Journalism students go behind-the-scenes with media


Students from JOUR 250, JOUR 270 and JOUR 285V get a behind-the-scenes look of Hawai‘i News Now – Darlene Lee
Students from JOUR 250, JOUR 270 and JOUR 285V get a behind-the-scenes look of Hawai‘i News Now – Darlene Lee

This semester, WCC journalism students explored various aspects of journalism and media through special events and guest speakers.


Social media strategists September 27 and 28


JOUR 150 and 250 were visited by members of the U.S. Department of Defense social media team, who shared how they use social media to communicate messages both within and outside the military.

Deputy director Jacqueline McGinnis emphasized to students that it doesn’t take a large budget to get a story out to a wide audience. She shared a video that one of her producers created using an iphone that documented in less than a minute how soldiers need to roll their sleeves. “That video went viral within a day,” McGinnis said. “It was so simple, yet so effective.”


Hawaiian Mediamakers Conference November 2


Students from JOUR 270 attended the Hawaiian Mediamakers Conference, sponsored by Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC). They participated in discussions on culture, media, education and business during breakout sessions led by representatives from PIC, PBS Hawai‘i, the Independent Television Service and the Hawai‘i State Film Office, among others.

“Most of the presentations and breakout sessions I had the pleasure to attend stressed an emphasis on partnerships, mentoring and collaboration,” student Lorraine Garnier said. “This thread of thought came to light many times over and over through different voices regardless of age, gender or race. Whether through a single life story or event, the goal was to support, inspire and affect the best possible outcomes for current and future projects.”


PBS Hawai‘i November 10


JOUR 270 students Desi Poteet and Kristen Kumakura received extra credit for attending the Asian American Journalists Association Hawai‘i chapter’s College Night at PBS Hawai‘i where they took a tour of the station’s new $30 million facility on Sand Island Access Road and watched a live taping of its hour-long Island Insights public affairs program hosted by Mahealani Richardson.

The show that night featured a post-election conversation with U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono, U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa and state Senate President Ron Kouchi, followed by an interview with Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin and Kaua‘i Councilmember Ross Kagawa.

“I was impressed with both Richardson’s questions and the articulate responses from our elected officials,” Poteet said, who is also an English and screenwriting instructor at WCC. “It is obvious our local PBS leaders have created an intimate, welcoming and open space designed to reflect the best ideals of a family home, without compromising security or professionalism.”


JOUR 285V students take a tour of the Hawai‘i Hochi, the printer of Ka ‘Ohana – Patrick Hascall
JOUR 285V students take a tour of the Hawai‘i Hochi, the printer of Ka ‘Ohana – Patrick Hascall

Hawai‘i Hochi November 15


JOUR 285V took a trip to the Hawai‘i Hochi, which prints Ka ‘Ohana and is also the only Japanese language daily newspaper in the state. Students took a tour of the presses, learned what it takes to print different publications and watched the November issue of Ka ‘Ohana being folded.

“Having been part of the WCC journalism team for quite sometime and working with Hawai‘i Hochi remotely, it was great to actually see their operation at work,” said student Patrick Hascall. “The old-school machinery that is still in use mixed with modern equipment was very impressive. I never realized how large a process the printing of publications actually was … I was impressed!”


Chad Blair November 17


Chad Blair, a reporter at the Honolulu Civil Beat, visited JOUR 250 and shared insight on what it’s like to work in a real newsroom environment, the potential setbacks that can occur in the field and the skillset that is needed to be a good reporter, such as being unbiased and using multiple sources for stories.

“Chad gave me insight on what my life as a journalist could be like,” said student Ka‘ainoa Fernandez. “He made me realize that I need to step up my reporting skills. And I think with more practice and writing, this is something that I could enjoy.”


Hawai‘i Storytellers November 18


Taylor Kipapa was among the WCC journalism students who attended Honolulu Civil Beat’s “Hawai‘i Storytellers: What Can Hawai‘i Tell America About Race?” event. Through interactive art activities and storytelling by guest speakers, attendees discussed racism in Hawai‘i and how to coexist in a cultural melting pot.

“Racism is a current issue, and I believe that journalists have the opportunity to change that,” Kipapa said. “If journalists report on issues like racism and how it affects our country in the wrong way, many people will be affected.”


Hawai‘i News Now November 29


Students in JOUR 250, JOUR 270 and JOUR 285V took a field trip to local TV news station Hawai‘i News Now where they toured the building, watched a live broadcast of the 5 o’clock news and met co-anchors Stephanie Lum and Shawn Ching and meteorologist Guy Hagi. Students watched the behind-the-scenes of the broadcast from both the studio and the master control room and witnessed the teamwork needed to have a successful show.

“The comparison from the stage to the operations behind-the-scenes is dramatic,” said student Joshua Farias. “The master control room that was filled with small screens with different TV channels running simultaneously was hectic, compared to the composed stage with the anchors.”


by Deborah Higa, Ka ‘Ohana Editor in Chief