PBS Hawaii to launch statewide student news
POSTED: Monday, January 04, 2010
PBS Hawaii will break national ground in this new year with the first statewide student news network in America.
The multimedia educational initiative will be called "Hiki No," which means "can do" in Hawaiian. It is familiar verbiage to the Hawaii Army National Guard's 487th Field Artillery battalion, as the phrase is its motto. (Disclosure: While your columnist's oldest son is a HIANG soldier, he is not in the 487th.)
Hiki No has received enthusiastic support from the state's public and charter schools and the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools, according to a PBS Hawaii statement.
Veteran reporter and editor Susan Yim has been hired as managing editor for Hiki No. She spent 20 years in daily journalism and later worked with nonprofits and businesses.
Yim is tasked with establishing collaboration among schools and maintaining the editorial standards of the student-produced stories to air on PBS Hawaii and online beginning early next year.
While some have long been sounding the death knell for traditional media, it is nevertheless the foundation future generations will use for delivery of news, documentaries, entertainment and other content.
"Hiki No will unify Hawaii's students in developing skills for the 21st-century work force, such as critical thinking, problem-solving and effective communication," said Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawaii president and chief executive officer, in a statement. "School teams will lead the nation in shaping statewide newscasts in an inclusive 'virtual newsroom.'"
Many school newspapers are focused not just on student life, but on their surrounding communities.
Schools such as Kalaheo High School have a Communications Academy in which students learning about digital media provide televised news on campus, working every aspect of the operation. It's gone way past those crackly, fuzzy and overmodulated daily principals' announcements over classroom loudspeakers. (Disclosure No. 2: Your columnist has served on the KHS CommAcad Advisory Board.)
Such operations require funding, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has stepped up as the first funder, giving PBS Hawaii one of the two largest grants of their kind last year.
PBS Hawaii will unveil more details next week.