The UH Hilo media symposium offers opportunities to students interested in communication and a platform for community interaction. The university’s student run news publication, Ke Kalahea, organized a symposium and political forum showcasing local politicians and various professionals in the the field of communication. Editor-in-Chief of Ke Kalahea Britni Schock says, “It was a way to get media outlets and information to students.” Benefits of attending the event were immediately apparent for students like Schock, who also found an internship opportunity for the Fall.
Tiffany Edwards-Hunt is the Big Island Press Club Secretary and Ke Kalahea’s advisor. Edwards-Hunt helped spearhead the event and says, “Interacting with all of [these professionals] is helping the students see the power of networking and also, with an event like this, any of the students who were a part of the planning, they can put this on their resume. This is real life experience.”
The Big Island Press Club helped sponsor the event. Denise Laitinen, president of the Big Island Press Club, spoke at different panels throughout the day and gave a presentation on reputation management. Laitinen says, “The Big Island Press Club was happy to support the UH Media Symposium because a key part of the Press Club in general is to support the next generation of journalists. Symposiums like this provide not just experts from the Big Island but from around the State that give insight to our industry and field.”
A panel of 15 professionals from the community, and six undergraduates from UH Hilo’s different student publication organizations, offered workshops and panels while networking with attendees. Presenters included:
- Michael Shapiro, editor of the award-winning in-flight magazine Hana Hou!, Chad Blair, reporter at Civil Beat, and Katie Young-Yamanaka, freelance writer, on a panel about reporting and feature writing.
- Don Wallace, author and writer forThe New York Times, Harper’s Magazine and The Wall Street Journal among others, gave a presentation on “The Big Story: How to Find, Build, Report, and Illustrate It.”
- A panel with public relations specialists Amy Hennessey, Ashley Kierkiewicz, Barbara Hastings and Julie Ziemelis.
- Jeffrey Portnoy, chair of litigation at Cades Schutte in Honolulu
- Brent Norris on building websites.
- Mindy Pennybacker on reporting and writing feature stories.
- Damien Barrios on photography in the age of smart phones.
- Denise Laitinen on management.
- Karin Stanton on threats to journalists.
- Julie Ziemelis, founder of Ziemelis Communications and co-creator of the Big Island Chocolate Festival.
Students, professionals and community members were able to exchange ideas and attend different workshops on subjects like reputation management, first amendment rights, building your own website, public relations and photography. UH Hilo students working with the on-campus publications also conducted a discussion panel where they talked about the knowledge they gained while attending this semester’s College of Media Association’s national symposium held in New York.