Public service announcement confronts life-threatening impact of online teen harassment, progresses to contest finals in Social Issues category
[Newark NJ, April 2, 2014] Newark Public Schools student Eric Arce is a national finalist in Panasonic Corporation’s 2014 Kid Witness News (KWN) New Visions Awards for his public service announcement video titled Cyber Bullying. The powerful short piece has been named one of four finalists in the contest’s “Social Issues” category and will now compete for top national billing as the “Best Video of the Year,” to be announced on May 9. Contest judges from the City University of New York Media and Digital Film Production Program (Bronx, NY) selected Arce’s video, first as a “top 10” out of 48 submissions and ultimately as one of four finalists. The “Best of the Year” winner will represent the U.S. in Panasonic’s KWN Global Competition, competing against top winners from more than 620 schools worldwide.
“This piece has shone the spotlight on Eric and East Side High School’s New Media Studies team, not just for their videography skills, but for their outstanding peer leadership as well,” said Newark Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Brad Haggerty. ”In less than 2 1/2 minutes, Eric’s video conveys the enormous pain and desperation experienced by victims of cyber bullying, which affects approximately 43% of our youth. Offering a peek into the potentially destructive power of online interactions, the hard-hitting message is clearly expressed, urging young viewers to ‘think twice before sending that message’ of harassment. We’re extremely proud to have Eric as a video ambassador for the Newark Public Schools.“As an award-winner, Eric, his New Media Studies teacher Thomas R. Wolverton and members of the East Side High School team will receive a trophy, a banner to display in their school and recognition on the KWN website. Along with the three other finalist teams — from Enid, Oklahoma Ft. Piece, Florida and Denver, Colorado — the Newark Public Schools representatives will attend the May 9 “Winners Weekend,” which happens to be held in Newark, NJ, Panasonic’s North American Headquarters. The school that wins the “Best Video of the Year” award will represent the United States in the KWN global competition.
Kid Witness News, a part of Panasonic’s bigger New Vision Awards, is a hands-on international video education program for grades 4-12 that encourages students to develop valuable cognitive, communication and organizational skills through the use of state-of-the-art video technology. Panasonic provides students with equipment so that they can communicate stories that are important to them and their communities. According to Marilyn Joseph, Panasonic’s Vice President of Community Relations and Corporate Outreach Programs, while from schools across the country and around the world, the messages in participating students’ videos have common themes that reflect the world they live in and affect their everyday lives.
Cyber bullying has become a major issue at schools with the popularity of social media sites among students. One student at East Side High School in Newark has created a public service announcement to raise awareness about cyber bullying through a powerful video.