News - Haiti Observer Blog

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The power of Radio in the Haitian Society

Haitian radio is the chief means of media communication on the island. Few have income to buy a TV, and those who have sets are subject to unreliable electricity service. Going online to access news coverage is impossible for all but the rich. Not only is newspaper distribution minimal, but 80% of the population are illiterate. The only information source available to everyone is the radio and radio stations are plentiful in Haiti. Reception is widely accessible in virtually every village on the island. Radios cost little to own and run on batteries.

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Laurent Lamothe wins case against Haiti Observateur

Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe won what, to some, was an unsurprising victory in his libel suit against New York based website Haiti Observateur. In two articles published in August of 2012 the website, through its reporter Leo Joseph, extended theories about the prime minister and his business partner Patrice Baker's role in the sale of the telecommunications company Haitel that U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro has now declared to be false and malicious.

The articles posited that the company, which shut down after an inability to pay its debts, was bought by the Haitian government in a deal brokered by Lamothe in which he fixed its sale price of $25 million, and positioned himself to receive, what they described as, the 'lion's share' of the profit. Upon noting the libelous nature of the articles Lamothe and Baker filed a lawsuit in September 2012, citing the damage done to their political and business profiles after the implications of corruption and conspiracy made by Joseph and the newspaper which has reported its weekly circulation within the Haitian Diaspora to reach 75,000.

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Lylah M. Alphonse, Indian Haiti news editor

She is born of a Persian mother from India and a father from Haiti. Lylah M. Alphonse is an American citizen who has achieved a great deal of chances to better herself. She is a renowned writer who has spent the better part of her life writing and editing work at newspaper stations and magazines. She is also a very much known person in The Boston Globe newspaper in Boston, Massachusetts where she writes a couple of sections at the Sunday magazine, writes for some of their Travel, Food and Living/Arts sections.

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Haiti en Marche's Coverage of Recovery Efforts

Haiti en Marche is an online news publication, which also puts out a print issue distributed to major markets on the U.S. eastern seaboard and in Canada, France, and Switzerland. It is a weekly newspaper covering local news, the economy, post-earthquake recovery efforts, government of Haiti activities, and other news of interest to the Haitian community and Diaspora.

Recently its coverage included an article about the city of Jeremie, capital of Grand Anse Department, whose citizens are up-in-arms over stoppage of a road project. Commissioned by the Organization of American States (OAS), who awarded Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) the contract, a Brazilian construction company started work on a road just outside Jeremiah last year.

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Haitian Newspapers Forge Joint Operating Agreement

In response to economic severity affecting newspaper publishing world-wide, Haiti Liberté and Haitian Times have agreed to incorporate to cut advertising and business costs. Both newspapers target different demographic audiences. They expect their Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) will bring them 25,000 subscribers every week.

The two newspapers will publish sharing the same printing presses, Haiti Liberté in French and Haitian Times in English. Although they will publish for the same distribution channels, editorial content will remain separate. Forward-looking Haiti Liberté, founded in 2007, focuses on news reporting and current events in Haiti. Within the past year, the newspaper has raised its international profile, collaborating with The Nation to release an article series regarding Haiti/US foreign policy secrets. This became possible through Wikileaks, which supplied intercepted foreign policy communications.

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Haiti Liberte Inks Joint Operating Agreement with Haitian Times

Haiti Liberté, Haiti's widest-circulation weekly newspaper, has signed a Joint Operating Agreement with the Haitian Times in an effort to cut advertising and operating costs. The global economic collapse plus readers' migration to online editions of major newspapers has affected circulation and subscription sales negatively. The resulting revenue decrease has forced the two newspaper publishers to join forces in order to keep their publications afloat and thriving.

Haiti Liberté, a progressive publication, targets news reporting and current events in the Caribbean and South America. Its international coverage includes momentous social- change movements and astute political commentary. Employing a stable of prestigious and risk-taking investigative reporters, the Port-au-Prince- and Brooklyn-based paper offers a perspective of its own country's place in the context of world affairs.

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Haiti Progres Pursues Secretive Agenda

Haiti Progres, a weekly started in 1983, targets news events that affect the lower classes in Haitian society. It owns printing and distribution centers in Brooklyn and New York, and publishes in French, English, and Créole. Its headquarters are located in Port-au-Prince.

Among Haitian weeklies, such as Haiti Liberté and Haiti en Marche,and dailies, Morning and Nouvelliste, Haiti Progres is the only left-wing publication representing the voices of the poorer strata of society.

Haiti Progres's editorial policy is to deliver a perspective on news analysis that favors a liberalist outlook and Marxist philosophy. Its website, designed with a red and white color scheme, symbolizes a strident approach to class struggle that remains underground politically. Its unwillingness to share news and editorial content on its website reveals paranoia, understandable in Haiti. Corruption and violence, whether apparent or not, still fuels government of Haiti's administrative engine at all levels.

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Le Nouvelliste's Comeback after 2010 Earthquake

Le Nouvelliste, Haiti's first-published newspaper, was struck down during the 2010 earthquake. Struggling for the next three months to keep publishing, it managed to put out 12 issues. The paper's online presence was uninterrupted, keeping subscribers up-to-date with the latest news developments.

Le Nouvelliste retains the distinction of being Haiti's one daily publication, committed to unimpeded dispersal of news information. Its mission is providing a channel for progressive ideas to emerge within the Haitian community.

Editor-in-chief Frantz Duval, in an interview given to Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), said after the earthquake its circulation figures showed decease in distribution from 15,000 to 10,000 daily issues. Advertising revenues from the publication plummeted. Encouraging, though, has been the return of 30% of its pre-earthquake advertising space, gradually re-appearing. Post-earthquake, news reporting had completely shut down, except for its online site, updated frequently. But by April, Le Nouvelliste's journalists have all returned to work.

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Le Matin Maintains Circulation and Subscription Sales Post Earthquake

Le Matin, Haiti's biggest and most prestigious daily, is a business publication, which publishes for the well-heeled and -educated Haitian elite. Its coverage of business includes state-wide and regional business news, forecasts, analysis, executive profiles and promotions, mergers and acquisitions, and information on market conditions elsewhere in the world affecting Haiti's business climate.

Publishing in French and out of Port-au-Prince, it owns and operates its publishing house, Le Nouveau Matin S.A. Besides general business news, Le Matin delivers editorial content pertinent to business markets in Haiti.

Its readership includes captains of industry, business barons, government business interests, and business associations. Those who claim the lion's share of purchasing leverage, hold at least one advanced degree, usually in business or in a business-related field.

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