Ryan Caron King | Connecticut Public Radio

Ryan Caron King

Visuals Journalist

Ryan Caron King is a visuals journalist. He makes documentary videos, news photography, and radio stories.

In 2018, Ryan won a National Edward R. Murrow Award for one of the videos he made reporting in Puerto Rico. He also won a New England Emmy for video journalism and several Connecticut SPJ awards. Some of his radio work has aired nationally on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered -- and several of his videos have been posted on NPR's Facebook page. He's also a licensed drone pilot. 

Since September 2017, Ryan has been covering the impact of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Ricans with ties to Connecticut in WNPR's "The Island Next Door" reporting project. 

As a student at the University of Connecticut, Ryan was the manager of his college radio station. He graduated from UConn with a Journalism/English double major in 2015. He likes to spend most of his spare time thinking of new nicknames for his friends' dogs. 

Watch some of Ryan's videos below.

Ways to Connect

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Students from Naugatuck High School, along with some of their parents and supporters, staged a demonstration in town Wednesday after racist social media posts from a fellow student were revealed.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

George McCleary is a horticulturist and a vegetable farmer. Around this time of year, he’s also a Santa. He’s been putting on the red coat for about four decades. But he’s now 66 and borderline diabetic, so he wasn’t sure how he could safely do his Santa visits in the middle of the pandemic.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public/NENC

From suburban Connecticut to rural Maine, demonstrators occupied highways and town greens over the summer with banners and calls for racial justice. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

It’s been six weeks since a white Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd. Since then, thousands of people across Connecticut have taken to the streets to protest police brutality and systemic racism. Connecticut Public spoke with young Black protesters about what motivated them to speak out, their experiences with racism, and the changes they’re pushing for.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Unions and community activists in Connecticut renewed calls for the governor to establish a fund to help undocumented workers who are suffering during the coronavirus pandemic.

A car caravan paraded up I-91 from New Haven to Hartford, where protesters joined ranks with others from around the state in front of the Capitol building to hold an International Workers Day rally. Many stayed in their cars to follow social distancing guidelines -- and some joined virtually via Zoom.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Thousands lined up to collect food donations at Rentschler Field in East Hartford last week. Foodshare started the drive-through food bank on Monday and decided to extend the program for two more weeks due to an “overwhelming response” from the community. 

Ryan Caron King/Connecticut Public

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now advises all people to wear a cloth face covering in public spaces to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, though in Connecticut, masks are not mandatory. With shortages of medical-grade masks on the front lines of the pandemic, such masks aren’t generally available to the public. Still, that hasn’t stopped people from getting creative with DIY versions. A walk around New Haven bears that out, as you’ll see many residents with a new look, doing their part to fight the coronavirus.    

Renty -- an enslaved man whose photograph was commissioned by Harvard professor Louis Agassiz in 1850.
Courtesy of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University

When Tamara Lanier’s mother died in 2010, the Norwich, Connecticut, resident remembered a promise she made to her: to document who her ancestors were.

Lanier says she grew up hearing her mother’s stories about her great-great-great grandfather, Papa Renty, an African-born enslaved man in South Carolina.

Ryan Caron King (screengrab) / Connecticut Public

Mark Guido had his eyes fixed on a punching bag. Jab after jab, he didn’t break focus. He had the gym to himself -- a winter storm kept other boxers off the roads. Guido said he couldn’t afford to skip. 

“If I don’t work out every day, I can tell. By the end of the day ... I’m having problems. My dexterity is gone. I’m fatigued. Coordination is off,” he said.

Manuel Sastre can't even believe what's about to happen. He's hot, he's covered in sweat, and he's about to walk out of this Hartford, Conn., liquor store with two six packs of ice cold Medalla Light. It's been way too long.

"Eighteen years," Sastre tells me. "I haven't been in Puerto Rico in 18 years."

But now?

Sastre says it's like "I'm back on my island."

Rabbi Michael Farbman prepares for Sunday School in Orange, Connecticut the day after the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.
Credit: Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Jewish congregations around Connecticut struggled this weekend to absorb the news out of Pittsburgh. Several communities held candlelight vigils to remember those killed in a mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

An estimated 13,000 Puerto Ricans came to Connecticut after Hurricane Maria, according to The Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Según el Centro para Estudios Puertorriqueños del Colegio Universitario Hunter, un estimado de 13000 puertorriqueños vino a Connecticut luego del huracán María.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The Walk Bridge is a century-old “swing bridge” in Norwalk that carries hundreds of trains each day along Connecticut’s southern coast.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Hartford’s hurricane relief center was where evacuees from Puerto Rico could come to get help: help finding housing, jobs, winter clothing -- whatever supplies or services they needed to restart their lives in Connecticut.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

El centro de socorro por el huracán, de Hartford, era donde los evacuados de Puerto Rico podían ir para buscar ayuda: ayuda para conseguir vivienda, trabajos, ropa de invierno; cualquier suministro o servicio que necesitaran para recomenzar sus vidas en Connecticut.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The memory of Hurricane Maria still lives with Carmen Cotto.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

El recuerdo del huracán María aún vive en Carmen Cotto.

"El huracán devastó la isla," dijo Cotto. "Me devastó a mí. Devastó a mí familia. Y a todas las familias. Porque abrir la puerta y ver lo que vimos, todavía me llena los ojos de lágrimas."

Miles de puertorriqueños como Cotto dejaron sus hogares en la isla para vivir en Connecticut después del ataque del huracán María en el otoño pasado. Ahora, a medida que Puerto Rico se recupera lentamente de la tormenta, algunos están regresando a casa.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

A coalition of activist groups, union organizers, and elected officials are calling for Yale University to disclose and cancel its holdings in Puerto Rican debt.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Una coalición de grupos activistas, organizadores sindicales y funcionarios electos están solicitando a la Universidad de Yale que publique y cancele sus participaciones en la deuda puertorriqueña.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Brian Rivera was finishing breakfast in the lobby of the Red Room Inn in downtown Hartford. He’s been living there with his wife and two toddlers since December. And he didn’t know yet if he’d have to move out soon.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Brian Rivera estaba terminando su desayuno en el lobby de la posada Red Roof en el centro de Hartford. Ha estado viviendo allí con su esposa y sus dos hijos pequeños, desde diciembre. Y no sabía aún, si tendría que mudarse pronto.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Members of Hartford’s Puerto Rican community held a rally and a candlelight vigil Friday night in front of the hotel where dozens of hurricane evacuees from the island have been living since Hurricane Maria.

Hurricane evacuees Yara Vasquez (left) and Wanda Ortiz (center) watch a press conference at the hotel they were living in with their families under a FEMA program on January 19, 2018.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says that two dozen Puerto Rican families who relocated Hartford will no longer be eligible for housing assistance on Monday because inspections showed little or no damage to their homes in Puerto Rico.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Only days after the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it would pay for dozens of hurricane evacuees to stay in a Harford hotel until mid-February, state officials were told by FEMA on Thursday there had been an error, and that several of the families had to vacate their temporary housing. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

State officials say that several dozen Puerto Rican families who were at risk of losing federal housing assistance could now have their stay in Connecticut extended until mid-February.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Authorities say a missing inmate who escaped from the Carl Robinson Correctional Institution in Enfield may have stowed away under a state service vehicle or garbage truck.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Xiomara Vega moved to Connecticut from Puerto Rico with her three-year-old daughter after Hurricane Maria knocked out the electricity in her home. She’s trying to make a new life there, but she doesn’t want to forget her old one. And celebrating Three Kings Day -- the Christian holiday also known as the Epiphany -- is a big part of that.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Xiomara Vega se mudó a Connecticut desde Puerto Rico con su hija de tres años después de que el Huracán María cortara la electricidad en su casa. Trata de construir una nueva vida allá, pero no quiere olvidar su antigua vida. Y celebrar el Día de los Tres Reyes Magos, la celebración cristiana también conocida como la epifanía, es una gran parte de ella.

Merely Torres-Garcia has been living in a hotel room in Hartford, Conn., with her husband and two kids after losing part of her house in Puerto Rico to Hurricane Maria. She said spending the Christmas season in the northeastern cold has been hard for her family. But on Saturday night, in the noisy atrium of Hartford City Hall, it felt a little bit like Christmas on the island.

"My kids are happy. We feel like home in here right now," she said.