Project Americas: The Journalist Institute of the Americas- Cuba                     Media Documents

The Journalism Institute of the Americas (JIA)

Funded in part by a grant from the Knight Foundation, The Journalism Institute of the Americas (JIA) seeks to increase a sustainable free flow of information, and the development of independent and objective news in Cuba by improving the reporting skills of young journalists in the areas of modern professional journalistic techniques, digital journalism, and the use of social media to disseminate information. This program is unique in that it leverages a relationship with the University of Havana to deliver training in an attractive and less political Southern California media market, provides access to trained Latino journalists and educators, and provides training in digitally advanced educational facilities. JIA will focus on young Cuban journalists and initially the faculty from the University of Havana that provide instruction to them. Demographically youth make up a large part of Cuban society, will have increasing influence as they move through adulthood, and similar to youth across the hemisphere, they gravitate towards technology, the use of social media, and have a desire to tell their stories. From a long-term perspective these young Cuban journalists will come from the nations’ top journalism school, and are considered to be “part of the system,” which will add credibility to the news and stories they produce.

Program Format & Logistics

The goal of this journalism training based project is to increase the effectiveness of news reporting in Cuba by improving the reporting skills of young journalists in the areas of digital reporting for the internet, social media support of news, and modern professional journalistic techniques. This program will begin by training faculty from the University of Havana (“Train the Trainer”) as well as younger journalists who are teaching while completing graduate degrees. This collaborative training program for young Cuban journalists and faculty from the University of Havana will focus on:

  • The development of independent and objective news and news stories
  • Digital reporting for the internet and the use of social media to support journalism 
  • Professional journalism and journalistic ethics

Collaborative Journalism Education Exchange Program 2016-2017

This goal of this project is to build a collaborative journalism exchange program that would bring 10-12 journalism students and a faculty member from the University of Havana in Cuba to Cal State Fullerton for a two (2) week training program.  While at the university the Cuban students will work and collaborate with journalism students and faculty from Cal State Fullerton's student media program to learn about the development of digital media, student media, citizen journalism, social media support of journalism. A second phase of the program will send Cal State Fullerton faculty and students to the University of Havana to work with their their cuban colleagues and to produce stories and documentaries about cuban culture and society.

Journalism Training Program December 2014

A seven (7) day training program included a mix of nine (9) graduate students, educators and professional journalists from Cuba. The program included top journalism faculty, print journalists/editors, and broadcast journalists from the Cuban media system.  This program:

  • Delivered training in Spanish to students and faculty from Cuba using professional journalists who have extensive experience in Mexico, Cuba, and Latin America. This training took place in the College of Communications at California State University Fullerton.
  • Provided tours for the students and faculty to both traditional and new media news and journalistically based organizations such as the LA times, La Opinion, and Telemundo.
  • Provided housing and instruction at California State University Fullerton in Southern California, while incorporating opportunities for the participants to interact with English and Spanish Language media professionals and organizations.


Project Americas Background

Project Americas seeks to work with foreign universities, institutions, and media organizations from across the hemisphere to strengthen and develop media and participative systems through the development of communication skills, media systems, and curriculum to help build stronger communities, societies, and democracies. Given the shift towards global digital media, a large portion of Project Americas will focus on the sharing of strategies, techniques and the use of digital tools to tell stories and to reach diverse audiences across cities, countries, and hemispheres.