December 2003 Newsletter

Jodi Leong starts Gridiron 2003 with "All Dat Stuffs"

Gridiron 2003: Media Molesta

Gridiron 2003 was a success. The show took in nearly $49,000, about a $1,000 more than last year's show.

Based on the show's revenue, the board of directors has approved up to 14 summer internships again for 2004.
Many thanks to the cast and crew, who worked so hard on their own time to bring song and satire to another level Oct. 24-25 at Diamond Head Theatre.

Keoki Kerr and Garett Kamemoto were co-producers, and Donna Bebber oversaw the stage production as stage manager. Corin Overland was music director.

Cast members were:

Photo by Bruce Asato

Gordon Pang displays new UH logo

Top designers conduct workshop

News design takes centerstage Feb. 7 at the University of Hawaii Campus Center Ballroom.
Top professionals will conduct a daylong workshop for the Society for News Design, co-sponsored by the University of Hawaii School of Communications and the Hawaii Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists.
This one-day workshop is for designers, photographers, artists and editors.
Featured at the workshop will be Tracy Collins, deputy editor of visual content for the Arizona Republic; Bonita Burton, business design director for the San Jose Mercury News; and Tim Harrower, author of “The Newspaper Designer's Handbook.”
You can register online at or print out this form..

International Journalism

Susan Kreifels, vice president of the SPJ Hawaii Chapter, was part of a national SPJ delegation invited to attend the first East Asia Journalists Forum in Seoul in October.

The SPJ delegation joined journalists from Australia and Germany as observers.

The SPJ also presented a resolution supporting the East Asian journalists in their efforts to raise the standards of journalism in their region.

The December edition of Quill will run stories on the forum, including one written by Kreifels.

Kreifels was also asked to be a member of the national SPJ International Journalism Committee.

Better Watchdog session at UH Crawford Hall

Better Watchdog sessions

Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Society of Professional Journalists “trained” many local journalists how to be better watchdogs.

Some 55 people - including some from the Big Island and Maui -- attended the Nov. 8 event held in the auditorium of Crawford Hall on the University of Hawaii Manoa campus.

They learned how to organize their notes, discovered wonderful new search engines to find even the most hard to find people, found out how to do that crucial interview and reviewed how to check tax reports of nonprofit organizations from veterans such as Jim Dooley of the Honolulu Advertiser and Robert Lopez of the Los Angeles Times.

Better yet, they recharged their reporting skills.

Some general tips from Brant Houston, executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors:

Some basic tools or techniques:

Viglielmo elected president of the chapter

2004 Regional Conference is in San Diego

Get ready for speakers, workshops and networking. Print, broadcast and online newshounds from throughout the West will be in San Diego to see how journalism is really done.
The San Diego Pro Chapter will host the Society of Professional Journalists
Region XI conference March 19-21, 2004.
Conference topics include post-mortems on the California Recall Election and San Diego Wildfires, ethics in the wake of the Jayson Blair scandal, and the latest in online journalism, as well as practical advice on landing your
first job, managing your career and succeeding in the freelance world.
The conference is being held in association with the West Coast chapter of
the Radio-Television News Directors Association and will include many
speakers from the broadcast industry.
The early bird conference rates are $125 for professionals and $75 for
The San Diego Chapter has negotiated a special hotel rate of $119,
which is good for three days before and
after the conference for members who
want to spend more time in San Diego.
Online registration for both the
conference and the hotel are available at

Dates of Interest

Sunshine Law questions

When do two Honolulu City Councilmen showing up at a closed-door session held by another set of government officials constitute an official meeting subject to the state Sunshine Law?
It depends on whom you talk to.
The state Office of Information Practices said their attendance at the meeting wasn't covered by the Sunshine Law.
The state Attorney General's Office disagreed and said it was covered by the open meetings law.
The issue centered on two City Councilmen attending a transportation brainstorming session in March with the newly elected governor and other government officials.
There were complaints about whether the two councilmen could meet behind closed doors even though the meeting was not directly related to their duties.
Council Chairman Gary Okino stayed and Councilman Nestor Garcia, Council Transportation Committee chairman, decided to leave because of the objections.
Deputy Attorney General Charleen Aina based her opinion on the chance meeting that forbids board members from using social occasions to circumvent open meeting restrictions thqt deliberations toward decisions be done in public. Also, she said the law allows the Council to assign two or more Council members to investigate matters but the Council had not done so.
Office of Information Practices Director Leslie Kondo wrote the Council members, telling them that one of them didn't have to leave.
Kondo said the law permits two councilmen to discuss matters in private as long as no commitment to vote is made or sought. He said the law also permits the Council to assign less than a quorum to investigate matters.

"The issue has come up in the context of multiple members of a board attending the same seminar, legislative hearings, meetings of private organizations and meetings called by other county, state or federal government officials, agencies and boards," Aina said.
But Kondo said: "Unfortunately, there appears to be grave misunderstandings of the Sunshine Law, and more specifically, the circumstances in which council members can discuss matters privately or attend social functions."

Please report potential Sunshine Law violations to:


'Aha'ilono: reporter, messenger, bringer of news

'Aha'ilono is a newsletter of the Society of Professional Journalists-Hawaii Pro Chapter.

We welcome news stories, commentaries, letters, tidbits and other items of interest concerning professional journalists in Hawaii.

Submit items to P.O. Box 3141, Honolulu 96802, or call Stirling Morita on Oahu at 529-4755 (fax: 529-4750).

Hawaii SPJ