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Sunday, June 6, 2010
Advertiser closes out by considering self-censorship
By Andrew Walden @ 2:23 PM :: 6183 Views :: Energy, Environment

by Andrew Walden

In its final edition, the Advertiser’s editors reprinted the 154 year old first editorial of the first edition of the Pacific Commercial Advertiser.  Apparently they thought about censoring it but relented.  As introduction they wrote:

“We thought it was important to present this ‘bookend’ of our history, but know that it reflects the prejudices of 1856 and that Whitney refers to Native Hawaiians in a way that is, at best, paternalistic. We didn't think it was right to cut out those brief passages….”

The “paternalistic” and “prejudiced” first editorial begins

Thank heaven the day at length has dawned when the Hawaiian Nation can boast a free press, untrammelled by government patronage or party pledges, unbiased by ministerial frowns or favors — a press whose aim shall be the advancement of the nation in its commercial, political and social condition.

The day that witnessed the abolition by Liholiho Iolani of the tyrannous system of tabus, which had crushed with despotic power from the most ancient days, the liberties of this people will not be longer remembered than that which witnessed the advent of free thought and free principles throughout the group.

As the now-unemployed Editors sat there and considered whether they can get away with printing such a statement today, they probably wondered why newspapers are dying out.


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