Ka Leo O Nā Koa staffers attend UH Mānoa Journalism Day

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Photo by Shanise Kaaikala

Students take notes at Journalism Day at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa campus on Saturday, Sept. 24. Nearly twenty island high school journalism programs were represented at the annual training conference.

By Mehana Lee, news writer

Staff members of this publication, Ka Leo o Na Koa, traveled to O’ahu on Saturday, Sept. 24, to attend Journalism Day held at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa campus.

“It [Journalism Day] really made a difference in my journalism skills. As a first timer, it really offered a lot of good advice. It gave you a hands-on experience dealing with [everything from] the press conference to Web journalism,” said junior Shanise Kaaikala.

During the opening of the conference, Mr. Jay Hartwell, student media adviser of UH, Mānoa, gave an overview of journalism’s core values. KSM journalism students learned the importance of verification and providing comprehensive information of events to its readers.

Liam Skilling, professor at University of Hawai’i Law School, addressed threats to the First Amendment and how it relates to journalism in high school.

After the opening overview, students separated into their specific sections, such as news, features, video, and sports, to prepare for a press conference. Students discussed what angles to take and what types of questions to ask with Hawaiʻi journalism professionals and did research on the press conference subjects.

Three press conferences were then held simultaneously. Speakers included Ms. Nikki Love speaking about Common Cause Hawai’i, Mr. Sterling Higa from Youth Speaks Hawai’i, and a trio of UH athlets who spoke about the transition to Division 1 sports from high school.

After the press conferences, students met back with the professionals to discuss how their experiences went. The professionals gave journalism students five minutes to start a lead for their article based on the topic of the press conference they attended.

In the news session, Mr. John Temple, editor of the Web site Honolulu Civil Beat, instructed, “Whether you are writing for your school newspaper or for the Web, be sure that everything you write is accurate. You are representing your school and, most importantly, yourself.”

After lunch, the last hour of the conference covered visual story telling. Students were able to attend design and copy editing, photography or online trend sessions.

“Lure the readers into the story by leaving out the obvious. Journalism is what gives voice to the people; so use it correctly and to its fullest potential,” said Mr. Kent Nishimura at the photography session. He is a current UH Mānoa student and a freelance photographer and journalist.

Junior staffer Reid Cairme is ready. “I enjoyed Journalism Day. There was a lot that I took away and will apply to my work in Journalism from now on. If I could, I would definitely attend Journalism Day again,” he said.