Established in 1965 as the State-funded Hawaii Educational Television Network, providing educational TV for the University of Hawaii, PBS Hawaii then became the State’s sole member of the Public Broadcasting Service and transitioned to a 501c(3) nonprofit organization in 2000. PBS Hawaii complements the national PBS programming with a suite of local shows designed to give voice to Hawaii’s diverse population.
Damien - In 1977, PBS Hawaii produced Damien, about a Roman Catholic priest from Belgium who spent 16 years ministering to people with Hansen’s disease (leprosy) on Moloka’i. He died from the disease in 1889 and was canonized in 2009. The program was broadcast on PBS stations across the nation and went on to win a Peabody award.
Spectrum Hawaii - Spectrum was a long-running series which celebrated the rich cultural and artistic life of Hawaii. In its segments are stories of people who may no longer be with us, and places which may no longer exist, making the program an archival treasure in and of itself. This is why we chose Spectrum for the American Archive digitization project.
Na Mele: Na Lani Eha - In 2012, for the first time in almost 40 years, television cameras were allowed inside the nation’s only royal home, Iolani Palace, to capture performances of music written by Hawaiian royalty performed by some of Hawaii’s most beloved musicians. The historic, cultural, and musical significance of this PBS Hawaii special makes it a program that will be cherished for generations to come.
HIKI NŌ - Launched in 2011, PBS Hawaii’s award-winning flagship educational initiative has exceeded expectations. Through HIKI NŌ, PBS Hawaii is 1) helping Hawaii’s students develop digital media skills, 2) creating a cadre of well-trained digital media teachers, 3) giving a voice to Hawaii’s youth from communities rarely covered by the mainstream media, and 4) uncovering a treasure trove of student stories that would otherwise go unheard. At a national conference of foundations this month, the head of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation singled out HIKI NŌ as one of two exciting youth journalism projects in the country.