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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, June 6, 2010

Thanks for letting us into your lives

By Robbie Dingeman
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Robbie Dingeman

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News reporters run toward disasters hurricanes, erupting volcanoes, horrible murders, businesses closing to tell those stories.

So do photographers. And, of course, police, fire and medical folks and others run in to do the heavy lifting.

We get called in the middle of the night. Tsunami alert? That's a 5 a.m. call from my editor. "You asleep?" she asks. We chuckle, as I answer, "Where do you want me to go?"

We run toward the news to try to tell the story fairly and accurately and as completely as possible. And still make deadline.

On a good day or week, we help make a difference.

Some eighth-graders interviewed me earlier this year. I explained that our jobs are challenging but satisfying. We do research in a hurry, track down people when they're not sure they want to talk, and write fast.

I've had the opportunity to shine the light on wrongdoing and on the stories of people thriving despite adversity.

For more than 20 years, I've been fortunate to help tell the stories of our community. That's 14 years here at The Honolulu Advertiser, six years at KHON-TV and five years at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, which began while I was still a student at the University of Hawai'i.

Thank you to all who shared those stories.

First, there are the people we cover in our amazingly rich and diverse beef-stew of a community. Often we meet on the worst or best days of their lives.

There are many newspaper people our readers don't see much of: the editors who ask the questions that make our stories better; the copy editors who smooth the language and write amazing headlines; the page designers who whisk us right into the stories with their eye-catching designs; artists; and the Web folks getting us out first. There are the people who sell the ads, deliver the paper, and Dana who's been running the phone switchboard for 30-plus years. And too many others to mention.

And there are our families and friends who love us anyway despite the crazy hours, the news obsession, the passion for a job that never was designed to make the workers rich.

But as we wrap up this last edition, I'm thinking I was where I should have been, with a lot of smart, kind, dedicated and funny people who care a lot more than they ever let on in public.

Why might you miss the Advertiser in a one-newspaper town? Because a newspaper is more than the one editorial voice, it is made of the voices of the many those who work here and the many, many others we reach out to every day.

And now there will be fewer voices. But we're a stubborn, nosy and multi-talented lot, so you never know where we'll turn up.

Thank you for letting us into your lives. We'll miss you.