Ka Leo O Nā Koa attends Journalism Day at UH Mānoa

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Photo by Lexis Viena

Honolulu Star-Advertiser writers Dan Nakaso and Mary Vorsino talk about news writing with a group of Hawai'i high school journalists at the University of Hawai'i's annual Journalism Day, Saturday, September 8.

Ka Leo o Na Koa staff

By Lexis Viena, staff writer

MANOA-Experienced writers and photographers taught Ka Leo O Nā Koa staff members how to be successful journalists yesterday, September 8, at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa’s annual Journalism Day.

Seniors Maya Nitta, features editor, and Landon Ballesteros and juniors Jaylin Kekiwi and Lexis Viena, along with their adviser Ms. Kye Haina, woke up early to catch a 7:00 a.m. flight to Honolulu. They were among about a hundred dedicated high school journalism staffers lucky enough to be a part of the day, sponsored by the university and local media groups.

“We’re so lucky to be able to come every year,” Ms. Haina said. “I think it really gives our students a feel for the world of journalism, and they always come back to Maui full of new ideas to start the year.”

The event was coordinated and hosted by Mr. Jay Hartwell, adviser for UH Mānoa’s school paper, Ka Leo.

The conference started at 9:00 after a small breakfast of fruit and bread, during which students went through the information packets they received. The packets contained information such a journalistic code of ethics and a worksheet listing tips on how to interview.

The day then started with an overview of journalism, facilitated by Mr. Hartwell. After the initial lecture, the students participated in a forum between the two Honolulu mayoral candidates, Kirk Caldwell and Benjamin Cayetano.

After the forum, the staff split into different, more specialized groups.

Nitta, was in the features writing group where she got the chance to attend a press conference with author Chris MicKinny, who was promoting his new book, Boi No Good.

I went to a press conference with the American Civil Liberties Union representatives. They spoke about initiating a student privacy bill concerning social media. Previous to the press conference, we were prepared by Hononlu Star-Advertiser writers Mr. Dan Nakaso and Ms. Mary Vorsino.

Kekiwi was trained in a video workshop, after which she joined Ballesteros in the sports conference with Division I athletes Jori Jasper and Davis Rozitis from the University of Hawai’i.

Afterwards, the staff had the opportunity to ask their group advisers questions, and in some instances, practice writing possible leads for articles based on the conferences.

Before lunch was served at around noon, the students debriefed with their advisers and peers on what they learned through the individual workshops.

The Thai lunch was served in the ballroom, and students participated in an icebreaker activity. KSM editor Nitta won a Ka Leo hat as a prize. As lunch progressed, staffers got a chance to talk with other schools from around the state, including staffers from the Kamehameha Schools Keaʻau campus.

After lunch, it was back to workshops. Editor Nitta went to the Design and Copy Editing session to improve her skills with layout, and Ballesteros took a mini-class on online trends. At the same time, Kekiwi and I sat in on a photography lesson.

Throughout the day, the staff of Ka Leo O Nā Koa performed tasks and duties (with the guidance of professional journalists) that helped them to hone their own skills.

Journalism Day today was a success. It was “really fun and mind-stimulating,” Kekiwi said.