HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – In a push to save cultural programming in the islands, two Hawaii congressmen put out a plea to the Federal Communications Commissions.
Congressmen Ed Case and Kai Kahele sent a letter to Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel asking the commission to preserve the cultural program on KIKU-TV that has aired on the channel for more than 40 years.
After decades of airing Japanese and Filipino programs in Hawaii, KIKU’s owner RNN National LLC., decided to end all shows on Monday to transition to a home shopping network.
In the letters, Kahele and Case called the decision “troubling,” citing the state’s large Asian population. They say removing multi-cultural programming is against the needs of Hawaii.
They’re asking the FCC to consider this change when reviewing RNN National’s application to renew its license for KIKU in 2023.
“The Japanese and Filipino programming aired on KIKU is crucial to ensuring access to cultural programming in the languages many of our community members speak,” the letter said. “Additionally, this programming is tremendously important for language learning and cultural immersion.”
The letter also points to U.S. Census numbers as of July 2019, stating that more than 36% of Hawaii’s diverse population is of Asian decent, and the programming serves their direct needs for cultural programming.
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