Cuba has limited accessibility to freedom of expression and the press than any other country in America. Laws restrict freedom of speech to protect state security. When 18 Northeastern University students set out to uncover the story of Cuba, they had to face many problems like tropical storms, no access to phones and limited internet.
Nine of these students won the Boston/New England Emmy Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in recognition of their work. The awards celebrate outstanding achievements in production by undergraduate college and high school students who are studying media and journalism. Mike Beaudet, a professor of the practice in the School of Journalism said,
“These students showed incredible video storytelling skills by finding compelling stories in a foreign country while navigating the language barrier and cultural differences, They told stories most reporters who go to Cuba aren’t telling because they took the time to talk with locals and gain their trust.”
A fourth-year student Jonathan Mejia won an award for a piece in which he examined the impact of President Donald Trump’s presidency on sectors of Cuba’s economy that are dependent on tourism. Third-year journalism student, Kaitlyn Budion, produced an award-winning piece with Paxtyn Merten titled “The Magical Mechanics of Cuba”. Danae Bucci a fifth-year student earned an Emmy for the short documentary for Beaudet’s experimental video storytelling class. Daniel Bruzzese, a third-year student who is studying media arts, won an award for his animation work for a project called “Reinventing Local TV News.” He created a variety of animations and motion graphics to supplement a news story package. A video titled “METCO: The Strengths and Struggles of Diversity” won an award. It was produced with fellow Northeastern University students William Bryan and Sophia Fox-Sowell and chronicles a high school student’s hour-long commute by bus to school one morning.