August 11, 2017
KWN Global Awards Ceremony was held in Tokyo as part of the KWN Global Summit 2017
Panasonic Corporation held the awards ceremony for the Kid Witness News (KWN) Global Contest 2017 on August 4 in Tokyo. This year the Grand Prix in the Primary Category was won by “One day of Beijing Kids,” the video of Beijing Haidian Wanquan Primary School of China, while the Grand Prix in the Secondary Category was won by “Open.,” the video of Fukushima Prefectural Iwaki Senior High School.
The 26 first-place works in each country for the global contest this year were particularly notable for the degree to which they depicted the diverse societies and real world that children live in, from their own perspective as children, dealing with themes such as school, family, persons with disabilities, patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, sports, and the joy of creating video works.
“One day of Beijing Kids,” the Grand Prix-winning work in the Primary Category, by Beijing Haidian Wanquan Primary School, highlighted the hardships of children in Beijing who spend morning to night busy with study and activities. This work probes at the core of what children really want to do, as they are caught up in their own busy lives.
“Open.,” the Grand Prix winner in the Secondary Category, by Fukushima Prefectural Iwaki Senior High School, was shot as a silent film without spoken dialogue to convey the message that there are things that can be communicated even without words. It shows us that communication is the best way for people to become closer to one another, with the ability to open up closed hearts even with unconscious behavior.
The awards ceremony this time was held as part of the first-ever KWN Global Summit 2017 Week. KWN Global Summit 2017 was held from August 1 to 5 in Tokyo, bringing together approximately 100 representatives from 26 schools in 18 countries involved in the KWN Global Contest. The awards ceremony on August 4 announced and presented the Global Citizenship Award and six other awards, and finally the Grand Prix. At the KWN Global Summit 2017, the Kid Journalists representing various countries gathered information about their own country, other countries, and Tokyo to present their own proposal to a future society.
KWN activities are currently being conducted in 18 different countries and region around the world as part of Panasonic’s educational support activities for the next generation. This is an interactive educational program in which participating schools are supplied with video equipment and the videos they produce are judged in contests every year. The children complete the entire production process themselves, from planning to investigation, filming, and editing. First launched in the United States in 1989, KWN has now been running for 28 years with a total of more than 180,000 children and their teachers taking part so far. This year’s contest stimulates children’s interest in sports under the current themes of “Environment,” “Communication,” and “Sports.”
Panasonic will contribute to the development of the required qualities and skills to live in the future society and global talent. From this perspective, Panasonic will give its full support to children and youth through KWN and other activities to enable them to show all of their skills and potential as they strive toward their dreams and the future.
● Brief summaries of the KWN 2017 works (Listed alphabetically by country name)
Award Country/school/title Topic/details
Primary Category (primary schools)
Grand Prix and
Beijing Haidian Wanquan
Communication: The video depicts the sadness of Beijing children who spend their entire days studying.
One day of Beijing Kids
Long Sepiling Primary School
Communication: The video focusing on hands, with the message that hands are a divine gift that joins people together.
The Power of Hands
Sports: The main character of the video learns about sportsmanship and paying respect to one’s opponent.
Secondary Category (junior high and high schools)
Communication: The video is a comedic documentary taking a humorous look at the various attempts and difficulties encountered producing this video from the students’ aspects.
Grand Prix and
Iwaki Senior High School
Communication: The video without words shows communication is the best way of bringing people closer together.
Communication: The story of a young girl whose mother suffers from schizophrenia, and who falls into depression herself due to relationships with society and at school.
[United Arab Emirates]
Elite Private school
Communication: The video is about the people suffering from PTSD due to war or the loss of loved ones getting back on their feet with the support of those around them.
* The final seven nominated works can be seen on the official KWN website.
● What is KWN?
KWN was launched in 1989 when the local Panasonic company in the United States supplied video recording and editing equipment to public elementary and junior high schools for an educational program in which children could produce news videos from their own perspective. The program was then developed globally, with 18 different countries and region taking part today. The aims of the KWN activities are, through video production, to foster creativity among the children and to raise their social awareness as they investigate things like regional society and global environmental issues. Those overseeing the activities have also reported an educational value to the teamwork skills that can be cultivated through the video production process. The program also allows participating schools the opportunity for international exchange through the global network of KWN participating schools.
* Participants: 18 countries and region (in alphabetical order)
North America Canada, United States
Latin America Brazil, Panama
Europe Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia
Middle East/Africa Oman, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates
Asia China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam