February 25, 2015

Daniel K. Inouye Institute Funds Two Journalism Courses

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The Daniel K. Inouye Institute for the first time is funding two courses this semester in conjunction with the upcoming Daniel K. Inouye Library of Congress Lectures in July.

"I proposed the Jour 459 (Press and Diplomacy in a global society) and Jour 150 (The Media and Society) be funded by the Daniel K. Inouye Institute (DKI), since they fall in line with the center's mission," Journalism professor Gerald Kato said.

Kato's involvement with the DKI Institute stems from him sitting on the College of Social Sciences' scholars committee.

News literacy and the DKI center

Visiting scholar Richard Hornik, a distinguished former correspondent for Time Magazine, has inaugurated the news literacy program with Journalism 150, an introductory journalism class. According to Kato, Hornik is to redirect the course into news literacy which he is heavily involved in at Stony Brook University in New York.

The goal is to have a course involving global diplomacy and news directed towards topics that may be discussed during the Inouye lectures.

Kato's suggestion to College of Social Sciences Dean Denise Konan and the DKI Institute was that the courses Hornik was teaching could tie with the Inouye Library of Congress lectures. The plan was for the classes' capstones to be the lectures, but the lectures have now been scheduled for July 8, 2015. The two speakers to these lectures will be former Secretary of States Collin Powell and Madeline Albright.

Receiving private support

It is highly unusual for UH Mānoa to receive private support so that it can bring lecturers directly into UH Mānoa classes, according to Konan. She added that the campus would have been unable to host Hornik without the support of the Daniel K. Inouye Institute Fund.

Konan and her college are interested to see how this current arrangement works, and will evaluate plans for the future. She is also in discussions with the DKI Institute and the Inouye family about ways to support student programs in the area of democracy and leadership.

The College of Social Sciences' current focus is launching a registered student organization (RIO) that would support extracurricular programs on democracy and leadership. In addition the DKI Institute is supporting Kato in leading an oral history project on Sen. Inouye's life in Hawaiʻi.

News literacy

Hornik brings over 30 years of global journalism experience to the UH Mānoa journalism classroom.

“Journalism is more as a craft than a profession,” Hornik said.

He added that this is a remarkable honor and it is not something he thought was on the table. Hornik didn't know prior to teaching that his courses would be sponsored by the center, but the subject of his JOUR 459 course was aligned with the institute's mission and was a match with Sen. Inouye's career.

Hornik developed the course at Stony Brook University six years ago with a grant from the Knight Foundation, with the idea that it would become mandatory at the university and spread around the country.

The Journalism 459 course teaches two skills: how to be civically engaged and how to critically evaluate information that everybody needs that in life. According to Hornik, it is hard to find reliable information nowadays with the bombardment of information coming to personal devices in many ways.

Hornik is at UH Mānoa to see if he can get an interest in news literacy and attempt to make it a mandatory course nation wide.

"The students here are fantastic and [I have] been amazed at how receptive they are to his interactions with them," Hornik said.

Konan would like to hear from current students and readers and can be reached at konan@hawaii.edu.