Student Newspaper at Hawaii Community College to Shut Down

The student newspaper at Kaua‘i Community College in Hawaii will be shuttered due to low enrollment in related journalism courses. Ka Leo O KCC has apparently been operating under the threat of closure for the past year — after KCC officials observed a lack of student interest in the school’s rebooted j-program. The program will also be cut.

Yet, while a newspaper production course was especially integral in the creation of the pub’s three print issues each semester, editor-in-chief Shaina Nacion holds out hope administrators might recognize the larger benefits of supporting the paper beyond its classroom affiliation.

As Nacion tells Courtney Teague, the associate news editor for Ka Leo O Hawaiʻi at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, “It would be better if they saw it a different way, as something valuable for students to show their work in and something that students could pass on to people and say, ‘Look I contributed to this, I have something concrete to show for my time here.'”

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There is a ‘but’ though. Nacion: “Personally, I feel that there’s not any demand for a newspaper here at the college because news travels so quickly that pretty much everything that we publish is either old news or almost old news.”

Then maybe a reinvention/digitization/mobile-ization is the answer? After all, the (admittedly aging) lead story on the Ka Leo O KCC homepage focuses on the school’s “big plans for digital media.”

Yet, for now at least, the solution is to cease operations.

As Teague reports in her excellent rundown, the most unique section of the paper set to fade away with the publication overall: Ke Kukui, featuring pieces by KCC Hawaiian Studies students in the native Hawaiian language.

And in any language, a separate element which may sadly expand on KCC’s campus without its student media voice: unchecked power grabs.

Once more, the well-spoken Nacion: “In the past, we’ve had a few controversial articles where student government members came to the newspaper and had complaints about the way student government was run. In the future, if there’s no way of checking your power, then people can just pretty much do anything.”

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