A Community’s TV Voice

By Roy Amemiya
Wednesday - February 16, 2011
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By Roy Amemiya
President and CEO of ‘Olelo Community Media

As ‘Olelo’s recently appointed interim president and CEO, I’m proud to be a part of this outstanding company. ‘Olelo’s employees and volunteers are passionate about providing video production training, equipment and other services to help everyone in our community share their unique perspectives through the magic of television, from our leaders to our keiki to the aunty next door.

Established in 1989, ‘Olelo Community Media is a private, nonprofit provider of community access television services and resources on Oahu. In addition to our headquarters in Mapunapuna, we operate Community Media Centers in Kahuku, Kaneohe, Palolo, Wahiawa, Waianae and Waipahu, where we strengthen our island voices by making video production resources easily accessible. Citizens empowered with ‘Olelo training and tools are better able to participate in the democratic process that perpetuates our rich island cultures and inspires community dialogue and civic participation.

(from left) Michael Bowen, Roy Amemiya, Jennifer Nakamura and Zachary Cruz

Thanks go to the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, which in the late 1980s recognized that sharing stories and expressing ideas on issues and events through television would strengthen and enrich our community. In a media world that is increasingly “global,” maintaining space on television for our local perspectives and people is vital to preserving our special island heritage.

‘Olelo is open to everyone, including our youths. Our annual Youth Xchange student video competition is the largest in the state. Students in public, private and charter schools, K through 12 are currently putting the finishing touches on videos that speak to issues of importance to them. A record 575 videos were submitted last year by teams of almost 1,300 students from 81 schools on Kauai, Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island. Viewing the winning entries is a heartwarming experience!

Find out more about ‘Olelo Community Media at olelo.org, and I encourage you to learn more about the 2011 Youth Xchange competition at www.olelo.org/yxc.


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