I didn’t know I was talking to a competitor because he disguised himself as a university student who was doing a school project about newspapers.
Over the years, I have been generous with my time toward new publications and students who are interested in journalism.
Some of my former staff members have started magazines and a newspaper, and they even approached me for advice. I have even consulted for a Shoreline paper, as well as Hawaiian and European community newspapers.
I never encouraged or discouraged any of them. Most people asked me how to do it. And I provided information.
So when the “pretender” called me, I gave him lots of information. Information is easy to obtain. Actually, I have written many articles on the history of the Northwest Asian Weekly. But implementation is tough.
So when did I discover that he was not a student, but an entrepreneur who wanted to fulfill his dream of having his own publication?
A very specific question he asked betrayed his cover. “Is it better to distribute your newspaper at Ranch 99 or Uwajimaya?” This guy has checked out where we distribute.
Oh, and all the newspapers who have approached me for information have now ceased publication.
The key to running a newspaper is not so much the “how” factor, but the why. Anyone can figure out how to do it eventually, but what keeps us going all these years is our passion and commitment to the community. ♦