Pittsburgh Journalists Find Joy And Success In Annual Haiti Storytelling Trip

Dec 19, 2018

A group of local journalists traveled to Haiti this fall to gather stories and images from the small Caribbean island. They brought back bits of life and culture, and what one storyteller called “another side of Haiti.”

Joining the Confluence to talk about the trip are:

  • Dr. Ervin Dyer, senior editor in the Office of University Communications at the University of Pittsburgh;
  • Allegra Johnson, a freelance journalist and communications manager at Propel Schools; and
  • Germaine Watkins, a photographer and teacher at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild.

A coal processing plant sits abandoned near Smith's home in Pike County.
Credit Rich-Joseph Facun / NPR

Understanding and appreciating Haiti as outsiders requires shedding preconceived notions, Dyer says. In America, society understands success to be mostly male, mostly white and mostly wealthy. That’s not Haiti, he says.

“There are success stories in Haiti, you just have to look at them differently,” and understand the context in which they’re living, he said. Check out the collection of stories and photos from the trip here.

Elsewhere in the program, a multi-year investigation by NPR and the PBS program Frontline found that a largely unrecorded number of coal miners are suffering from an outbreak of the advanced stage of black lung disease, known as complicated black lung or progressive massive fibrosis.

Hear from NPR's Howard Berkes who traveled across Appalachia to meet many of those miners

And for many students in their teens and early 20s, college is the first time they're navigating health care alone. Universities are making it easier and cheaper to get care on campus, but as WESA’s Sabrina Bodon reports, many students find themselves too busy to take advantage.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators join veteran journalist Kevin Gavin, taking an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here