Academics

Student-produced special about Cuba to air on WPSU-TV

Sixteen students and five faculty members from the College of Communications traveled to Cuba. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

An hourlong television special about Cuba produced by Penn State students will air at 9:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12, on WPSU-TV.

“Centre County Report in Cuba” takes a look at the country, its culture, economy, people and politics during a program that resulted from a 10-day trip by an international reporting class from the College of Communications earlier this year.

Sixteen students -- the largest in the history of COMM 402 International Reporting -- made the engaged scholarship trip to Havana. They brought an interest in the country and the opportunity the class provided, as well as strong storytelling skills using broadcast, print and multimedia tools.

Before traveling to Cuba, which has been the subject of a U.S. trade embargo since 1960, the students focused on Cuban culture, history and news during classroom sessions. They were accompanied on the trip by five faculty members.

“Our students operated in a very challenging environment for journalists -- a communist country at odds with the United States for a half century, government-controlled media and a language barrier. Yet, their hard work and their skills honed at Penn State resulted in a compelling TV program and interesting news and feature stories,” said Steve Kraycik, director of student television and online operations, who made the trip. He joined Penn State in 2012 and has nearly 30 years of experience in TV news, including news director and executive producer positions in top-20 markets such as Orlando, Sacramento and Seattle. “We hope we’ll be able to return to Cuba in the future with other students to experience this fascinating country.”

“Centre County Report,” the Emmy Award-winning weekly newscast produced by Penn State communications students, has been named the nation’s best collegiate news program the past two years in a row.

Along with the TV special, students produced stories for news outlets across the country. They also shared their stories in a special section of ComMedia, which showcases the best student work from College of Communications students.

Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated June 02, 2021