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

It won't be the same without you

By David Butts
Local News Editor

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

David Butts

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We have a running joke at The Advertiser Local News Desk when an editor leaves for home anytime from, say, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., which we consider early. The editors still on the desk will call out, "You go on. Have a good time. Don't worry about us. We'll put the paper out."

It never fails to get a laugh.

Tonight (I'm writing this on Friday), I'll say it for the last time to most of my colleagues. I can't even write that without tears coming to my eyes.

You go through a lot with your colleagues at a newspaper. When there's an islandwide blackout, these are the folks you'll spend the dark hours with. When there's an election, and the results aren't clear until well past midnight, these are the women and men you'll gather with, monitoring the returns. When a baby gets thrown off a highway overpass to his death, these are the people with whom you'll share the shock.

Sure, this newspaper is just another business. We were all here to do a job and pick up a paycheck. So why can't I walk away from it without feeling so sad?

My guess is it has to do with all the emotions that were shared. Most often it went unspoken. We are professionals, focused on the task at hand, and we did it well. But something happened inside me as the years went by. Something that bound me to this group.

Tomorrow, I'll start with a new paper, the Star-Advertiser, and a new group of colleagues. Before I do, I just want to thank all my friends and fellow journalists who will not be moving to the new paper. I have this wish for you: "You go on. Have a good time. Don't worry about us. We'll put the paper out." But it won't be the same without you.