Guest Contributor

Naka Nathaniel

Naka Nathaniel has returned to regular journalism after being the primary parent for his son. In those 13 years, his child has only been to the ER five times (three due to animal attacks.)

Before parenting, Naka was known as an innovative journalist. He was part of the team that launched NYTimes.com in 1996 and he led a multimedia team that pioneered many new approaches to storytelling.

On 9/11, he filmed the second plane hitting the South Tower. His footage aired on the television networks and a sequence was the dominant image on NYTimes.com.

While based in Paris for The New York Times, he developed a style of mobile journalism that gave him the ability to report from anywhere on the planet. He covered the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and was detained while working in Iran, Sudan, Gaza and China. He is one of a handful of Americans who has been in North Korea, but not South Korea. He worked in 60 countries and made The Times’s audience care about sex trafficking, climate change and the plight of women and children in the developing world.

Besides conflict, The Times also had Naka covering fashion shows, car shows and Olympics. He did all three of those events in the same week (Paris, Geneva and Turin) before going to Darfur to continue reporting on the genocide (it was the fifth of sixth trips to the region.)

Naka lives in Waimea on the Big Island and his writing for Civil Beat will initially focus on his reflections on moving home.

Naka Nathaniel: Big Plastic Has Left The Next Generation With A Big Problem Naka Nathaniel/Civil Beat/2023

Naka Nathaniel: Big Plastic Has Left The Next Generation With A Big Problem

The beach and the valley floor of Pololu are speckled with plastic that has washed ashore. If only a valley could sue those responsible.

Kā Naka Nathaniel: He Kupa, He Kōlea, A I ʻOle Kekahi Mea ʻĒ Aʻe? Courtesy: Frank and Cheryl Nathaniel

Kā Naka Nathaniel: He Kupa, He Kōlea, A I ʻOle Kekahi Mea ʻĒ Aʻe?

Noho ʻoluʻolu nā Kānaka Maoli he mau haneli kaukani ma waho aʻe o Hawaiʻi nei. Noʻu iho, ua kūpono koʻu hoʻi ʻana i ke kulāiwi. 

Naka Nathaniel: Don’t Be Afraid To Dance With The Language Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat/2023

Naka Nathaniel: Don’t Be Afraid To Dance With The Language

By making every effort to speak Hawaiian, we're perpetuating a language that's critically endangered.

Naka Nathaniel: The Mystery Of Whales Marina Riker/Civil Beat/2023/NOAA Permit No. 19655

Naka Nathaniel: The Mystery Of Whales

Being in a place where you need to worry about whales means you’re in an awe-inspiring space.

Naka Nathaniel: Grown, Flown Or Something Else? Courtesy: Frank and Cheryl Nathaniel

Naka Nathaniel: Grown, Flown Or Something Else?

Hundreds of thousands of Native Hawaiians have made good lives for themselves outside of Hawaii. For me, it was time to come home.