SBU’s Journalism Without Walls Program Sends Student Journalists to Cuba for a Week of Hard News Reporting
Team reports on the communist country and its changing social and political culture
STONY BROOK, NY, February 2, 2012 – A team of student journalists from Stony Brook University spent a week in Cuba chipping away at long-standing barriers between Cuban officials and the American press as part of the school’s “Journalism Without Walls” program.
Allowed to travel to Cuba under a new academic exception to the U.S. embargo, the students arrived at a time of growing change and transformation in one of the world’s few remaining Communist countries. They reported on a new decree that has made it legal for the first time in 50 years for Cubans to buy and sell their own homes. They also produced stories on health care, politics and Cuban culture.
“The students did hard-hitting news stories and they did touching feature stories, which together will be rich material for any American eager to understand big changes taking place in Cuba today,” said Ron Howell, a
professor of journalism, who accompanied the students along with Professor Rick Ricioppo, a broadcast professor at the Stony Brook University School of Journalism. Howell, a former Caribbean correspondent for Newsday, also teaches journalism at CUNY.
“A growing number of academic groups are traveling to Cuba, but it’s unusual for journalism students. I think we are one of the first programs to arrange this,” said Howard Schneider, dean of the School of Journalism. “Hopefully, we can help shed some light on a country that still doesn’t permit its own journalists to report freely.”
The students created a website highlighting their articles, videos and photos. Their work can be found here.