KAHULUI - Maui High School students are gearing up for a statewide news network in which they will learn that "deadlines do matter" and will be able to collaborate with peers across Hawaii.
Maui High will be participating in the "Hiki No," or "Can Do" program, the nation's first statewide student news network, according to PBS Hawaii. The public broadcasting station will air the newscasts in 2011. Other Maui County schools have also expressed interest in the program.
PBS Hawaii is organizing Hiki No and will allow the schools and students to make many of the decisions involved in the venture. Maui High School media teacher Clint Gima is on the steering committee, which is beginning the process of setting up the procedures and criteria for Hiki No.
The Maui News / AMANDA COWAN photo
Maui High School juniors Fabrienne Rosal, 16, (left) and Justine Rumbaua, 17, work on their interviewing skills Friday afternoon. They are gearing up to participate in “Hiki No,” a statewide news network organized by PBS Hawaii.
"I think it's a great idea because it will give students an opportunity to collaborate with other students," Gima said Friday.
He said students will be able to learn new media skills as well as news-writing skills from each other. Through the broadcasts, they will also be able to see how similar or how different they are from other students across the state.
Students will cope with deadline pressure when they face the challenge of producing a show every week. Students will learn teamwork and time management.
Junior Justine Rumbaua said she is looking forward to learning how other schools put together their newscasts.
Rumbaua, 17, said she wants to pursue a communications career and wouldn't mind being a reporter or an editor because she enjoys film and video editing.
Jennifer Valdez, 16, said she likes the concept that viewers will see news stories through the eyes of students.
Valdez, also a junior, would also like to be a communications major.
"I think it's cool how we can put our own style into our videos," she said.
Veteran journalist Susan Yim will be the managing editor for Hiki No.
In a news release last week, Yim said the program will "create a network of student storytellers to take us into their communities and humanize the issues that concern them."
"I'm looking forward to facilitating the collaboration among participating teachers and schools, ensuring editorial and technical standards as students introduce us to new ways to deliver news," she said.
Hiki No is open to middle and high school students in public, private, charter and home schools throughout Hawaii.
In February through April 2011, Hiki No will launch as a half-hour interschool newscast per week. Between fall 2011 and the following spring, the network will become a six-day-a-week broadcast and Web program, PBS said.
Gima said there are many things left to be decided, such as whether there will just be one or two news anchors or if each island will have its own.
At Maui High, students participating in program will already be enrolled in media classes, he said. Gima has about 10 students already involved in the program's early stages.
Although the newscasts will not run until next year, Gima said students will already be working on stories.
"I want them to go through the process, develop their stories more," he said.
Gima said the students in his classes know many of the media skills needed for the newscasts, such as how to shoot in high definition and edit their pieces on a computer.
Gima's students produce a school newscast once a month called "Maui High Stories."
PBS Hawaii has raised $330,000 for Hiki No, with a goal of $900,000 over three years.
Of the amount raised so far, the Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation donated $100,000, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting awarded a grant of $200,000.
Tax-deductible donations to Hiki No may be made at pbshawaii.org, and organizations interested in becoming underwriters in the program should contact Lucy Ahn, vice president of corporate underwriting at PBS Hawaii at email@example.com.
For more information on Hiki No, contact Linda Brock at (808) 973-1383, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or go online to pbshawaii.org.
* Melissa Tanji can be reached at email@example.com.