Honolulu Civil Beat

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Honolulu Civil Beat
Type of site
News website
Available inEnglish
Headquarters Honolulu, Hawaii
OwnerHonolulu Civil Beat Inc.
Created by Pierre Omidyar
EditorPatti Epler
URL www.civilbeat.org
LaunchedMay 2010; 10 years ago (2010-05)

Honolulu Civil Beat is a progressive-leaning investigative news website that practices watchdog journalism related to the U.S. state of Hawaii. [1] Journalists and editors at Civil Beat have traveled to other U.S. held territories and military installations in the Pacific, reporting on current and historical events about immigration and other issues. Civil Beat is headquartered in Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, and is published by Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay. [2] [3]


Omidyar launched Civil Beat May 2010 with a subscription paywall. [4] [5] Its founding editor was Pulitzer Prize winning journalist John Temple, former editor and publisher of The Rocky Mountain News. [6] [7] When Temple left to take a position at the Washington Post in 2009, journalist Patti Epler was promoted to executive editor.

In 2012, Huffington Post launched a Hawaii issues and travel-oriented site in partnership with Civil Beat. HuffPost Hawaii staff share office space with the Civil Beat staff.

In 2012, as part of an investigation of municipal law enforcement, Civil Beat sued the City and County of Honolulu for access to public records. [8] The organization has also provided national pool journalists for visits by President Barack Obama and his family, conducted research and enterprise reporting on Hawaii's homeless population and its high mortality rate, and questioned the high cost to taxpayers of remediation of Kahoolawe island.

The Greater Oregon [9] and the Indiana [10] chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) gave its award for "best overall news site" in Hawaii to Honolulu Civil Beat in 2011 and 2012. In 2017, editor Richard Wiens announced it had won best online newsite (the Louisville chapter judged 2016), marking 7 years in a row the paper had won the title. [11]


Civil Beat has a board of directors that includes publisher Pierre Omidyar. [12]

Civil Beat gets revenue from subscriptions along with funding from Pierre Omidyar. Other sponsorships have come from local businesses and nonprofits, such as the law firm of Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing, Appleseed Center and Honolulu Museum of Art which together provided underwriting for a reporting project in Micronesia, and D.R. Horton, which provided underwriting for a series on Hawaii's high cost of living.

In 2016, the publication became a non-profit and its paywall has been dropped. [13]

Besides the partnership with The Huffington Post, Civil Beat has media partnerships with Hawaii Public Radio, KITV and Clear Channel/KHVH. Civil Beat provides content and analysis for other news organizations including National Public Radio.

Articles written by Civil Beat journalists have been featured in the New York Times and are often referenced and quoted in other news sources. [14] [15] [16] Civil Beat staff contribute to local talk radio programs.

Civil Beat's competitors include the state's major newspaper, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. [5]


  1. ^ Bahareth, Mohammad (April 2012). Kings of the Internet: What You Don't Know About Them ?. iUniverse. pp. 49–55. ISBN  978-1-4697-9842-4.
  2. ^ Briggs, Mark (October 12, 2011). Entrepreneurial Journalism: How to Build What's Next for News. CQ Press. pp. 119–. ISBN  978-1-60871-420-9.
  3. ^ Rushe, Dominic (October 20, 2013). "Pierre Omidyar: from eBay to crusading journalism?". The Guardian. Archived from the original on April 23, 2017.
  4. ^ Ghadar, Fariborz (March 6, 2014). Becoming American: Why Immigration Is Good for Our Nation's Future. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 62–. ISBN  978-1-4422-2895-5.
  5. ^ a b Parx, Andy (August 5, 2011). "Civil Beat Bests the "Newspaper of Record" in Hawai'i's Online News War". Hawaii News Daily. Archived from the original on October 12, 2011.
  6. ^ Fekula, Alex (February 23, 2011). "Online news startups: Honolulu Civil Beat". Columbia Journalism Review. Archived from the original on December 24, 2015.
  7. ^ Hill, Tiffany (August 6, 2012). "The Paperless Press in Honolulu". Honolulu Magazine. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  8. ^ Nakaso, Dan (June 19, 2015). "SHOPO, Civil Beat make their cases on release of officers' names". Honolulu Star Advertiser. Archived from the original on June 20, 2015.
  9. ^ "Hawaii SPJ Excellence in Journalism Awards". HawaiiSPJ.org. Hawaii Chapter SPJ. The Hawaii Chapter SPJ contest was judged by the Greater Oregon Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
  10. ^ "2012 Excellence in Journalism Awards". HawaiiSPJ.org. Hawaii Chapter SPJ. Entries were judged by the Indiana Chapter of SPJ.
  11. ^ Wiens, Richard (July 3, 2017). "Honolulu Civil Beat Named Hawaii's Best News Site For 7th Straight Year". Honolulu Civil Beat.
  12. ^ Burgis, Jerry; Creamer, Bev (June 2011). "Paying For Honolulu News". Hawaii Business. Archived from the original on July 6, 2015.
  13. ^ McCambridge, Ruth (June 9, 2016). "Civil Beat's 6th birthday wish is to become a nonprofit news site". Nonprofit Quarterly. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
  14. ^ Phillips, Amber (October 15, 2015). "Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: The Democrat that Republicans love and the DNC can't control". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on October 16, 2015.
  15. ^ Hrenchir, Tim (August 10, 2015). "Largest Payouts or Police Misconduct Lawsuits in Hawaii". Newsmax. Archived from the original on October 29, 2015.
  16. ^ "Honolulu Civil Beat poll reports Abercrombie leading Aiona in governor's race". Hawaii News Now. October 13, 2010. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.

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