The Northern Marianas Humanities Council is working with the Public School System to launch a broadcasting and journalism academy at the high school level, in order to promote awareness of what the media is and the role the media plays in the community, according to NMHC executive director Leo Pangelinan.
This academy is also meant to encourage more residents to become journalists, Pangelinan said, in the belief that mass media is a “force” that is necessary to a “democratic system of government.”
He said the Humanities Council has received a grant from the Federation of State Humanities Councils under their Democracy and the Informed Citizen initiative, which is the impetus behind this academy. The funding, however, came from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation since the Humanities Council is doing a project related to an intersection between the media and the democracy, the importance of sustaining an informed citizenry in a democracy, and what the media’s role in that.
Depending on where PSS is at on jumpstarting the academy, Pangelinan said that they might just support PSS’ efforts into getting middle school students and younger high school students into the field of mass media.
Pangelinan believes that an academy format will draw students into learning about journalism and broadcasting.
Another goal of the academy, he said, is to get students not only excited about the field but also to educate them that journalism and broadcasting are viable career paths. Pangelinan hopes that the people they bring in will be able to “model” what it is to be in the field.
Recently, the Humanities Council was able to get former Saipan Tribune correspondent Thomas Mangloña to do a piece on democracy and the informed citizens, which was tied into NMHC’s Humanities Friday.
According to Pangelinan, it was streamed live and then went on their YouTube channel, but was later taken down due to copyright issues. “He wanted to showcase examples, so he was very dynamic with his presentation. …That’s an example. We want to do…those kinds of presentations to…bring people from outside, and have this perspective that’s relevant to whatever we’re facing,” said Pangelinan.