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International Reporting
By International Reporting Posted in on January 28, 2018 0 Comments
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International Reporting at Penn State

For ten years, Penn State journalism students have traveled to Asia, Africa, and Latin America to report on the people, issues, and events that are shaping other countries and the world. In a break with tradition, this year’s international reporting class will focus on one of the United States’ own territories—the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Sunset over the Atlantic Ocean in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Photo by Sydney Herdle
Sunset over the Atlantic Ocean in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Photo by Sydney Herdle

The decision to report on the home front was an easy one. In September of 2017, Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico, heaping incalculable devastation on an island already battered by a decade-long economic crisis. So complete was the destruction, that the island’s governor has referred to Puerto Rico as a “blank slate” for rebuilding.

The questions Puerto Ricans are grappling with today are both sweeping, existential ones and heartbreakingly personal ones. Puerto Rico in the post-Maria era offers stories that speak to all of us—stories of suffering and relief, upheaval and transformation, death and rejuvenation, and above all, resiliency and innovation born of necessity.

We invite you to follow our journey and hear the stories of Puerto Rico. There is a visual index here and a text index below:

Festival goers at the Carnaval Ponceño -- an event similar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but with a more family friendly face --  in Ponce on Sunday, March 3, 2019. Photo by Sydney Herdle
Festival goers at the Carnaval Ponceño — an event similar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but with a more family friendly face — in Ponce on Sunday, March 3, 2019. Photo by Sydney Herdle

News and Culture

  • Puerto Rico’s undisturbed coastline makes it a surfing mecca (photos, text and video)
    By Erin Johnson
  • Puerto Rico’s Coffee Industry Hit Hard by Hurricane (text and video)
    By Maddie Biertempfel
  • Stray animal population booming in post-hurricane Puerto Rico (photos, text and video)
    By Caitlin Lee
  • Cockfighting: Puerto Rico’s Dying Tradition? (text and video)
    By Tom Shively
  • The Sound of the People: How the Orchestra of Puerto Rico Overcame Hurricane María (text and photos)
    By Erin McLoughlin
  • Centre County Report in Puerto Rico (video: full show)
  • ‘Informal Housing’ in Puerto Rico Has Worsened After Hurricane Maria (text and video)
    By Caroline Pimentel
  • Needle Exchange Program Aims To Integrate Its Participants Back Into Society (text and video)
    By Caroline Pimentel
  • Tourism Returns To Puerto Rico After Maria, But Is It Enough? (text and video)
    By Ally Lutter
  • Seeds of Resilience: The Future of Farming in Puerto Rico (text and video)
    By Danielle Dindak
  • Will Earthships become the buildings of the future in Puerto Rico? (text and video)
    By Andy Kalmowitz
  • Inside Puerto Rico’s Charter School Controversy (text and video)
    By Steph Krane
  • It takes an island: Raising children in Puerto Rico (text and photos)
    By Malia Schimminger
  • Hurricane Maria leaves uncertain futures for Puerto Rico’s college students (text and video)
    By Lauren Lee
  • Rum industry rebounding from devastation of Maria (text and photos)
    By Sarah Price
  • Historic fire station a magnet for tourists visiting Ponce (photos, text and video)
    By Sydney Herdle
  • Farming a new sense of identity after Maria (text, photos and video)
    By Tina Locurto
  • Small town shows possibility of energy independence for Puerto Rico (text, photos and video)
    By Valerie Welch
  • Startups fueling small business recovery in Puerto Rico (video)
    By Alisa Vasquez
  • Podcast: Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria | The new normal (podcast)
    Episode One by William Derry
  • Podcast: Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria | Making Contact (podcast)
    Episode Two by William Derry
  • Podcast: Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria: The Enchanted Forest (podcast)
    Episode Three by William Derry
  • Sports

  • The Comeback: Deportes en Puerto Rico (full show)
    By John Curley Center for Sports Journalism
  • Play Like a Girl (video)
    By Sara Perlowitz
  • Roberto Clemente’s Legacy Still Strong in Puerto Rico (video)
    By Tommy Butler
  • Training for Tokyo (video)
    By Sara Perlowitz
  • Puerto Rico Golf Getting Back to Par (video)
    By Jack Hirsch
  • Yabucoa Baseball’s New Beginning (video)
    By Brandon Pelter

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