Television Nationale d'Haiti Reporters Fired for Political Views

Television Nationale d'Haiti (TNH) Director General Pradel Henriquez brought suit against three of the station's broadcast journalists on April 8, 2011. Josias Pierre, Jacques Innocent, and Eddy Jackson Alexis were accused of "grave insubordination" towards Henriquez, who also alleged they were allowing political biases to interfere with their reporting.


Reporters without Borders (RWB) have denounced Henrique's action, demanding "their immediate reinstatement". RWB contends Pierre, Innocent, and Alexis were terminated because of their criticism towards then-President-Elect Michel Martelly.

The TNH reporters claim Henriquez ordered them to give presidential candidate Martelly three-quarters of an hour air time to 10 minutes for his opponent, Manigat. If Manigat received 20 minutes of air time, that meant an hour and a half for Martelly. Even more outrageous, Henriquez approved complete coverage of a Martelly music event with a post-concert meet-and-greet with him, lasting several hours. Henriquez gave no air time to Manigat.

It appears because the reporters expressed disapproval of the unfair advantage given Martelly, with more than four times the amount of air time given him over his opponent, the hammer came down on them. The timing of the terminations corresponded to newly-elected President Martelly's drop-in at TNH just after his election.

Henriquez--in a bit of double-talk--protests the reporters' politics had nothing to do with their dismissals, though he acknowledged he knew their preference for candidate Manigat. He reiterated his reasons were incompetency and disrespect for his authority. Henriquez also runs government-owned Radio Nationale.

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