Haitian media casualties, damages mount

By Carlos Lauría/Americas Senior Program Coordinator on January 26, 2010 4:34 PM ET

Working in an atmosphere of great confusion and grief, our sources in Haiti are compiling preliminary lists of media casualties, documenting damages to news facilities, and examining the challenges ahead. SOS Journalistes, a press advocacy group led by the prominent Haitian journalist Guyler Delva, reports that at least 11 journalists died in the January 12 earthquake outside Port-au-Prince. CPJ continues to investigate their identities and the circumstances in which they died.

How to help

Delva told CPJ that the three-story building that housed SOS Journalistes has collapsed, and all of its equipment has been destroyed. He said the premises of Radio and Tele Ginen, TV Channel 11, Radio Magik 9, Energie FM, and Radio Vasco were also severely damaged.

The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters reports that at least 12 community radio stations in Port-au-Prince, Jacmel, and Petit Goave were extensively damaged and their operations interrupted. The two Port-au-Prince-based dailies, Le Matin and Le Novuelliste, are still not circulating, according to news accounts and CPJ interviews.

“The small society of Haitian journalists has been dealt a tough blow from the earthquake,” wrote Trenton Daniel in Monday’s Miami Herald. He noted that it comes at time when the “independent press had made significant strides … after reporters struggled to do their jobs under decades of despotic rule."

The task is enormous, said Delva, who described it as “starting from zero.” He noted that local reporters must deal with their own personal challenges—grieving the loss of loved ones, taking care of injured relatives, rebuilding their homes, and addressing basic needs such as feeding their families. Delva has launched a campaign to help feed and shelter numerous displaced local journalists; he is also looking for help in rebuilding SOS Journalistes. 

CPJ is working with local groups to identify needs and help direct assistance. 

Editor’s Note: If you have any information on journalists and media outlets in Haiti please post a comment below or notify us via e-mail [email protected], or Twitter: @HelpJournalists. We are collecting funds that will go directly to Haitian journalists. If you’d like to make a contribution, please click this link and enter “Haiti” in the “Notes” section on the second page.


J'ai une grande douleur pour le peuple Haitien en particulier la Presse Haitienne. J'aimerais faire un don aux journalistes Haitiens en difficultes cependant j'ai totalement perdu confiance en sos dirrige par Guyler C.Delva.Peut-etre CPJ n'est pas au courant de toutes les mauvaises actions de cet homme. Les journalistes se pleignent beaucoup de guyler alors comment les gens peuvnt envoyer leurs dons a guyler c delva. Merci.

I'm an Israeli independent journalist, and I wish to salute your truly remarkable and important work in helping out fellow journalists in Haiti.

I thought I might be able to contribute some information myself. In the first week after the earthquake I was trying to locate fellow
Haitian journalist. After a few stressful days, thanks to a Twitter-mediated assistance, I managed to receive a couple of reassuring messages from her. However, she also mentioned "the media has suffered a lot. Many were destroyed and some journalists lost their lives."

Until establishing contact, I've been told by her colleagues at Radio Kiskeya on January 14th that "the building of the radio was evacuated in time and no one was injured".

Please let me know if there's any other information you might need, and I'd also be glad to know how I (as well as other fellow journalists) might be of any help in the efforts for aiding Haitian journalists.

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