The challenge of being a Ka Leo reporter


Jasmine Kamanaʻo, Robin Kitsu advisor, and Alysia Kepaa show the awards the Ka Leo ʻO Nānākuli Newspaper received in the State High School Newspaper Awards Luncheon in April.

When I initially began Newswriting, I was in it for the grade. I also joined because I knew that it would help me gain better writing skills. I was looking forward to being a better writer. I knew that if I want to succeed in life, writing and reading are just the things that I need to face. If taking an extra class means that I will become a better writer, then that’s what I would do.

There were rumors that the Ka Leo `O Nanakuli Newswriting Advisor was difficult for some students. But it depends on the student. The class is definitely going to be difficult if you procrastinate. If you expect to do no work at all, you aren’t going to get a good grade. On the contrary, the class is really easy to pass. You have the support from Mr. Kitsu before, during and after you write an article. He even tries to find ways to improve your grade if you accidentally turn in an article late. He does anything that he can, to help you get that A.

Although the class meets after school, Kitsu is flexible. You can meet before school or during recess to get feedback. Also, since most of the work is done on Google Docs, you can get feedback right away at anytime.

I learned that the articles we write are important for various reasons within our school and community. We advise and inform people about events that are around them and may influence them. It is to inform people about what they are not familiar with or give information and opinions from others of how an event went. The Ka Leo `O Nānākuli online newspaper gives this opportunity to people who are familiar or not as familiar with anything that is happening in NHIS or within the community.

Some of the challenges I faced were conducting interviews. I had to make time to interview teachers during school. Sometimes they weren’t there and there was a substitute, but the majority of the time it was because I couldn’t make as much time as I needed to. I just had to interview them during my recess or lunchtime before I went to class. I also had to interview community members and some people who didn’t even want to be interviewed.

I also interviewed the students. Some would get side track and talk with their friends. But when they did talk, the majority of their answers were “good” or “I liked it”. That was my fault for not asking the right question. Again, I learned about asking good questions and to learn to develop relationships so students would share their thoughts.

I know that when my articles are posted on the website, people from all over around the world can view your article. It has your name on it, so your more apt to put your best effort forward. I was a little surprised that I would be writing something that people read.

However, writing articles is not all we do. We are photographers. We make videos.

We are the voice of the morning announcements as well. We service the school and community in so many ways.

I hope other students take the challenge as well as the satisfaction of producing work that is real and that can help the school and community.

Interested students can go to room MCR to pick up a registration packet for the after school Newswriting Class. The first day of class is on August 16, Thursday.