Contract After Nearly Six Years of Negotiation

Media Release:

The Hawaii Newspaper Guild and the Hawaii Tribune-Herald have signed a contract after nearly six years of negotiations.

The two-year agreement covers all employees at the Hilo newspaper except pressmen, who are covered by a separate contract, and managers. The pressmen’s negotiations lasted as long as the Guild’s. The contracts are similar.

Both unions have bargained with the newspaper jointly for years, but the negotiations were prolonged this time partly because the company refused joint negotiations.

The contract provides the first wage increases for employees at the newspaper since Jan. 1, 2002.

During the negotiations, the Tribune-Herald was found guilty of 12 unfair labor practice charges by an administrative law judge of the National Labor Relations Board. The charges included the illegal firing of veteran reporters Hunter Bishop and Dave Smith, both of whom were union leaders.

The judge found that the company fired the union leaders because they were engaged in legally protected union activity, not because of any job-related violations. He ordered both Bishop and Smith reinstated to their jobs with full back pay and benefits. The judge also found the company guilty of illegally disciplining employees for participation in union activities and several other violations of employee rights.

Rather than implementing the judge’s order, the company has appealed to the NLRB in Washington, D.C. The appeal is pending.

Guild spokesperson for the talks and former Hawaii Newspaper Guild administrative officer Wayne Cahill said it was his belief the company had no intention of ever reaching an agreement, but that it had second thoughts because of the strong will of the employees, who were planning an island-wide consumer boycott against the newspaper if agreement could not be achieved.

Cahill said, “The employees and the full Big Island Labor Alliance made a strong statement at a rally in front of the newspaper on March 17. It had to be apparent to the company that it would have a hard time doing business in Hilo unless it treated its employees fairly.”

Cahill took over the talks in September 2009 after Guild sector representative Mike Burrell retired. Burrell had led the talks for the Guild for the first five years of bargaining. Cahill retired at the conclusion of the talks.

The Hawaii Newspaper Guild is a local of The Newspaper Guild, a sector of the Communication Workers of America. The Hawaii local also represents employees at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the Maui News and the Maui Bulletin.

Open Offer to All Honolulu Advertiser Employees Who Lost Their Jobs this Week

I just wanted to say that I think it bites that many Honolulu Advertiser folks lost their jobs this past week.

The amount of lost jobs actually surprised me as I really didn’t think that many folks would be cut.

I’ll throw this offer out to any former Honolulu Advertiser worker that would like to start their own blog… is that I’ll help you start one if you want (for free).

It’s the beginning of  a new era in journalism and the newspaper industry here in Hawaii.

I look forward to the ride.