“On top of good writing skills, online
journalism requires also technical skills,” said Arvman, “such
as being familiar with Web design software. Companies are looking
for skilled journalists in both fields.”
The Honolulu Advertiser does not have personnel to write stories
only for the Web site, Arvman explained. All the local stories,
national or international stories with local ties, and stories
with environmental angles that appear on the Web site, are from
the print edition of the newspaper.
We focus on the market we know,” Arvman said. He added
that these are the stories local people are interested in. “They
can get their national and international news from lots of sites;
they can only get local news from us.”
The credibility of online reporting was among the concerns raised
by the students. Arvman said that in print journalism, facts
get checked until deadline, and mistakes get corrected in subsequent
issues. In online journalism, stories get updated many times
during the day as new facts come to light and as mistakes are
discovered. Web readers, he added, are willing to accept sliding
credibility as the cost of current information.
You do the best you can. You try to give the most accurate information
you have,” Arvman said.
Arvman’s career exemplified what he told students about
the best way to prepare for a journalism career: get experience,
he said, and apply for internships.
Arvman started as a reporter for Kalamalama, the HPU student
newspaper. He worked his way up to editor, in his senior year,
and helped the paper develop its own Web edition. He was hired
as an intern by the Honolulu Advertiser.
Arvman had been thinking about getting a master’s degree,
but he jumped at the chance when, at the end of his internship,
the Advertiser hired him. “Don’t bother with a master’s
degree,” Arvman said. “You need to get out there
and get some experience.”
Apparently the folks at the Advertiser were so impressed with
Andreas,” said Dr. Larry LeDoux, Kalamalama faculty editor
and chair of the journalism program at HPU, “that they
created a job for him.” LeDoux explained that the timing
was right, too, as the Advertiser was just starting to think
about developing its own online edition.
LeDoux agreed with Arvman on the importance of experience. “Journalists
should get a master’s degree if they want to teach,” he
Over the past years, print readership has declined, Arvman said,
whearas online readership has increased. In the future, he added,
online journalism will be a serious career choice for journalism
After about half an hour answering questions, the evening closed
with the Press Club hosting everyone to pizza and soft drinks.