AAJA Hawai‘i November/December 2021 Newsletter: Chapter begins 2022 planning, AAJA convention to be held in LA, and more

November/December 2021 Newsletter

Welcome to AAJA Hawai‘i’s monthly newsletter! Here, you’ll find chapter updates, upcoming events, member bylines and more.

If you have a story or career update you want to share with our AAJA family, let us know at hawaii@aaja.org!

Chapter Updates and Announcements

We held our burnout in journalism event on Nov. 6 with Ann Cain, a Chicago-based therapist. Mahalo to those who attended! We hope you walked away with useful advice and new/strengthened connections with other journalists.

The Hawai‘i board met on Dec. 14 and discussed ideas for 2022, such as future events and potential ways the chapter can support members who want to attend AAJA’s 2022 conference in LA. We also discussed the Local Journalism Sustainability Act, which would provide a tax credit to incentivize subscriptions/donations to local news, a tax credit to encourage small businesses to buy ads in their local publications, and a payroll tax credit to make hiring and keeping local journalists easier.

We’ll continue to plan for 2022 in the new year, so feel free to let us know if there’s any resources or programming that you want us to provide! Email us at hawaii@aaja.org.

Happy Holidays! We’ll see you in 2022!

Member Bylines

Native Hawaiians Grapple With The Mental Toll Of The Delta Surge

Honolulu Civil Beat’s Anita Hofschneider reports on the ways the pandemic has impacted mental health. “Since the variant was introduced in Hawai‘i, Native Hawaiians have comprised 29% of all of the state’s Covid cases, even though they’re just 21% of the population.”

Hawai‘i coffee farmers facing ‘greatest threat’ yet, but efforts underway to tackle devastating fungus

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Jayna Omaye digs into the efforts to tackle coffee leaf rust, a devastating fungus that can eventually kill coffee trees. “Although coffee leaf rust was first found in Sri Lanka in 1869, it was only recently discovered in Hawai‘i. The state Department of Agriculture reported Hawai‘i’s first cases of coffee leaf rust in October 2020 on Maui and Hawai‘i island.”

How Rail Got to $12.45 Billion and 11 Years Late

Hawaii Business Magazine’s Noelle Fujii-Oride takes a deep dive into Honolulu’s 20-mile rail project to identify why the costs have risen so much. “The rail project has been the subject of multiple state and city audits that identified fiscal waste and poor management, plus lawsuits, calls for a forensic audit to investigate whether criminal activity occurred, and U.S. Department of Justice subpoenas. Concerns about the project’s problems have caused the federal government to withhold $744 million since 2015.”

Condominium owners face steep costs to comply with fire safety measures

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Ashley Mizuo reports on a City Council bill that would extend the deadline for condominiums to install fire sprinklers – a costly upgrade. “Buildings that opt to install sprinklers currently have until spring 2030 to complete the projects but may apply for an extension to 2033. However, buildings 20 floors and taller must install sprinklers in their common areas by spring 2026, and buildings with 10 to 19 floors must have sprinklers in common areas by spring 2028.”

What Salary Records Tell Us About Who Earns The Big Bucks In The DOE

Honolulu Civil Beat’s Suevon Lee looks into the state Dept. of Education’s salary records and identifies which positions got the largest pay bumps. “Just 1.6% of all DOE employees — excluding high school principals who are among the top-compensated in the DOE — had a starting salary of at least $99,000 in the fiscal year that began on July 1, compared with 0.3% in 2011, according to Civil Beat’s Public Employee Salary Database.”

Hawaiʻi food banks ready to address pandemic-related challenges and community need

Hawai‘i Public Radio’s Casey Harlow talks with local food banks about the pandemic’s impact on hunger in the islands. “What that looks like is one out of every six Hawaiʻi residents are currently struggling with hunger. When you put that in terms of numbers, that’s roughly more than 230,000 people,” says Danny Schlag, communications director for the Hawaiʻi Food Bank.

Updates and Announcements from AAJA National, Chapters and Affinity Groups

AAJA National is recruiting judges for the AAJA Journalism Excellence Awards. Awards submissions will open in January 2022 and the judging process will take place from April-July 2022. More information here.

AAJA’s 2022 convention will be held in person at the Sheraton Universal Hotel from July 27 to 30! More information here.

Applications to be part of the 2022 Mentor Match cohort are now open, for both mentors and mentees to apply! Mentee applications will close on January 14, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Mentor applications will close on January 22, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Job Openings

Hawai‘i Public Radio is looking for a general assignment reporter with at least 5 years of experience to write, edit and produce short and long form news features and shorter stories for on-air newscasts. More information here.

Training Opportunities

Investigative Reporters & Editors is accepting applications for its Total Newsroom Training program, which provides selected newsrooms with two days of free training on investigative and data reporting techniques. Preference will be given to newsrooms in rural areas and smaller cities, smaller newsrooms in large markets, and newsrooms founded and run by those coming from and serving historically marginalized communities. Deadline for applications is January 9. More information here.

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