Journalism students visit Honolulu media outlets

Journalism students and faculty with reporters from Honolulu Civil Beat – Jolanda Mae kahele

Last month, students in the college’s four journalism courses got a taste of what being a professional journalist is like through field trips to local media outlets.

On March 9, the students went to Honolulu Civil Beat, an online non-profit news organization that focuses on public affairs and investigative journalism.

The students met with membership and events manager Mariko Chang, podcast and multimedia editor Jessica Terrell, engagement editor Anthony Quintano and reporter/photographer Nathan Eagle.

The journalists each shared how they got into the field and offered advice in this age of shrinking budgets and multimedia journalism, where journalists are often asked to write, take pictures, shoot video and record audio for their own stories.

“The camera changes everything,” Eagle said about video reporting. “Make sure the person you’re talking to gets comfortable with the fact that you have a camera on them, because it could change the way they talk, the way they present themselves or even if they want to go through with the interview at all.”

On March 19, the students got to experience the world of broadcast journalism, visiting the set of Hawai‘i News Now’s 5 p.m. live newscast.

Co-anchors Shawn Ching and Stephanie Lum shared their scripts with the students to read along during the newcast. The group also took a tour of the station, which is technically comprised of three stations (local station KFVE, CBS-affiliate KGMB and NBC-affiliate KHNL).

Hawai‘i News Now co-anchors Shawn Ching and Stephanie Lum – Gemma Cubero Del Barrio

“They showed us the control room they use during the show’s broadcast, and it was most interesting to learn that they control all of the channels in that one room,” said JOUR 120 video journalism student Jolanda-Mae Kahele.

Journalism instructor Kimberlee Bassford arranges different field trips for her students every semester to give them real-world glimpses into journalism in the hopes that some of them might pursue it as a degree or even a career.

“Our democracy doesn’t work without an informed citizenry, and that’s why journalism is so necessary,” Bassford said. “Most journalists really believe in the work they do. They know their reporting and stories make a difference. I wanted my students to see that passion in the hopes that they might find it not just inspiring but addicting.”

Ka ‘Ohana staff reporter  and JOUR 220 video journalism student Cynthia Sinclair agreed and said, ”It was nice to be with professional journalists who provided so much information that will be very useful in my career. The different field trips that Kim Bassford schedules for us are well-planned and very informative. We are all thankful.”


by Hannah Bailey, Ka ‘Ohana Staf Reporter