UH Mānoa Journalism Day welcomes journalists


Photo by Kimani Fernandez-Roy

UH Mānoaʻs Jay Hartwell begins Journalism Day, Sept. 10, with a presentation on how to be a successful journalist. The conference connects high school journalists with college and professional staffers, who lead the students through a day of reporting, from researching background information, to interviewing, and to writing an article.

Clearly drowsy, the Ka Leo O Nā Koa Warriors (including myself) woke up early Saturday morning to attend an educational Journalism Day at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa on Oʻahu.

With professionals from all aspects of the journalism field, ranging from video to sports coverage, the Ka Leo O Nā Koa staff, as well as nearly 80 other high school journalists, gathered critical information on journalistsʻ responsibilities and tasks.

Groups of students sat in press conferences and bombarded interview subjects, like Marina Hruba (Roo-ba) – a sophomore UH tennis athlete, with questions to help improve their interviewing skills and get information to write stories.

Marina Hruba answers a question while student journalists take notes and think of other questions.
Marina Hruba answers a question while student journalists take notes and think of other questions.

This year’s Journalism Day was different from others in the recent past. Normally after the press conferences, the professionals “would have [the student journalists] just write a lead,” said Wes Nakama, assistant information director for the Hawaiʻi High School Athletic Association. However, this year, the students had to write the entire story by a midday deadline. See their work by clicking here.

The event’s director, Jay Hartwell, said, “I feel that was good in terms of keeping people more engaged throughout the day.” Mr. Hartwell is the student media adviser at UH Mānoa.

“I liked the press conference,” said Kamehameha Schools Maui junior Aaron Veincent.

Other staff members of Ka Leo O Nā Koa said that they enjoyed the conferences as well because it was interesting to learn and interview these professionals, but we were relieved when lunch came around, and we were able to relax and refuel, which wasn’t a problem with the variety of delicious food that was available.

The learning did not stop after lunch, however. More professionals would later come in and elaborate on other topics like photography and online trends, each showing the importance of their job and how the student journalists could be just as great.

Concluding the day, Mr. Hartwell and three UH Ka Leo journalists discussed college journalism and the opportunities that journalists may take advantage of in high school.

Since the first Journalism Day, which was started by the Journalism Department of UH Mānoa “as a way to encourage people to learn,” according to Mr. Hartwell, it has been an educational experience for many, with hundreds having been through the experience over the years.

Hartwell said that Journalism Day is important to maintain that connection between the students, the industry and the university.

The staff of Ka Leo O Nā Koa was completely drained by the end of the day, but they were able to get a taste of the diverse aspects that make up journalism as a whole and gain a better understanding of each of them.