“The Island Next Door” Recaps Connecticut Public’s ongoing reporting about recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and the island’s greater connection to Connecticut
HARTFORD, Conn. (Sept. 10, 2018) – One year after the historic devastation of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico, Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) will air The Island Next Door, a new documentary chronicling Connecticut Public Radio’s (WNPR) year-long, multi-platform reporting initiative that tells the stories of real people touched by the storm, both on and off the island.
Directed by Connecticut Public Radio Visual Reporter Ryan Caron King with reporting by News Director Jeff Cohen, The Island Next Door tells the stories of disaster and recovery as Puerto Ricans on the island rebuild from the last storm and prepare for the next.
“Each story is unique, many are deeply personal, and all of them are snapshots in time of a place and its people,” Cohen said. “This documentary is our effort to highlight the storm’s effects on the people it touched — both on the island and in Connecticut.”
Recently, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló announced the island’s official death toll from Hurricane Maria at 2,975 and described the effects of the hurricane as “unprecedented devastation.”
Connecticut had hundreds of thousands of residents with Puerto Rico roots before the hurricane. Thousands more came after Maria hit.
“For us to treat the storm and its aftermath as anything other than a local story would be to fail in our work and our public service mission,” Cohen said.
“We can’t tell the whole story of Maria in one documentary,” Caron King said. “It’s big, and it’s complicated. It’s evolving. But we can tell the stories of our neighbors — the Connecticut residents with Puerto Rican roots who were the first responders, the evacuees who came to make a new life in Connecticut after Maria, the families that took them in, the people who went back to rebuild. Their stories are important, and we’re grateful for the chance to tell them.”
The Island Next Door will premiere on CPTV on Thursday, September 20 at 8 p.m. To learn more about The Island Next Door, including ongoing coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, visit theislandnextdoor.wnpr.org.
About Connecticut Public
Connecticut Public is the state’s only locally-owned media organization producing television, radio, print, and web content for Connecticut’s wide-ranging and diverse communities. It is home to Connecticut Public Television, Connecticut Public Radio, and Connecticut Public Learning. Connecticut Public Television is an affiliate of PBS and is a locally and nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming. Connecticut Public Radio on WNPR is an affiliate of National Public Radio, Public Radio International, and American Public Media. Connecticut Public Learning serves high school seniors through a partnership with Hartford Public Schools and the Journalism and Media Academy Magnet School. It is also home to the Institute for Advanced Media, a program that provides veterans and adult learners an opportunity to learn valuable digital media skills. For more information, visit ctpublic.org.