Urgent Information for Haiti’s Earthquake Victim

by Internews
Man receives handcrack radio (Winnie Romeril)
Man receives handcrack radio (Winnie Romeril)

By supporting Internews’ efforts in Haiti, you can directly make possible the broadcast of vital information in a country that largely depends on radio for its news and information. Help us continue to serve the needs of earthquake victims in Haiti and contribute to the long-term recovery of Haiti’s media sector.

Haitians are still struggling with devastating after effects of the January 12 earthquake. Almost two million people are living in displaced person camps, in which problems of garbage disposal, health, security and violence are compounded.

Providing Haitians with reliable information is critical to their continuing struggle to obtain employment, education for their children, permanent housing and access to health services.

Since a few days after the earthquake, with a team of local reporters, Internews has been producing a daily 15-minute news program – Enfomasyon Nou Dwe Konnen (News You Can Use) – that is currently airing on 25 local radio stations.

A survey found that 82% of men and 67% of women listen to Enfomasyon Nou Dwe Konnen as an information source. “If you go to Haiti, everyone, just everything they say is, 'News You Can Use said that. News You Can Use said that,'” said Caitlin Klevorick, Special Assistant to Counselor Cheryl Mills, US State Department, at a panel discussion on the role of media in the response to the earthquake. Almost one million Haitians listen to and depend on Enfomasyon Nou Dwe Konnen for humanitarian news and information.

The program reports critical information about water distribution points, openings of displaced persons camps, the role of search and rescue teams, public health advisories, education, culture and more. The program invites direct feedback from the affected population in the form of SMS text messages and emails, keeping the broadcast current. Radio, along with church, is one of the most trusted sources of information in Haiti and people overwhelmingly prefer local stations.

The continuation of humanitarian broadcasting as well as building and sustaining a strong local media is critical to Haiti’s reconstruction and political and economic development.

What donors are saying:

“(I give because of) the unsurpassed work Internews does in emergency situations in restoring access to information and news, which does "save lives" – Sarah Tisch, DC

“(I give because I) believe that the power of communication is imperative in a humanitarian disaster of this sort” – Katie Well, London

Thank you for your support. Together, we can make a difference.


Robenson Sanon interviews quake survivors
Robenson Sanon interviews quake survivors

Thanks to the quick response of Global Giving donors like you, Internews was able to immediately initiate a media response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti within days and continues to meet the information needs of the people of Haiti post-earthquake.

Your support has funded the production of over 40 humanitarian broadcasts to date: Internews Network’s daily humanitarian information program, Enfomasyon Nou Dwe Konnen, began January 21, and reaches Haitians via 27 local radio stations, with information on safety, health, aid and reconstruction. The program is reported and produced by local journalists, who convey useful information to listeners in camps, makeshift shelters, and homes.

The show’s practical health and nutrition advice is saving lives. Even simple information can have a wide impact on the well-being of earthquake survivors. Along with receiving information, listeners rely on the program as a means to communicate their needs to the government and aid agencies.

- Frantz Larsen’s five-month-old child had been trying to drink cow’s milk for several days, after Frantz’s wife stopped breastfeeding and Frantz had been trying without success to buy milk formula. When Frantz heard a radio report that said babies should be breastfed for at least six months, he told reporters he encouraged his wife to breastfeed the baby again.

- Armand said he now makes sure his children take soap with them to camp latrines to wash up, after hearing a report on the humanitarian broadcast, Enfomasyon Nou Dwe Konnen (News You Can Use), about disease risks incurred by people who do not wash their hands when leaving the toilet.

Internews as partners in the community: Earthquake survivors respect and trust the Internews team in Haiti. We receive over 100 SMS/text messages a day. Questions are aggregated and incorporated into the programming, and we deploy journalists to investigate and report on issues of most interest to the people.

Sample SMS/text messages received on February 23: “My name is Richard and I live in Delmas 75. I commend you for the right information you bring to the country.”

“We live in the village Renesans, and we have received no official visit… not even a bottle of water… We ask for help for the village of Renesans. Thank you.”

“Please, tell us where we can find tents and tarpaulins, and where we should get them, because I have a nurse with many children, and there one who is sick because he sleeps outside.”

Direct Link between Aid Agencies and Earthquake Survivors: Enfomasyon Nou Dwe Konnen provides a direct link between listeners like these and the aid agencies who are providing direct services. Internews’ radio journalists have established contact with all major humanitarian players and routinely carry public service messages from the agencies and report on their aid work.

Dimitry Leger of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said “I find Internews invaluable for getting [UNFPA] messages out to the affected population. News You Can Use is a huge hit among Haitians, and its young Haitian journalists are well-trained and very sharp. Their questions give me insights on how the UN could do a better job.”

Melanie Brooks of CARE International explained how her agency relies on the radio program: “CARE has already used the program to explain to people how to improve their shelters to make them waterproof for the rainy season – information that will help keep people dry and prevent illness. Having access to such a wide audience through the Internews program allows CARE to reach far more people with important messages than we could on our own.”

Internews Reporters in Haiti Cover Clinton/Bush Visit: Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush traveled to Port-au-Prince on March 22 in the efforts to continue raising awareness and funds for Haiti. They met with President René Préval and afterwards, held a joint press conference. Local Internews reporters in Haiti covered President Préval's remarks and interviewed local people about the event.

After the press conference, which was attended by local and international press, the Presidents visited Champs de Mars, one of the largest IDP sites in Port-Au-Prince. They met with the Haitian people and spoke to them about their lives in the camps. For about an hour, they addressed solutions and fund raising and provided support to the locals. The crowds poured out to shake their hands and to get a glimpse.

Thank you - Global Giving donors. You are helping make all this possible. Please leave us feedback, comments or vote on the usefulness of this report.

Internews Local Journalists Cover Press Conference
Internews Local Journalists Cover Press Conference
Haitian Father Listens to News on Surivival
Haitian Father Listens to News on Surivival
Internews Haiti team broadcasting
Internews Haiti team broadcasting 'Hope for Haiti'


TIME video on radio news in Haiti
TIME video on radio news in Haiti

Two recent videos highlight the work you're supporting in Haiti.

From TIME magazine and Unicef, the videos show the work of local journalists in Haiti, producing daily news and distributing radios so those affected by the earthquake have accurate information about aid, health, and recovery.

Thank you again for your support! Please share these videos with others who might be interested in humanitarian media in Haiti.


Internews’ daily humanitarian information program, Nouvelles-Utiles, is now airing on 21 local and national radio stations in Haiti since beginning daily broadcast on January 21. Reported by local journalists, stories in the program have included: where to find water, tips on avoiding water-borne illnesses, the location of medical clinics and special camps for children and orphans, plans for recovery & jobs, and more.

Radio stations are eager to air the programming, and individuals are grateful for the information. “People are stunned, dazed, and they’re still walking around in a bit of a dream wondering what’s going on with their lives, and I think one little bit of certainty they can have is to know what’s going on around them,” said Yves Colon, Internews Journalism Advisor in Haiti.

“Haiti is a poor country – we have so many troubles. It’s really nice to know that people are thinking about us,” said Gaelle Alexis, a Haitian journalist who was rescued by her husband after 10 hours under rubble.

On Friday, January 22, Alexis worked with Internews to translate MTV’s Hope for Haiti Now telethon into Creole for Haitian listeners. Internews facilitated the broadcast of the telethon into Haiti together with national radio and television stations with support from MTV, Westwood One, the BBC and CNN. (See Links for a video of the broadcast).

Thank you for your continued support – the flow of news to Haitians is critically important, and with your help, Internews will continue to make sure that local-language, accurate information reaches the people who need it most.


Journalists in front of the destroyed Radio Magic 9
Journalists in front of the destroyed Radio Magic 9

An Internews team of media specialists and radio technicians has been in Haiti since the earthquake to assess damage to media infrastructure and support local media.

On Thursday, January 21st, 11 local radio stations in Haiti aired a Creole-language humanitarian information broadcast produced by Internews.

The program, Nouvelle-Utiles (News You Can Use) will be produced daily and distributed to local radio stations, which are eager to air it.

Thursday’s program included stories refuting rumors that there was an imposed curfew in Port-au-Prince, and notice of water distribution locations, bank re-openings, and waste management services. Information from the Red Cross discouraged hasty and uncoordinated disposal of bodies, and dispelled rumors that dead bodies cause disease.

Local journalists reported the stories in the broadcast, produced and distributed by Internews. More stations will be added to the distribution, as they return to broadcasting.

Stations airing the program include: Radio Signal, a popular Port-au-Prince station which never stopped broadcasting, even during the earthquake; Radio ONE, the only independent radio station with national reach; and Radio National, Haiti’s state broadcaster.

Thank you for your support – it is making a difference!

As reported this week by the Associated Press and others, news and information – on safety, food, shelter, water, and stability – are lifelines for victims of the earthquake in Haiti:

“The radio station is the people’s life right now,” said 56-year-old Roselaure Revil, a Haitian who runs a small church aid program that is out of food, water and clothing. “Without the radio station, the country is dead. Without the radio station, we can't communicate. We don’t have anything.”

Full article in The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/01/20/world/AP-CB-Haiti-Radio.html



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Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.internews.org
Project Leader:
Laura Stein Lindamood
Director of Communications
Washington, DC United States

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