“We will not tolerate dissent”, they seem to be saying

Oh, my.

More not-so-good news about the new Star-Advertising, this time from Joan Conrow on Kauai, who has previously written for both the Star-Bulletin and Advertiser.

Joan describes in detail how the management of Oahu Publications, which owns the Star-Advertiser and MidWeek, reacted to a post in her “Kauai Eclectic” blog containing her initial assessment of the S-A.

She does speak her mind.

Please excuse this lengthy excerpt, then read Joan’s complete entry:

My tenure with MidWeek newspapers was also short-lived. Just as the premiere Kauai issue was being distributed, I was being told they wished to “sever our professional relationship,” which was the only relationship we had.

It wasn’t me, since I’d already been lauded for my “professionalism and enthusiasm,” or my work, which was termed “outstanding,” but this blog, or more accurately, a critical observation I made about the debut of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, which is owned by the same man who owns MidWeek.

“You shouldn’t have called the paper manure,” the messenger told me.

I didn’t. I called it “the hybrid of the two mediocre Honolulu dailies,” which it arguably is. The manure reference was to the lead editorial, or more specifically, a few lines in it:

“We will strive mightily to be on the side of angels. We will work constantly to do, and shout, the noble thing.”

And as I pointed out to the messenger, their reaction to my comment was proving me true.

But the decision had already made, by “higher ups,” the messenger said

“How high?” I asked.

“All the way to the top,” I was told.

It seems they feared my comment “could affect the paper’s profitability.”

“It really took me by surprise,” I told a friend later.

“Why, because the retribution was so quick?”

“No, that they find me so threatening.”

Besides, I told the messenger, I used to criticize The Advertiser all the time when I wrote for Kauai People, which Tiser published, and they never said a peep.

“Well, this is a whole new order,” I was told.

I read the above to Meda as we’re sitting here over coffee. She listened, stunned.

“That’s more than just a little bit creepy!”

I’ve heard references to that “new order” phrase a couple of times already.

It appeared in an anonymous comment on this blog earlier in the week:

As a matter of fact the biggest problem the old SB had was a lack of accountability and consequence.

“New World Order” is a phrase that has been bandied about in the newsroom for the last few weeks. It is here.

I obviously don’t know the background, but the “new order” sounds a lot like Gannett’s management style, the one that journalists (including those at the Star-Bulletin) loved to hate. Have they forgotten? Or have they just “grown into the role?”

Anyone want to take a stab at updating that Hitler satire to reflect this “new order”?

43 responses to ““We will not tolerate dissent”, they seem to be saying

  1. Not sure why people are talking about MidWeek and the S-A as totally separate. MidWeek Printing Inc. is a subsidiary of Oahu Publications Inc. So they’re sister publications.

  2. Gigi’s comments are why so many people out there see wrongdoing or malfeasance at their companies but say nothing due to fearof losing their jobs.

    It’s a short leap from this mindset to not wanting to “make waves” in general. Just look the other way and not get involved or concerned.

  3. So MO HATES the “Kauai Midweek”….so who cares?? It’s not like it’s the Washington Post or something….it’s an advertising vehicle, nothing more, nothing less. [edited for…civility?]

  4. “Gigi’s comments are why so many people out there see wrongdoing or malfeasance at their companies but say nothing due to fearof losing their jobs.”
    So; If Gigi did NOT make those comments, these people would no longer see wrongdoing or malfeasance. and they would say something and have no fear?
    ok. I guess.

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