Reporting without the web
I admit it, I'm spoiled. If a question pops up in the newsroom, I "Google it" to find the answer; same goes on my Blackberry, or iPad. Answers are quick to come by with the internet at your fingertips. But that won't be the case in Cuba and it could be one of our biggest challenges.
Don't get me wrong, there is internet service on the island. But it's not broadband. Cuba's service comes via satellite connection, and we've been warned it's terribly slow. Our hotel does offer internet access, but out on the streets, in the cafes, there is no WiFi. It means no tweets from me or Facebook posts, or connection to our WABC newsroom computer system and the rundowns for the shows.
We will have phones that we will get once in Cuba. And we will rely heavily on them when communicating with our colleagues in New York. I asked producer Daniela Royes if she had any concerns, she said, "...without the internet it's going to be an adjustment...basically I’m going to have to go back to the old way of working, relying on a land line, the telephone." I'll do the same and thankfully most of us in this business know how to adapt quickly.
The internet will be one of the stories we will cover while in Cuba. Only 2 percent of the Cuban population has access to the internet. So what is life like for the average person there without Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest? We will find out. And what about the few who do have internet access- how freely can they use it?
We leave on Friday. Our first report airs on Sunday night at 11. I hope you will be watching.