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Six Grand Prize Finalists Nominated for Panasonic Kid Witness News Global Contest 2011


June 16, 2011 - Osaka

Panasonic Corporation today announced the six finalist schools representing six countries for Panasonic Kid Witness News (KWN) 2011 Global Contest.

KWN is a hands-on video education program Panasonic operates as part of its efforts to support education of future generations. Panasonic provides video cameras and other equipment for video productions to elementary and middle schools participating in the program. Currently, children from 26 countries and regions around the world take part in the program. 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 KWN celebrates its 22nd anniversary. Since the program began in 1989, more than 150,000 children have participated, with around 10,000 children and teachers participating each year.

This year's KWN Global Contest saw 679 schools from 26 countries and regions taking part by submitting five-minute videos on the theme of either ecology or communication. Six works have been chosen as Grand Prize final nominees (refer to the following page) from among the 26 works representing 26 participating countries and regions. The six finalist videos convey the themes of ecology and communication in their own way, for example, by sounding an alarm against Global warming and highlighting the importance of preserving history and culture of their homelands.

The KWN Global Contest Awards Ceremony this year will be moved to the U.S., the birthplace of KWN. Up until last year, the annual ceremony was held in Japan. The six Grand Prize nominated works will be screened at the Globe Theater inside Universal Studios Hollywood in California on July 21.

In addition to this year's winning videos, the KWN website also carries the past KWN award-winning videos in the video library (http://panasonic.net/kwn/cgi-bin/kwn/vlibrary/index.cgi). The works depict and explore facets of modern society through the eyes of children around the world.

Summary of the final six Grand Prize nominees

1) Japan - Nagawa Junior High School: Memories Beneath the Surface
Theme: Ecology
- History of a village that was submerged under water due to dam construction for hydroelectric power generation in the 1950s. The video investigates the difficulties of building a dam and the importance of electricity, with quotes from local residents that were forced to leave their land.

2) New Zealand - Point Chevalier School: The Mangroves
Theme: Ecology
- This video profiles a group of people that want to clear a mangrove forest to build houses. In this comical piece, the mangroves themselves explain their role and importance in environmental preservation.

3) Russia - Intellectual Residential School: The Glass of Pure Water
Theme: Ecology
- Children go out to rivers and ponds in search of clean water for raising goldfish. Their investigation reveals water quality failed to meet the levels considered "clean" at all locations and helps open their eyes to environmental problems.

4) Singapore - Sembawang Secondary School: Mad About Water
Theme: Ecology
- In Singapore, where the water supply is precious, youths stage a month-long campaign to conserve water and are able to save a surprising amount because of their high level of awareness.

5) Slovakia - Primary School of Rudolf Dilong in Trstena: Do Not Destroy But Save
Theme: Ecology
- A video that looks at how modern society uses much more energy in our daily lives than it did in the past and sounds an alarm about the damage being done to the Earth.

6) United States - Val Verde High School
Theme: Communication
- This video is a public service announcement to help prevent suicide. A young boy, who is about to send a farewell message to his parents, hears a mysterious voice telling him not to go through with 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, 679 schools from 26 countries and regions are participants 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 skills among participants through the process of creating videos and covering the news.

26 countries and regions participating in KWN

- North America: Canada, U.S.A.
- Central and South America: Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Peru
- Europe: Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland, U.K.
- Middle and Near East: United Arab Emirates
- Asia: China, Hong Kong, 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: http://panasonic.net/kwn/

General information on Panasonic's corporate citizenship activities: http://panasonic.net/citizenship/

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," which over 200,000 children currently take part in 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 for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 8.69 trillion yen (US$105 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2011. The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE: PC) stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net.



Source: Panasonic

Contact:

Panasonic Corporation
Global Public Relations Office
Tel: +81-3-6403-3040
Fax: +81-3-3436-6766



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