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Wednesday, December 10, 2008
“From Hack to Flack”: the Big Island newspaper-Democrat revolving door
By Andrew Walden @ 3:12 PM :: 8493 Views

by Andrew Walden

Here are a couple of quick items from local blogs which illustrate a permanent conflict of interest: reporters are eyeing a job in government.  Since almost all elected positions are held by Democrats, this creates an unspoken alliance between journalists and Democratic Party candidates and officeholders.

Hunter Bishop announces the end of his blog:

Mayor-elect Billy Kenoi is employing a few journalists to fill administrative posts.

Long-time West Hawaii Today reporter Bobby Command is leaving his job to join Kenoi’s team as executive assistant in West Hawaii.

Honolulu Advertiser reporter Kevin Dayton also is leaving his job to be Kenoi’s executive assistant in Hilo.

Also on Monday, when Kenoi is inaugurated (sic), I’ll be joining his administration as public information officer.

I don't mind saying I'm excited and looking forward to the challenge. But unlike my work with the newspaper union, it's practically impossible to combine this new job with the blog. So after two and a half years I’m pulling the plug. This is my last post.

Tiffany Edwards Hunt describes the December 7 meeting of the Big Island Press club:

Also present was Hunter Bishop, the former Hawaii Tribune-Herald reporter-turned-blogger who now works as the public information officer (PIO) for Mayor Billy Kenoi.  He was the recipient of jokes about jumping the fence from “hack” to “flack.”  Marcia Reynolds, the former Hawaii Tribune-Herald reporter who worked as PIO for Stephen Yamashiro, said Bishop is the fourth in our press club to go from journalist to mayor’s PIO.  Before him, it was Hawaii Tribune-Herald reporter Janet Snyder who went to work for Mayor Harry Kim; Marcia who went to work for Mayor Yamashiro; and then Ken Hupp, of New West Broadcasting, who went to work for Mayor Lorraine Inouye.

(Also) … Chris Loos, the former Hawaii Tribune-Herald reporter who now works as a PIO for the Hawaii Police Department …

Hunt left her job at West Hawaii Today in 2007 and began working as a legislative aide for Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole. She has since left that position.

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