Amid Haiti’s chaos, Marcus Garcia struggles every day to fulfill his duty as journalist. He said he routinely goes up and down the streets of Port-au-Prince in search of fuel for his car. When talking on the phone, the tone of his voice indicates the difficulties he encounters as a journalist willing to keep doing his job in the aftermath of the January 12 earthquake. Garcia feels the toll as heavily as anyone right now: He lost his wife in the disaster.
Yet he decided to resume his work a week after such as great loss. “My duty is to inform and assist other powerless and voiceless victims,” he declared on Radio Melodie 103.3 FM. As a director of the station and a political analyst, his daily show on Radio Melodie is the most listened to early morning program in Haiti.
The radio station has suffered such substantial losses that it has resumed only about 30 percent of its work, Garcia told CPJ, noting that none of his reporters died in the disaster. As secretary-general of the Haitian Independent Media Association, Garcia is also working to assess the overall situation of member radio stations and newspapers in the devastation.
Garcia is a veteran journalist with 32 years of experience. He started his career in journalism with Radio Inter in the 1970s. He was imprisoned and then exiled to the United States in 1980 while he was a reporter with Radio Metropole. In 2001, he won the Jean Dominique Human Rights and Freedom of the Press Award, which is given by the United Nations to support the work of journalists in Haiti.
The Haitian media has been terribly affected by the earthquake, Garcia said, stressing that his task has become more complicated than ever. Everything is dysfunctional. Daily now he sits at the microphone while wondering how to find fuel for field reporting, he said.