Talk about a teachable moment: UH journalism students help tell the story of a pandemic

Updated: May. 6, 2020 at 5:45 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The final video projects for this year’s class of University of Hawaii journalism and communications students were done under lots of pressure.

“It was a struggle trying to get the last footage that we needed because the pandemic kind of cut our process in half,” student Alexa Gutierrez said.

She and her classmates were forced to work independently on projects that demanded close collaboration.

With a lot of effort, though, they managed to pull it off.

“It seemed like we were actually in the studio doing it together,” said UH Media design and production chief Bernadette Baraquio.

She said technology helped the students bridge the distance gap.

"Even though we were physically distant we were totally socially connected," she said.

They couldn’t use the school’s media lab so they worked remotely and linked through Zoom, using the communications hub to produce two 30-minute news programs, complete with anchor intros and interviews..

"I connected through my phone. That way our teachers could see through the camera lens on what the shot looked like, if we needed to move a light," student Chaz Mihara said.

In their shows, the student-journalists cover a variety of topics, some connected to coronavirus. But it’s how they put a cap on their capstone project that’s worthy of a good grade.

“I think it’s an experience I’ll always remember because it really put us to the test,” Gutierrez said.

"We did it!" Mihara said. "I'm super proud of our classmates and our teachers for helping us get to that point."

If you want to see the UHM TV show for yourself, the first one airs Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on K5.

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