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The 19th century in Hawaii was a time of social, economic, political and cultural upheaval. Despite this—or perhaps because of it—this period was also a time of great excellence in art, literature, education, public discourse and philosophy.

At a time when the United States had a roughly 50 percent literacy rate, by the 1830s, Hawaii held the highest literacy rate in the world. The seat of government of the Kingdom of Hawaii, Iolani Palace, had electricity and telephones installed several years before the White House. And Hawaii’s politicians and leaders would engage in public debate and civil discourse with and engaged, active and empowered electorate across the pages of the Kingdom’s many esteemed newspapers.

Established in 2009, The Hawaii Independent is an award-winning local news publication that tells the story of our islands from a distinctly local, indigenous and progressive vantage point. We seek to harken back to this era of excellence in robust, public dialog, but with a 21st century attention to technology and presentation.

Our mission is to build a public sphere where engaged readers can actively participate in the shaping of public discourse and policy. We know that when the working class takes charge of its own destiny and plays an active role in shaping society, everyone benefits. The Hawaii Independent acts as a trusted source of information to the progressive movement, sharing the stories and reporting the facts that establishment outlets overlook and ignore, and helping to move Hawaii forward. But we need your help to make this vision a reality.

In an era of corporate media and controlled information, the solution to fake news and propaganda is not new algorithms on Facebook: the solution is media rooted in the community it serves, made open and transparent in its funding sources and held accountable by the members of the public that make up its base.

In this cooperative media model, we substitute shareholders for coop members who will pay just $5 a month to help us keep our community-reporting operation alive. Members will receive full access to our editorial process through a crowd-sourcing and community recommendation process, limited access to Insider (launching soon), our database of powerful and connected individuals and entities operating within the State of Hawaii, as well as select discounts at the Summit Shop, a place for stories, curated goods and experiences rooted in the Hawaiian Hemisphere.

Sign up for membership today, and help support this key component of the progressive movement in Hawaii!

Simplifying our reading experience

We pushed through a revision to the Independent this weekend with the goal of simplifying and clarifying our reading experience. Read More »

What’s changed?

No More Sidebars
Collections, related stories, and links to explainers will now appear below the article. Our index page is now a simple single column list of stories.

The Posterboard
The posterboard – that huge image on the main screen – now disappears when you move past the first ten stories.

Big Typography
Typography on article pages is now big – huge. There’s also a link at the bottom taking you to the next post.

Overall, we’re trying to make the Independent better at being itself, i.e. a site for thoughtful civic journalism that asks where we’re going as an island community. Things which are extraneous to this mission will be split off and moved into their own domains and spaces (The Hum, InHNL, Summit).

What’s next?
Next up for us is to get better at using Collections to curate a great discussion about big issues, such as living wages, prison reform, and the election season. You might get a call from us to become a curator or contributor on these deep, complex topics.

Thanks for your support!

The December Magazine issue is available for download

The latest edition of our home for long-form journalism, dispatches, and literature. Available for iOS on the App Store. Read More »

In this month’s issue:

- A report from Jackie M. Young on the uncertainty in Kalihi over rail’s arrival

- An introduction to our new series on the new spirit of island industry.

- A look at how Oahu Makerspace is forging a new local economy.

- Jared Yamanuha’s decorated gifts from Hawaii.

- The second chapter of HI/039, a science fiction series depicting Hawaii’s near future.

- The third installment of Polyfantastica.

Save the Date: Ideas Summit II, January 18 at the Sullivan Center

Join us for our second annual gathering of thought leaders. Read More »

Following up on Ideas Summit 2013, we’ll be going deeper into some of the issues raised in our 2014 Summit.

Join us on Saturday, January 18 from 1-6pm for a dynamic discussion with thought leaders on the issues that matter to our island home.

Special thanks to ‘Iolani School for hosting Ideas Summit 2014 at the spectacular new Sullivan Center.

See you soon!

We’re on holiday hours

It’s turkey time at the Independent, which means that we’re moving a little bit slower than usual, thanks to tryptophan (and other substances). Signal is taking a break this week, and Quotes will be back in January. Happy Holidays.

Help to identify editorial priorities for Q1 2014

We'd like your input on stories we should focus on in 2014. Read More »

The November issue is available for download →

A first look at how staph infections are affecting Waikiki beach boys; a unique perspective on marriage equality; the human rights crisis in West Papua; a new sci-fi series; the next installment in Polyfantastica; and locally-sweet Madre Chocolate. Available today for iOS devices, soon for Android and the web. More at iTunes App Store »

The October 2013 issue is available

We’re proud to announce that the October issue of The Hawaii Independent’s magazine edition is available for download.

We’d like to thank our sponsors, Whole Foods and Hawaiian Fine Furniture, for making this issue possible.

In this issue:

– Veteran journalist Gerald Kato on the dangers that public authorities pose to public accountability, with original artwork by Will Caron

– Jon Osorio on why we should pay attention to globalization’s effects on Pacific peoples

– Will Caron interviews Honolulu Councilmember Stanley Chang on his run for Congress, with photos by Rachel Ceretto

– Jolyn Okimoto Rosa looks at a fresh experiment in bartering in Kaka‘ako

– The Hawaii Independent and Whole Foods team up to tell the story of Sumida Farm

– An excerpt from Gary Pak’s new novel on the Korean-American War

– The first installment of Solomon Enos’ Polyfantastica, a 40,000 year narrative of an oceanic human society on a planet named Honua

Download the new magazine app today →

Our new home for long-form journalism and literature is available for download in the iOS app store. First issue ships next week, with insightful political analysis, interviews, and more!

More at iTunes App Store »

Rico Rico

We'd like to thank Rico Rico chicken for sponsoring the Independent. Read More »

They’re Hawaii’s first Peruvian style rotisserie chicken restaurant, with a convenient location at 946 Coolidge St, at the corner of Coolidge and S. King St. They offer truly delicious chicken, great fries, and warm hospitality.

Scott K. on Yelp says, “No longer just a food truck, food truck Rico Rico is delicious, delicious!” Stop by and tell them the Independent sent you – the first 20 to do so will receive a free homestyle fries.