Oahu Island News publisher Kelly Wilden holds a copy of the April issue of the newspaper and the Pa'i Award.

Newspaper category. “This is a great day for the Oahu Island News. As the new publisher I have worked very hard to create a high quality newspaper,” said Oahu Island News publisher Kelly Wilden. “It’s a nice feeling to be recognized in the company of our newspaper peers and colleagues.”

Judges said, “Layout and design is very nice. Good use of white space. Articles are engaging and entertaining.”

To be eligible for the Pa’i award, the Oahu Island News had to submit three complete issues of the newspaper. “It is very rewarding to know that we were able to create an award winning newspaper in only our first three issues,” said Oahu Island News editor John Baer.

“John has made some great changes to the newspaper. He has incorporated the front-page picture with the front-page story. In the past, the two had no relevance to each other. This change has really made a difference in the overall look and feel of the paper,” Wilden said. 

The newspaper has changed in others ways too, “We now have a monthly book review, restaurant review, crossword puzzle, comprehensive events calendar and many pictures from local events and activities,” said John Baer.

Kelly Wilden and John Baer became owners of the Oahu Island News in September 2002.  Kelly and John have been business partners for the past 4 years and bring many years of experience to the newspaper.

Working as the editor, John is responsible for all editorial and photographic content in the newspaper. Prior to becoming editor of the Oahu Island News he worked at various newspapers and news organizations throughout the country, and his work as a photographer has taken him from Maine to Hawaii, and nearly every state in between.

The job of publisher is nothing new for Kelly as she has been working in marketing and sales for the past 10 years. Along with her duties as publisher, she is also responsible for the sales and marketing of the paper.

The Pa'i Award winners were announced at an awards ceremony held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Thursday, April 24, 2003. The Best Non-daily Newspaper award was based on the following criteria: quality and completeness of editorial coverage; design, layout and photography; and relevance to the community or group it is serving. All Hawaiian weekly, bi-weekly or monthly newspapers within the organization were eligible to apply for this award.