Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Honolulu Weekly Shifts Rail Coverage Duties

Ragnar Carlson, editor of Honolulu Weekly, writes in the new issue out today that he no longer will be personally involved in the Weekly’s coverage of the Honolulu rail project.

That’s a shame. Ragnar’s a professional journalist and excellent writer, and his decision keeps him from covering the largest construction project in the state’s history and one of the most contentious issues here in decades.

But it’s the right decision. Ragnar is my son, and I’m a communications consultant to Parsons Brinckerhoff, the City’s prime contractor on the project. Although both of us have studiously avoided discussing rail, that’s not the issue.

The issue is an “appearance of a conflict of interest.” By taking himself off the story and assigning overall responsibility to Managing Editor Adrienne LaFrance, Ragnar has removed that appearance.

As he writes today, “The beat will be in good hands.”

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