HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The guild for Honolulu Star-Advertiser journalists says Hawaii’s largest daily newspaper is laying off 31 unionized employees in the newsroom.
The layoffs include reporters, photographers, graphic artists and others.
In a statement, the Pacific Media Workers Guild said the layoffs represent nearly half of the newspaper’s newsroom “at a time when it’s never been more crucial for the community to have access to information.”
The guild continued: “The company and the guild have been in talks to find a way through the economic impacts of COVID-19. We’ve proposed a number of cost-savings plans that would keep the paper going. They still have time to do the right thing and rescind these layoffs.”
Earlier Friday, Star-Advertiser reporter Kristen Consillio took to Facebook to talk about the layoffs, which she said were happening at the end of the month.
“That means fewer journalists keeping the ‘powers that be’ in check, less questioning of authority, fewer answers to your burning questions and even more substandard information disseminated to the public,” Consillio wrote.
The layoffs come after the company eliminated its Saturday print edition and promoted its digital version after informing its subscribers that the coronavirus crisis — mixed with changes in the way readers consume news — was placing an extraordinary strain on the newspaper’s financial operations.