It seems Honolulu attorney David Kimo Frankel learned a bit about the do’s and don’ts of journalism from his dad, the late Star-Bulletin editor Chuck Frankel.
So he quickly spotted a problem in a Star-Advertiser business story today about the Polynesian Cultural Center.
From the S-A story:
The center in Laie is more than an hour’s drive from the heart of Oahu’s main tourism mecca and is closed on Sundays.
But that hasn’t stopped visitors from making their way to the PCC, which offers a taste of multiple cultures in one setting and has become the state’s No. 1 paid visitor attraction.
Frankel shot off a sharp reply, targeting a table listing top paid and unpaid visitor attractions which accompanied the story.
Although it was not the main point of your story, the table and portions of your article were incredibly inaccurate. And regardless of what the “sources” say, you should know that the information was just plain wrong. It costs money to get into Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park — as much, I believe, as it does to get into Pu’uhonua O Honaunau. In other words, it is a “paid attraction.” In fact, I suspect it costs more to get into Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park (and Haleakala National Park) than it does to get into the Honolulu zoo. The classification of “paid” and “unpaid” in the table and used in your article is completely arbitrary.
Quoting — and relying upon — a source that is plainly and objectively wrong is bad journalism.
The PCC is NOT the top paid attraction in Hawai’i. It is not even close.
Your readers deserve better.
I don’t think Frankel is right about the Honolulu Zoo admission, but he was right on about the national parks. There is a standard admission charged to visit most of the parks, historical sites, and monuments operated by the National Parks Service.
At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park the admission is $5 per pedestrian or bicyclist, or $10 per passenger vehicle. I think that’s pretty much the standard admission across the country. Modest, perhaps, but it is a paid attraction. And it has more than twice the annual visitors of the PCC.