Civil Beat Staff

Richard Wiens

Now an at-large editor for Honolulu Civil Beat, Richard Wiens has been helping to run newsrooms big and small for more than 40 years.

He served as news editor at Civil Beat for five years, and has continued to help coordinate its election coverage while editing the Candidate Q&As. Now he is one of the editor/opinion writers involved in the news organization’s Let The Sunshine In project tracking efforts to improve government accountability and transparency in Hawaii.

Before coming to Civil Beat, he was editor and publisher of the Del Norte Triplicate, a newspaper in the far-northern California town of Crescent City, also known as the tsunami magnet of the West Coast.

There, he coordinated coverage that won numerous statewide awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association, including first place for spot news coverage of a tsunami — spawned by the Japanese earthquake of March 2011 — that destroyed Crescent City Harbor.

Prior to that, he helped run the city desks of the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Spokane (Washington) Spokesman-Review and the Los Angeles Daily News. After graduating from the University of Oregon School of Journalism in 1979, he got his start in newspapering at the Hillsboro (Oregon) Argus, where he advanced from reporter to managing editor during his seven-year tenure.

He has won statewide first-place awards for feature writing and military coverage, and helped direct coverage of the standoff between white supremacist Randy Weaver and federal agents at Ruby Ridge in North Idaho that was the Pulitzer runner-up for spot news in 1992.

Throughout his career, he has pushed for coverage that helps citizens better understand — and hopefully improve — the community they live in.

Contact Richard at rwiens@civilbeat.org.

Rep. Amy Perruso: Don’t Underestimate How Important Reform Is To The Public David Croxford/Civil Beat/2022

Rep. Amy Perruso: Don’t Underestimate How Important Reform Is To The Public

This lawmaker hopes citizens will seize the moment and testify in support of dozens of measures to make state government more transparent and accountable.
More Transparency In The Hawaii Legislature? It Won’t Be Easy Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2022

More Transparency In The Hawaii Legislature? It Won’t Be Easy

A review of candidates answers to Civil Beat's Q&As this past election show lawmakers weren't all that enthused about changing the way business is done at the Legislature.
Hello, Incumbents? Candidates Still Have Time To Answer Civil Beat’s Q&As Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2020

Hello, Incumbents? Candidates Still Have Time To Answer Civil Beat’s Q&As

Responses to Civil Beat's surveys are heavily used by voters, especially after ballots show up in the mail. So why don't many incumbents bother to send them in?
We’re Asking A Lot Of Candidates A Lot Of Questions

We’re Asking A Lot Of Candidates A Lot Of Questions

Civil Beat sends surveys to everyone running for office in Hawaii. Their responses get a lot of attention from voters.
Which County Pays Its Council Members The Most? (Hint: It’s Not Honolulu) Ludwig Laab/Civil Beat/2021

Which County Pays Its Council Members The Most? (Hint: It’s Not Honolulu)

While the mayor and other top officials usually earn more on Hawaii’s most populous island, there’s a big exception.
Slicing And Dicing Civil Beat’s Salary Database Flickr.com

Slicing And Dicing Civil Beat’s Salary Database

How to explore the plethora of information about thousands of public employees.
State-Run Hospitals And Clinics Pay Some Of Hawaii’s Highest Public Wages Tim Wright/Civil Beat/2021

State-Run Hospitals And Clinics Pay Some Of Hawaii’s Highest Public Wages

But counterparts in the private sector still make far more than doctors and administrators on the state payroll.
What Civil Beat’s Salary Database Tells Us About The Embattled Auditor’s Office Claire Caulfield/Civil Beat/2021

What Civil Beat’s Salary Database Tells Us About The Embattled Auditor’s Office

A decade's worth of records finds high turnover and a decrease in analysts at the Auditor's Office, but relative stability at the Ethics Commission.
Civil Beat Database: State Worker Salaries Have Climbed In The Past Decade Flickr.com

Civil Beat Database: State Worker Salaries Have Climbed In The Past Decade

The number of state employees has stayed remarkably consistent since 2011, but their salaries kept going up. Then the pandemic hit.