Synopses & Reviews
Just a decade after the first printing press arrived in Honolulu in 1820, American Protestant missionaries produced the first newspaper in the Islands. More than a thousand daily, weekly, or monthly papers in nine different languages have appeared since then. Today they are often considered a secondary source of information, but in their heyday Hawai'i's newspapers formed one of the most diversified, vigorous, and influential presses in the world. In this original and timely work, Helen Geracimos Chapin charts the role Hawai'i's newspapers have played in shaping major historic events in the Islands and how the rise of the newspaper abetted the rise of American influence in Hawai'i. Mainstream newspapers often limit themselves to certain kinds of stories: human interest, exposes, heroic acts, surprises, role reversals. From among these Chapin looks at the reportage of a variety of topics of perennial interest in Hawai'i - land and development, business and labor, politics, sports and entertainment, culture, and race. She also examines the placement of a story, which is often as important as its content. Did coverage appear on the front page, above the fold? Or was the story assigned to an inside page? What cutlines (captions) were used? What role did advertising play? The distortion or exclusion of events by the press is also an important consideration. Throughout Hawai'i's history, groups used newspapers as voices for their own communities. Native Hawaiians quickly adopted the revolutionary technology, turning out weeklies and dailies in Hawaiian and English. Other groups - Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, Filipinos, and Koreans - also adopted the new medium, and bilingual and trilingualpapers spread over the major Islands. More recently, Jewish, African American, Samoan, and Vietnamese papers have appeared.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 347-371) and index.