The Rebuilding Haiti survey’s critical. It’s my marching orders so I spent the day reaching out to a hundred (maybe more?) Haitian-Americans by email. How I get in touch with people is important; shows who I’m excluding. While I want many voices, the last thing I want is for this survey, my work order, to be overly influenced by the super-educated tech-friendly set. I’m hoping that the Hometown Associations show up here in a big way.
There’s a lot of noise online about Haiti. I imagine it matches the confusion of NGO, business, donor, diaspora and government missions on the ground in Haiti. Here, as the editor, one of my jobs is to wade through the Internet swamp (a good one, but a swamp nonetheless) and pull out the good stuff (there’s a lot of that, too): which decisions matter? who’s making them? As a reporter, my job is to find out how the diaspora can get in on that action.
I have an article coming out soon in the Haitian Times. The publisher, Garry Pierre-Pierre and I are just getting to know each but I’ve taken to calling him, ‘Sir.’ He’s not really old enough for that either. He just gives me that vibe.
The article’s a look at how the diaspora organizes (or doesn’t). I’ll link when it runs but know that HT puts its articles behind a pay wall. And know, dear bosses, that that’s a necessary thing if you run a news, not just an opinion, outfit. And while I’m at it, also know that I think long and hard about how to monetize the diaspora’s desire for the information that I can bring them. You should be thinking, too–and feeding your ideas to me.
Man does not live by grants (or aid) alone. They’re helpful but I want this business to survive on its own. I like the spot.us model in the short term. Basically, I propose the story, explain why it’s important and the crowd–all of you–fund it. Works the opposite way, too: you propose the story, explain why it’s important to more people than just you and we pitch it to the crowd–and they fund it.
Talking about stories and money reminds me to remind you: I send out my first grant application this weekend.