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Hawaii's largest daily newspaper planning to lay off nearly half its news staff

Hawaii's largest daily newspaper planning to lay off nearly half its news staff
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The largest daily newspaper in Hawaii is reportedly making deep cuts to its newsroom staff, eliminating many positions and reducing the staff's size by almost half

Honolulu Civil Beat reported that the paper will cut 31 positions across several departments, around half of the roughly 60 employees currently working for the Star Advertiser. The announcement reportedly comes after months of negotiations between the company's owners and the Pacific Media Workers Guild, a union representing journalists at the newspaper.

“There are ways through this, not only short term but long term, that are viable options,” said Michael Applegate, the union's executive officer, in a statement to Civil Beat. “The company is either posturing to get us to agree to what they want or don’t really have the interests of workers in mind and they’re planning to do these layoffs anyway.”

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The newspaper's health reporter, Kristen Consillio, who has covered the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on Hawaii, is among the reporters whose jobs have been cut, according to Civil Beat. She confirmed the layoffs in an Instagram post, noting that they included 29 "newsroom positions."

"In heartbreaking news for the local community, Hawaii’s largest daily newspaper — which has recorded history in the making for generations of kamaʻāina — will cut 29 newsroom staff at the end of June," Consillio wrote. "That means fewer journalists keeping the ʻpowers that beʻ in check, less questioning of authority, fewer answers to your burning questions and even more substandard information disseminated to the public."

Requests for comment from the newspaper and its owner, Black Press Media, were not immediately returned.