Eight students in Terry Bryant’s advanced television production class went to Puerto Rico in April to gain more hands-on experience in broadcast journalism covering the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
While the students were there, they reported on how Puerto Rico has been affected by the hurricane and what problems people are still facing today, eight months later.
Bryant said that the students were tasked with reporting on the conditions of the towns and their recovery efforts and how the citizens who were still living there were surviving. This was a chance for them to get practical experience and practice their broadcast journalism skills in real life situations.
The students, who each produced their own project, covered an array of issues, including a piece on the only operational dialysis unit on the island, the continued lack of electricity on some parts of the island, and protests to counter the Department of Education’s decision to close 283 schools due to a drop in enrolment.
Three students were able to interview the Speaker of the House of Puerto Rico, Carlos Mendes, and asked how the country was aiding its people and helping with relief efforts after the natural disaster.
Thomas Lynch interviewed a woman named Naomi Diaz about her experience after the hurricane hit. She spent four months without running water and still does not have electricity. Watch video
Ronja Kleinholz reported on how towns only an hour south of the capital San Juan are still struggling without electricity or cell phone service. Many families do not have a generator and have been living without power since September. Watch video
Emily Bank covered protests in front of Puerto Rico’s capital building where students and teachers picketed against the closure of schools across the island. Many of the students are worried about their futures if they do not have adequate education. Watch video