Derrick DePledge, the state government and politics reporter for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, is leaving the newspaper.

His last day is Wednesday, Christmas Eve. Word around town is that he is moving to Astoria, Oregon.

A familiar presence on the political trail and at the Hawaii State Capitol, DePledge’s departure is a loss for both Hawaii media and the community at large.

Hawaii’s media market has been shrinking and newspaper publishing in particular is in peril. At the same time, the importance of quality, dogged reporting — what DePledge represents — is as necessary as ever.

GETTING THE FACTS Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi speaks to media outside Hawaii County Civil Defense building in Hilo On August 13, 2014.

Derrick DePledge, at right, at a press conference with Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi in Hilo, Aug. 13, 2014.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

DePledge had more than his share of scoops over the years, usually making page one news. His contributions to the newspaper’s Political Radar blog constituted essential reading for local politicos.

He was particularly good at breaking down budgetary matters, tracking legislation as it moved through the Capitol and staying attuned to political developments.

There are too many stories to mention, but one that stands out is A Final Farewell to Daniel K. Inouye, published after the U.S. senator’s death two years ago this month.

It’s not clear who the Star-Advertiser will find to replace DePledge, but it will be a pretty big notebook to fill.

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