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Kalamalama means “bright light” in Hawaiian. “Ka” means “the” and “Lama” means “Light.” It also means “the beacon of light in the darkness,” and “the torch.”
Kalamalama is the only full time student operation on the HPU campus. The newspaper is an HPU “instructionally related activity” meaning it is both part of an academic curriculum and a business environment. In this educational role, the newspaper provides the chance for all HPU students to apply skills acquired in the classroom in a professional newspaper, skills that they will successfully apply to any organization in their future endeavors. In the business role, the newspaper is organized and managed as a business. It has revenues, expenses, and customers. It provides a working laboratory for all HPU students.
Hawaii Pacific University opened as Hawaii Pacific College in 1965, and four years later the school began a weekly newsletter called the “Midnight Oil,” which evolved into the “Menehune,” and later into “Ka-Lamalama” which became the school’s newspaper in 1969.
In 1984, Kalamalama was defunct because there was no support for the paper. In 1986, it was resurrected, and in 1987 it folded again for the same reasons. In 1993, under the guidance of Dr. Larry LeDoux, Kalamalama was again resurrected. Dr. LeDoux who holds a B.A. degree in Journalism and Communications, created a journalism program where the newspaper could train potential journalists.
Kalamalama is located at 1136 Union Mall, Suite 208 on the Hawaii Pacific University Downtown Campus.
The paper has a circulation of 9,000, which gets distributed between the two campuses of Hawaii Pacific University, as well as to an extensive mailing list. The mailing list consists of high schools and colleges on Oahu and the neighbor islands, all Hawaii news media, and prominent local business and community leaders.