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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 21, 2010

It's been fun, but it's time to say bye

By Treena Shapiro

Since 2006, I've been extracting pieces of my children's lives, examining them under the microscope and publishing the results for anyone to see.

Now that my son is considering high schools and my daughter can read what I'm writing about her, it's a good time to be putting Family Tree to bed. Today, I'm taking my family out of the public eye and focusing instead on members of a different 'ohana I'm probably going to miss far more than they'll miss me.

When you pick up the Advertiser or log on to www.honoluluadvertiser.com, you see a bunch of bylines, mugshots for all sorts of writers and lists of editors who play significant roles in putting the paper out. But how often do you see the names of the assistant city editors, who played a huge role shaping me as a reporter, writer and editor? (They might not want credit for that.)

But the paper isn't all writers and their "handlers." If that was the case, the Advertiser Staff would be far too dysfunctional to survive as the state's largest daily newspaper. It succeeds because of a team behind the scenes to keep us in check and make us look better.

I'm going to hold back from naming names unless the people who read this before it goes into the paper want to fill them in, but I'm making an exception for Joe Guinto, a talented designer who always manages to make the material we give him look like it's worth reading, even when it's turned in late. (He's waiting for this column now.)

We don't give enough credit to any of our designers, who create pages that make our stories stand out, the headline writers who capture why you need to read our stories in a few perfect words, and the copy editors who fix our typos and mistakes, but bring more than just a thorough understanding of AP style to their jobs. They're always quick to point out when something doesn't make sense or isn't relevant in Hawai'i, and have saved me from certain embarrassment on a number of occasions.

I'm also going to miss those of you who read and indulged me, even the person whose three words to describe Family Tree were "Conceited. Selfish. Narcisscistic [sic]." To the person whose three words were "Do local news," I can happily say, "Done, sir."


When she's not reporting, Treena Shapiro, formerly of The Honolulu Advertiser, is busy with her real job, raising a son and daughter. Follow @tshapiro on Twitter.