Did you catch the brief item in the Star-Advertiser this week announcing that the winners of Pa’i Awards presented by the Hawaii Publishers Association were announced at a luncheon on Wednesday.
Although the article appears behind the “premium content” pay wall, it had only minimal substance.
These awards used to be big deals, as newspapers and magazines from around the state competed for recognition.
Down at the bottom of the short S-A story came this aside: “The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and the Maui News did not submit entries.”
I have to wonder, “why not?” Why doesn’t the state’s largest newspaper take part? Do they think the S-A would automatically run away with all the awards? Are they avoiding direct competition and comparisons? Is it the result of some internal political differences within the publishers association? Or is it just a matter of money, not having cash for the entry fees?
Whatever the explanation, it seems like quite a shame and denies S-A staff their chance to display their skills to a broader audience.
The article refers readers who want a list of winners to the Publishers’ web site.
But that turned out to be quite a disappointment. The list of winning entries includes first and second place in each category, but only identifies the publication. There is no information provided about the winning entries themselves or the reporters, photographers, or designers who produced the winners. Okay, they want to focus on the publishers, but that really requires showcasing the actual work product that the publishers are recognized for, doesn’t it?
It’s the folks on the ground who do the heavy lifting, who continue to try to do their best under less than ideal conditions in the face of budget restrictions, staff cuts, threats of further cutbacks and layoffs, all against the backdrop of a declining industry. In my view, they deserve recognition for their winning ways.
I have to give the publishers association a failing grade for their public relations effort on this one. It’s a lost opportunity to create a little public interest in what’s being published.