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Hawaii Governor: Worthy Of Forbes Tourism Award?

by Staff

Hawaii’s Governor, Josh Green, traveled to Las Vegas last week to accept a travel award from Forbes. While the award highlights the Governor’s leadership after the fire and during COVID, we are taking a more global view of his overall governance in Hawaii travel.

Forbes said, “The second annual Resilience in Tourism award went to Hawaii Gov. Josh Green, who demonstrated strong leadership after the tragic wildfires in Maui last summer. He worked tirelessly to help residents adapt to the challenges. Green, a physician, also helped Hawaii through other turbulent times — under his guidance, the state had the nation’s lowest COVID-19 fatality rate.” But there’s much more to it than that.

Controversial Hawaii governor wins questionable award.

Last week, Hawaii’s controversial governor said about Hawaii vacation rental owners not ceding their properties to the state, “this is bullsh**.” See Governor Uses Profanity Describing Hawaii Vacation Rentals.

Green has never been an outspoken advocate of U.S. visitors to Hawaii. We have not known him to express any respect or gratitude for U.S. travelers’ virtually unilateral support of the state’s dwindling economy. The governor has instead repeatedly sought alternatives, including traveling to Japan to court visitors there, who simply aren’t returning in numbers anytime soon. In addition, he has long advocated for additional visitors

And, in spite of Green’s advocacy for fire victims and desire to largely eradicate Hawaii vacation rentals, last year, a coalition of community advocates, represented by Earthjustice, challenged Green’s emergency housing proclamation.

That coalition believes his plans favor real estate developers over public interest and fail to address affordable housing, circumventing democratic processes and raising conflict of interest concerns. One of the plaintiffs in the suit said, “We want Lahaina to rebuild… not behind closed doors… no backroom deals, no fast-tracks.”

Is this Forbes award meaningful or advertorial?

The once revered Forbes, established more than a century ago as the country’s leading business magazine, once provided conventional coverage of business and finance topics by in-house writers. In 2010, however, Forbes changed directions and introduced its contributing writer platform to create a large network of thousands of contributors at a low cost. It is from that network (base on article by-line) that this award emanated.

While changes at Forbes were an innovative approach for challenged traditional media, it created what some have called “advertorial” and other “low-value” content.

Others have claimed that some Forbes awards/lists are not legitimate, while Forbes denies such allegations, including that people pay to be on lists. We understand that contributed content, such as this award, from Forbes, is not included in Wikipedia content due to these concerns.

Columbia Journalism Review investigation into Forbes.

An article published by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism publication recently explored Forbes transformation over the years, focusing on its shift from traditional journalism to a more diversified revenue approach. It revealed Forbes embracing contributor-generated content, which allowed individuals to publish under the Forbes banner, blurring the lines between editorial and sponsored content.

Furthermore, it exposed other controversies at Forbes, from the arrest of a Forbes writer for cryptocurrency crimes, to gender pay gaps and a myriad of other challenges. It also revealed uncertainties about Forbes’ future and its issues maintaining editorial integrity while pursuing profitability.

What’s your take on the governor’s award?

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