Hopi radio students tour local broadcast media stations

Hopi High radio students and teacher Stan Bindell with KNAU's John Stark.

Hopi High radio students and teacher Stan Bindell with KNAU's John Stark.

FLAGSTAFF-Malarie Yaiva's mother had to be surprised on Mother's Day.

Eleven students from Hopi High's radio/journalism classes toured KMGN/KAFF, Northern Arizona University's communication building and KNAU May 8.

Malarie Yaiva and Geri Sehongva were interviewed on KMGN about Mother's Day and why they appreciated their mothers. They also entered a drawing and Yaiva won a 24-karat gold dipped rose for her mom.

Sehongva said her mother is a good mom because she understands people and listens to them.

"Oh my gosh, my mom is so cool," Yaiva said about her mom.

LauraLee Parsons, an on-air personality for KMGN, interviewed the students about Mother's Day and spoke to them about the many facets of radio.

Parsons and the Hopi High radio students felt an immediate connection, possibly because they have Loy Engelhart in common.

Parsons was trained in Winslow by KINO Manager Engelhart. The Hopi High radio students also call news briefs into KINO.

"Loy taught me a lot. He's the ultimate professional," Parsons said.

Peter Bruce, production manager at KAFF/KMGN, gave the students a tour of both stations. He told the students that they are always looking for newscasters.

"News may not be as glorious but people rely on us for up-to-date information about fires, accidents and missing people," he said.

Newscaster Mary Jane Peters fielded questions about the news.

Bruce said KMGN/KAFF use a number of NAU students for part-time work.

The tour started at KJAC where NAU radio/television teacher Charlie Hicks showed students the state-of-the-art facilities.

Hicks also told students that jobs in radio include sales, promotions, marketing, news and music directors.Hicks said the format at KJAC, which is the student-run station at NAU, is random meaning that they play all types of music. He said student managers get tuition waivers.

Hicks, who previously was an announcer at KUPD in Phoenix, said radio stations always think about their target audience.

Brandon Newman, Hicks' assistant, showed the Hopi High students the television facilities as they had a chance to sit at the news desk and see how the weather is done. The $2 million television studio included the most updated technology for light control and graphics among other necessities.

Annette McGivney, advisor for the NAU Lumberjack newspaper, spoke about the student run newspaper. She said scholarships and tuition waivers are available for students who work for the college paper.

Sam Minkler, photography instructor at NAU, urged the students to work hard on their education.

"It took a long time for me to get to this point, but I didn't give up," he said. "You can get a four year degree in photography but you have to be serious about it."

Minkler, who is Navajo, said students should keep ahead of their homework knowing that when they graduate they can get a decent job. He said that's necessary in today's world where rent can be $800 per month.

Minkler also told them that if they get a tribal scholarship they shouldn't waste it.

"It's important to go home for ceremonies, but you also have to live in today's society. You can be educated and strong in your Native ways," he said.

Andie Belone has worked in Minkler's program as she has her master's degree in cultural preservation documentation and wants to use photography to create a Hopi archive.

Belone, who is Hopi, wants the archive based at Hopi so Hopis can decide who gets to see it.

John Stark, station manager at KNAU, noted that KNAU is heard at 11 sites throughout the state including a transmitter on the Hopi Reservation and can be found at 88.7 on the FM dial.

KNAU provides some simulcasts on KUYI, the Hopi community radio station on 88.1 FM.

"We're proud of our relationship with KUYI," he said.

KNAU provides news from the National Public Radio network. KNAU plays classical music. KNAU has 14 full-time staff members.

Stark said 50,000 listeners tune in to KNAU each week and that this is a way for the university to connect with the community.

KNAU News director Daniel Kraker, newscaster Kevin Elston and Dave Riek gave the Hopi High students a tour of KNAU and spoke to them about the different facets of radio.

Bob Lomadafkie, NAU Indigenous Studies Program Hopi Resident Elder, also told the students about how a Native American Center is in the works for the campus.

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