Articles about "Honolulu Civil Beat"

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Pierre Omidyar has ‘a journalist’s sensibility’

For its first years, John Temple was editor of Honolulu Civil Beat, a news organization for which eBay founder Pierre Omidyar is still the publisher and CEO. Omidyar is funding Glenn Greenwald’s new journalism venture; “I have always been of the opinion that the right kind of journalism is a critical part of our democracy,” he told Jay Rosen. (Omidyar is not doing any other interviews, a spokesperson told Poynter in an email.)

Omidyar was “in the newsroom almost every day,” Temple, now a senior fellow at the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships program at Stanford University, said in a phone call with Poynter. He was also “very involved with writing the code for the site.” Civil Beat’s office was open, Temple said, with no offices, so Omidyar was part of daily discussions.

“He’s got a journalist’s sensibility,” Temple said. “He enjoyed the hunt for a story, and he’s very open to experimenting with how to tell the story and using contemporary approaches.” That said, Omidyar “gives you the space to do your job.”

I asked Temple, who edited the Rocky Mountain News and was a managing editor at The Washington Post after he left Civil Beat, about whether it was more in Omidyar’s character to build a news organization from scratch or buy a legacy one, as Jay Rosen reported he had considered doing with the Post. “It is much more in his character to build and innovate than it is to transform,” Temple said. “He could have bought the paper in Honolulu, for example.”

Related: My Next Adventure in Journalism (The Omidyar Group) Read more


Civil Beat law center will offer free legal help to journalists, others seeking public information

Honolulu Civil Beat

The news organization Honolulu Civil Beat Wednesday announced the creation of a center to help journalists and private individuals pry information out of government agencies in Hawaii.

The Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest, which will offer this assistance gratis, is funded in part by the Pierre and Pamela Omidyar Ohana Fund. Pierre Omidyar is one of Civil Beat’s founders and also founded eBay.

Hawaii’s bureaucracy has proven remarkably resistant to transparency measures, Civil Beat editor Patti Epler writes in a post announcing the center, and the “only real recourse for journalists or the public is to go to court to force the issue.” Read more


Honolulu Civil Beat and Huffington Post join forces for new Hawaii site

Cross Pierre Omidyar’s serious-minded Honolulu Civil Beat with Arianna Huffington’s traffic-driving wizardry, and what do you get? We’ll soon see this fall with the launch of HuffPost Hawaii, a joint venture the two groups announced today.

Civil Beat will continue as a separate site and editorially manage the collaboration, which will be promoted from the Huffington Post’s main site. Shortened versions of Civil Beat’s investigations and local political coverage will appear on HuffPost Hawaii. The site will also carry broader lifestyle and culture coverage aimed at travelers from both the United States and Japan (where HuffPost has formed another editorial partnership with Asahi Shimbun).

In a promotional video, Huffington said a common denominator between the two online news ventures has been “creating a platform for voices” with diverse contributors and extensive discussion chains. Omidyar said he hopes to draw on the parent Huffington Post’s reporting and commentary to attract local audiences to the new site. Read more


Candidate who received free ads from Seattle Times won’t concede race

Seattle Times | Honolulu Civil Beat
Rob McKenna hasn’t conceded the Washington state gubernatorial race, and Seattle Times politics writer Jim Brunner says the “math doesn’t look promising” for the Republican.

Trailing by nearly 50,000 votes statewide, McKenna would need to capture 52 percent of the remaining 1.3 million estimated remaining ballots, a Seattle Times analysis found. He was getting 48.7 percent as of Tuesday night.

McKenna ran as a moderate in a state that also legalized recreational marijuana use and gay marriage in Tuesday’s elections. But Democrats, Brunner writes, “spread the message that McKenna ‘isn’t who he says he is.’ ” One ally McKenna had in getting a counter-message out: The Seattle Times, which gave him ads worth about $75,000, which “company executives described as an experiment to show the power of newspaper political advertising,” Brunner and Andrew Garber reported last month. Staffers at the paper protested the decision, saying it created “a perception that we are not an independent watchdog.”

The Times also ran ads in favor of the gay marriage referendum.

In another political race with a media subnarrative, former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano lost his bid to be Honolulu’s mayor, blaming “special interest groups that spent millions of dollars on attack ads and other campaign tactics,” Nathan Eagle and Nick Grube report in Honolulu Civil Beat. In February, Cayetano tried to get Civil Beat reporter Michael Levine booted from covering his campaign because he didn’t like the way Levine was covering him. Cayetano’s stance “is potentially indicative of his demeanor and his approach to people who disagree with him,” John Temple, then Civil Beat’s editor, told Poynter at the time. Levine would stay on the story, Temple said. Read more


Honolulu mayoral candidate tries to get Civil Beat reporter thrown off campaign

Honolulu Civil Beat
Former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano is running for mayor in Honolulu. And he does not like what Honolulu Civil Beat’s been writing about him.

“There is no point in talking to a reporter who accuses me of lacking in ‘believability,’” Cayetano writes to Civil Beat editor John Temple. Of City Beat reporter Michael Levine, Cayetano says, “I will not answer his questions, his phone calls or emails.”

“If Civil Beat wants my opinion on issues — send another of its reporters,” Cayetano writes.

One problem with the former governor’s media criticism: Levine didn’t write the piece Cayetano felt impugned him. Temple did.

“People in public life do not get to choose who covers them,” Temple writes. Read more