Having just returned from Haiti recently [my third trip since the earthquake], I am glad to report that there is some progress on the news front.
Hawkers selling both Le Matin and Le Nouvelliste can now be seen on the streets of Port-au-Prince. Radio and TV stations are up and running and Haitian journalists are out as well, covering news developments as well as the ongoing struggles with life after the disaster.
Also worth noting is the fact that the Haitian population is hungry for information and can be seen buying the papers, holding radios up to their ears or crowding around TV sets in makeshift camps to watch the latest developments.
But many challenges remain. The two main newspapers, Le Nouvelliste and Le Matin, are still far from production levels prior to the earthquake, many journalists remain homeless and equipment needed to do the job is limited. But there is a commitment to news gathering and a camaraderie that is enviable.
Whenever I run into my Haitian colleagues on the street, we are quick to acknowledge each other with a handshake, a hug, an exchange of business cards and a smile.
I interpret their smile to mean, “Thank you for being here.”
My smile to them is meant to say, “Thank you for reminding me how important what we do is.”
Nancy San Martin
Assistant World Editor,
The Miami Herald