Making my way home from Baldwin High School down Market Street on Thursday afternoons, I was sure to pick up a copy of MauiTime. It was exciting, not just being a day closer to the weekend, but being curious about the latest artwork cooked up for the cover. My friend and I would have a good time picking at the paper, seated on some bench or rock terrace in the heart of Wailuku Town.
I was born and raised on Maui and grew up in Happy Valley, but it was MauiTime that showed me the island as I’d never seen: gripes from that honking driver in Eh Brah, Anthony’s pieces on the liquor control commission and holding power accountable, the latest editorial skewering of local politicians (like ‘ol Cunning Lingle), sharp analysis of current events, colorful views of life from around the island, and going holo holo with Sam Campos in a world I didn’t yet have access to – reading the paper taught me about Maui and its people. I learned more about politics from MauiTime than I did from my high school social studies classes, and more about the power of words than I did in language arts. MauiTime was integral in my development of a local critical consciousness, and I’m humbled and honored by the opportunity to contribute as the editor of this scrappy alt-weekly.
Before Anthony left, we had a conversation about the changing role of journalism. What’s the purpose of the paper in today’s world of social media platforms? What do we offer that a scroll through your Facebook or Twitter feed doesn’t?
Well, to start, in today’s “Age of Ignorance” (as Anthony has put it), sources matter. Reputation matters. And MauiTime has a strong reputation, celebrating over 20 years of independence and surviving as the last alternative newsweekly left in all of Hawai‘i. Our dedication to caring for this island, speaking truth to power and telling good stories continues.
When Donald Trump accepted his party’s nomination he declared, “I am your voice.” This election year, we offer an alternative to ignorance and blind faith in a wannabe strongman: read, find your own voice and vote. As an independent alt-weekly we tell stories that mainstream news ignores, and give history, context and insight where “objective journalism” falls short. As a publication we sift through the noise of a frantic news cycle to help you make informed decisions and find meaningful engagement in community. As a local institution, we give voice and tell the stories of geniuses on the fringe and those who have been historically oppressed or unheard.
This year, citizens of Maui County will have the power to cast ballots to elect our governor, lieutenant governor, mayor, congresswoman, state senators and representatives and county councilmembers. That’s tremendous. Your voice and engagement during these fraught, dire and strange times is needed now more than ever.
It’s been interesting to hear from readers since getting this job. You all have your favorite columns (some of which are no longer in print) and flip through the pages in your own order. You have stories to tell, perspectives to give and truth to speak.
So, what matters to you? What would you like us to know? My email is posted at MauiTime.com. We are on social media. Write us sometime.