Archive for April, 2010

April 24, 2010

Haitians want agricultural development but is the diaspora listening?

Steve Baragona/VOA

The little reported highlight of the March donor conference at the United Nations was the part about what Haitians in Haiti want. I checked.  Media coverage focused on the billions donated, doubts about whether pledges will be kept and how to track all that money.  Very little ink went into broadcasting what a sample of 1,750 Haitians told donors they want.  And it wasn’t just dignity and respect.

I don’t mean to be flip but the few (seriously, like, three) articles which even mention former Haitian journalist and UN spokesperson Michele Montas’ presentation of survey results focused on airy-fairy demands for inclusion, dignity and respect.  Why the basic prerequisites for healthy human existence is presented as news, I haven’t a clue. But while businessmen are understood to want tangibles like money, property and ownership the poor are frequently reported by others to want some existential reward–like they can eat inclusion, dignity and respect.  The appropriate and more telling question, in keeping with a political and not philosophical discussion, is: what tangibles did the Haitian people demand?

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April 23, 2010

Mo’ media, mo’ media, mo’ media

I heard through HAG (eh hem, the Haitian activist grapevine) about a site similar to DH, Koze Ayiti out of the Knight Center for International Media at the University of Miami.  It looks like we have the same basic goal of producing original news and analysis about Haiti.  But there’re enough differences to make a potential partnership interesting.  I hope this find confirms TFTH’s position that post-earthquake media coverage of Haiti is not only unprecedented, it’s different:

Never have I seen such intensive coverage of a disaster response effort. I am not talking about coverage of the disaster itself – images of crumbled buildings and people weeping for their dead and talking heads going on about numbers. I am talking about coverage of aid agencies and issues in the response.

That’s hot.  Problems arise with media coverage too (i.e. so much ignorance you want to slap the reporter) so read the full post to get the gist.  But all in all, this supposed development is a great thing for aid and government accountability.

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April 23, 2010

Work in Haiti: 50 new job listings

REUTERS/Sophia Paris/UN Photos

DH wants to hear from Haitian-American applicants for these positions. Your experience could inspire another reader.  Good luck!

Job Title – UN  RESPONSABLE DE LA SECURITE (H/F) – SECURITY OFFICER (M/F),
Haiti (Port au Prince)
Closing Date – 21 Jun 2010
Organisation  – Action Contre la Faim
URL Address  – http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/res.nsf/db900SID/OCHA-84QMSQ

Job Title – Shelter Delegate, Haiti
Closing Date – 04 May 2010
Organisation  – American Red Cross
URL Address  – http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/res.nsf/db900SID/OCHA-84PNEL

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April 17, 2010

Doing indie media: what it is

While waiting this Saturday morning for a source to Skype from Haiti, I figured I’d review DH’s last two weeks.  My first grant application’s off.  I want that money so that I can bring on more reporters and another editor who I want to be based out of Miami and Haiti.  Gathering and verifying news and going places to talk to folks-in-the-know and take pictures is expensive so I need my people to be compensated.

The jobs listings get the most hits.  Makes sense: I usually email a Haitian hometown association list (thank you, Fonkoze) after I post the listings and Kiskeácity Tweets some of DH’s posts.  I’m still trying to figure out viewer’s habits, best way to present content, when I can find time to pull together the content, etc.  That’s cool though. DH is less than two weeks old and a work in progress. I’ll figure it out.  A young woman volunteered to help me last week, as did another who’s in Haiti, so I think I’m on the right track.

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April 16, 2010

Work in Haiti: 50 job listings

Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance

Job Title – COORDINATEUR EN EAU, ASSAINISSEMENT & HYGIENE (H/F), Haiti
(Port au Prince)
Closing Date – 12 Jun 2010
Organisation  – Action Contre la Faim
URL Address  – http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/res.nsf/db900SID/OCHA-84FLCR

Job Title – COORDINATEUR EN SECURITE ALIMENTAIRE SUPPORT (H/F), Haiti (Port
au Prince)
Closing Date – 12 Jun 2010
Organisation  – Action Contre la Faim
URL Address  – http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/res.nsf/db900SID/OCHA-84FLDZ

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April 15, 2010

Photographers: Show off your Haiti

Jan 26 in Port-au-Prince (Rodrigo Abd/AP)

Where are you going to be at 11am EST on Sunday, May 2nd?  The New York Times excellent photography blog wants you to show the world. (I’m thinking a lot of you will be in church)

Whether you’re a professional or just an amateur, here’s a chance to show the world what Haiti or being Haitian-American means to you. See the invitation from a Times senior photographer, after the jump.  Read this February post about ethics also from the Lens blog, At one point there were almost certainly too many photographers in Haiti. But which point?

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April 13, 2010

It’s the land, stupid

UN/DPI Photo by Eskinder Debebe

If you owned land would you want refugees living there? Rent-free? Indefinitely?  Folks don’t even want their own family shacking up on their property much less strangers.

Land, was the answer that the aid worker who recently returned from Haiti gave when I asked him what was the most critical issue for Haiti in the next year. Want a home? Whose land are you going to use? Want a job? Whose land are you going to work on? Want a school? Whose land are you going to build on? Want a clinic? And so on.

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April 13, 2010

Sign the petition if you care about…

At Kelly Ingram Park in 1963 police commissioner Bull Connor urged his men to let whites near the demonstrations. "I want them to see the dogs work," he said.

“…better coordination among aid providers, more transparency about where and how they are spending our money, and more participation of earthquake victims in the planning and execution of earthquake response projects.”

Call me a cynical journalist but how effective can a petition be if it’s addressed to 10 different people representing 10 different organizations with 10 different missions, bureaucracies and funding levels?  The petition organizers, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, explain why they’re targeting so many people–from World Vision to USAID to Bill Clinton–but in diffusing responsibility it seems IJDH inadvertently diffuses accountability as well.

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April 13, 2010

Paid work for Haitian rights in NYC

Apply by April 16, 2010

Lawyers Earthquake Response Network (LERN) Coordinator

LERN is a national network of lawyers in the U.S. working with Haitian lawyers to implement a legal, human rights-based response to the recent earthquake in Haiti. LERN projects include fighting for safe housing; long-term, effective international assistance to Haiti; and immigration opportunities for Haitians in the U.S.

The coordinator will coordinate the work of the various partners and will mobilize support for human rights and justice in Haiti.

Learn more.

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April 13, 2010

DH is reading…

The Globe and Mail

From the Globe & Mail’s excellent Project Jacmel, one of Haiti’s young filmmakers deserves a break from hardship.

“I feel I’ve lived some really bad times, but I found something good in those bad times,” he said.

“I want to show the world what happens when people live such hard times.”

I have some ideas of where this extra wheat can go.

“It’s a mammoth surplus [of wheat] and we have to get rid of it …,” said Bill Gary, the president of Commodity Information Systems in Oklahoma City.

Meanwhile,

“Experts say it will be difficult to feed [the six hundred thousand people who fled Port-au-Prince]. Food prices are high….”

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