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Jun 19, 2008
Panasonic Honors Kid Witness News Global Contest 2008 Award Winners
Tokyo, Japan - Panasonic, the leading brand by which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is best known, today announced the winners of the Kid Witness News (KWN) Global Contest 2008. Among the six finalist videos, the Grand Prix for Ecology went to "Water Flowing around the World" by Tobu Junior High School of Japan and Grand Prix for Communication to "My Grandpa's Letters" by Kowloon Tong School of Hong Kong. The trophies were presented to the students representing the two winning schools at the Awards Ceremony held in Tokyo today.
As part of its corporate citizenship activities, Panasonic supports KWN, a hands-on video education program, lending video cameras and other equipment to primary and middle schools for video productions. The KWN program first started in the United States in 1989 and has quickly developed into a global program. Now 626 schools in 24 countries and region take part in the program with over 10,000 children around the world participating every year. The 2007-2008 school year marks the first year that the annual KWN Global Contest was conducted globally. Up until last year, the annual KWN video contest was held at country or regional levels.
Twenty-four of the best videos from local contest held in 24 countries and region advanced to the Global Contest. The five-minute videos are focused either on "Ecology" or "Communication." In the final review, a panel of international judges including experts in film-making, education and journalism screened the six works nominated for the Grand Prix awards.
In "Water Flowing around the World," the Japanese children, alarmed by severe drought in Australia, trace the history of their home town to learn that the drought in the Southern hemisphere was once also a local problem. Using a "virtual water" concept, the video eloquently explains in simple terms that the problem experienced in Australia is one shared by all the people around the world. The video also won the Editing award.
In "My Grandpa's Letters," a boy recounts the relationship between his father and grandfather. The father was raised by the grandfather who was quite disciplined. But behind the grandfather's seemingly strict discipline lay deep affection for his son. The boy and his father realize this fact many years later when they visit the grandfather's house and find a bunch of his old letters addressed to his son. The letters that were never posted were full of caring words. The video reminds the audience the importance of family love.
At the Awards Ceremony, President Fumio Ohtsubo of Matsushita Electric told the students from the six schools that he was deeply impressed with the quality of their video productions. He said, "I was pleased to see that environmental awareness is really growing among young people around the world." "I believe the vision of an advanced digital networking society should be to build a world of peace and happiness based on good communication and mutual understanding among all people," continued Ohtsubo.
Other than the Grand Prix awards, "Eco Pre-a-porter" by Gymnasium No. 1 in Sztum, Poland won the Videography award, "Won't Listen...Can't Hear" by Testbourne Community School from the United Kingdom the Sound award, "Kid Witness News World Summit - We the People!" by Gordon Parks Academy from the United States the Communication award and "Bakau (Mangrove)" by Jubilee School from Indonesia the Ecology award. Jubilee School also won the Web award as its video received the most votes on the web.
The KWN program started in 1989 when Panasonic North America provided primary and middle schools with a range of video equipment. The program quickly spread to other countries including Europe, Southeast Asia and Japan. Currently 626 schools in 24 countries and region participate in the program. KWN is designed to foster creativity and presentation skills among students. Supervising teachers cite further merits of the program such as a heightened awareness of the environment and the community as well as development of team-work skills among participants.
The Panasonic companies are conducting businesses throughout the world, providing products and services under the slogan of "Panasonic ideas for life." Panasonic has been making efforts to become a company that is accepted by each community in which it is present, by contributing to economic development of each country. The company as a global enterprise has been also taking initiatives to promote mutual understanding in the international community and help to protect the global environment.
For children's sound growth and mutual understanding of the people in the world, Panasonic continues the KWN program. For more details of the KWN program, please visit http://panasonic.net/kwn. For Panasonic's corporate citizenship activities, please go to http://panasonic.net/citizenship.
Best known for its Panasonic brand name, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 9.07 trillion yen (approx. US$90.52 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2008. The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE:MC) stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net/.
A list of the six finals follows.
- Mike Kitadeya, International PR
- Tel: 06-6949-2293 Fax: 06-6949-2255
- Panasonic News Bureau
- Tel: 03-3542-6205 Fax: 03-3542-9018
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