When the Cuban National baseball team played the New Jersey Jackals at Montclair State this summer, the games not only gave New Jersey residents a rare look at Cuban baseball, they offered a group of minority middle and high school students invaluable experience as journalists.
The students had the opportunity to interview players from both the Cuban National Team and the Jackals at Yogi Berra Stadium on June 30, as part of a journalism boot camp.
It marked the first time a Cuban professional team has played in North America since 1960 and the team’s stop on campus was one in its six-city, 19-game tour with the Can-Am (Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball) League.
Students from Orange and Paterson, New Jersey, attended the boot camp held at Montclair State’s School of Communication and Media for a complete immersion into the program, which included living on campus and culminated with the player interviews.
Designed to promote diversity in the newsroom and develop the next generation of minority journalists, the boot camp featured a packed calendar of workshops that included a trip to New York City for a guided tour of ABC News.
“It is an important public service, bringing together gifted educators and talented high school students who may not be in a position to afford ‘boot camp’ programs or other journalism summer efforts,” School of Communication and Media Director Merrill Brown told Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine. “We’re also pleased to be in a position to serve students with an interest in journalism, especially at a point in time in which the students and their parents may be getting mixed signals about opportunities in the field.”