Jun 25, 2012

Press Release

Panasonic Announces Six Grand Prix Finalists
for Kid Witness News Global Contest 2012

An awards ceremony will take place in London in August to recognize the best films produced for the KWN program, a hands-on video education program Panasonic operates as part of its efforts to support education of future generations.

Osaka, Japan - Panasonic Corporation today announced the six finalist schools representing six countries for Panasonic Kid Witness News (KWN) 2012 Global Contest.

KWN is a hands-on video education program Panasonic operates as part of its efforts to support education of future generations. The company provides video cameras and other equipment for video productions to elementary and middle schools participating in the program. Currently, some 10,000 children and teachers around the world are taking part in the program. Since the program began in 1989, more than 160,000 children have participated to date.

The KWN program is also a competition that honors the video works created by the children every year. To produce videos, students choose a theme on their own and handle everything from planning and scripting to filming and editing. This year's KWN Global Contest saw 718 schools from 31 countries and regions taking part by submitting five-minute videos on the theme of either ecology or communication.

The KWN Global Awards Ceremony this year will be held on August 10 at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London. As an Official Worldwide Olympic Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games, Panasonic supports the sports festival that promotes world peace and friendship. The company intends to provide young children the chance to learn about these Olympic values by holding the KWN Global Awards events during the Games.

This year's six finalist videos can be viewed on the KWN global website (http://panasonic.net/kwn/contest2012/).

Summary of the six finalist videos

(Listed in alphabetical order of countries)
  Country/Name of School Theme Category/Synopsis
Video Title
1 China
Beijing Wanquan Primary School
Communication: A girl who is worried about stammering practices reading poems on a rooftop with help from a boy in her class. The story follows them helping each other, as the girl overcomes her anxieties about speaking.
Balcony • Sunshine
2 Japan
Iwasaki Junior High School
Communication: The Great Eastern Japan Earthquake in March 2011 forced students in an disaster-hit area to leave their hometown and live apart in various different places in Japan. When reunited, they frankly talk about their feelings then and how they are coping with their lives today.
We Are From …
3 Malaysia
Dato’ Abdul Razak School Seremban
Ecology: This film takes a look at how raising chickens, which are indispensable and routinely put on the table in Malaysia, is threatening the environment of a beautiful village. The film suggests reviewing the benefits of free-range farming, compared to large-scale factory farming which can produce odors and other pollutions.
The Factory Chicken
4 Singapore
Sembawang Secondary School
Communication: A story about two close sisters, just one year apart. The younger one and their friends tell about the elder sister, who committed suicide after sexual abuse, emphasizing the importance of close communication between friends as well as family members.
The First Appearance of Light
5 United Kingdom
Knox Academy
Communication: A knife that is carried for self-defense can sometimes get teenagers involved in knife crime. Presenting views of various people on this issue, this film calls on teenagers to “put down the knife.”
Knife Crime:
Think of Life Put Down the Knife
6 United States
Val Verde High School
Ecology: An animated film tells the importance of sorting and recycling with a comical touch, featuring a trash can and trash, including a discarded can that fears its fate when it’s not properly separated and mixed up with other types of trash.
(Forget about it!)

About Kid Witness News

KWN got its start in 1989 in the U.S. as a hands-on video education program supported by Panasonic North America, which supplied video cameras and editing equipment to public elementary and middle schools to make news programs from the perspective of children and young adults. The program was subsequently expanded to encompass all 50 U.S. states, and then in recent years grew on a global scale, encompassing Europe, Southeast Asia and Japan. At present, 718 schools from 31 countries and regions are participants in the program.
KWN is designed to foster creativity and presentation skills among young 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 skills among participants through the process of creating videos and covering the news. Further, the expanding network of KWN schools provides a platform for international exchange among the KWN students. For example, a networking event was held this year, with KWN schools in different countries participating to exchange their views and opinions using Skype video calls on smart TVs.

31 countries and regions participating in KWN

North America Canada, United States
Central and
South America
Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Panama, Peru
Europe Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland, United Kingdom
Middle and
Near East
Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.)
Asia China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
Oceania Australia, New Zealand

For further details of KWN, please refer to the following websites.

General information on KWN global program:

General information on Panasonic's corporate citizenship activities:

In addition to KWN, Panasonic also conducts a variety of educational programs including the Eco Picture Diary Contest, the Jump Rope Competition and the Global Eco Learning Program under the umbrella scheme of “Panasonic Kids School," in which over 460,000 children currently take part worldwide. In the hopes of promoting the sound development of children and mutual understanding among people around the world, Panasonic will continue in its work to promote and expand these activities in the future.

About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products in three business fields, consumer, components & devices, and solutions. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 7.85 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2012. Panasonic's stock is listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE:PC) Stock Exchanges. The company has the vision of becoming the No. 1 Green Innovation Company in the Electronics Industry by the 100th year of its founding in 2018. For more information on Panasonic, its brand and commitment to sustainability, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net/.

Media Contacts:

Global Public Relations Office
Panasonic Corporation
Tel: +81-(0)3-6403-3040
Fax: +81-(0)3-3436-6766
Panasonic News Bureau
Tel: +81-(0)3-3542-6205
Fax: +81-(0)3-3542-9018
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