Tag Archives: haiti

NBC journalist’s Haiti tweet named in top 10 power list

Following the earthquake in Haiti, a plane carrying physicians flown in by Doctors Without Borders was unable to get clearance to land in the country’s airport.

Seeing a Tweet by one of the charity’s organisers NBC journalist and Today anchor Ann Curry used the same medium, tweeting a message to the US Air Force to ask them to allow the flight to land.

Her post was named one of the top ten most powerful Tweets of the year by Twitter this week, number one in the list shown here.

Hat tip: lostremote.com

Journalists’ election campaign bus attacked in Haiti

A bus carrying journalists who were reporting on the Haiti election campaign was attacked by gunmen on Monday night according to reports in the US.

Based on a report from the Associated Press, the Washington Post says the bus was carrying seven Haitian journalists to a campaign stop by candidate Jacques Edouard Alexis. The driver was killed and one journalist was injured in the attack.

Haitian National Television reporter Richardson Jordan told The Associated Press that the driver, an off-duty police officer with the prisons department, tried to rush past men armed with pistols, machetes and a homemade gun.

Jordan said the men opened fire and killed the driver with a shot to the head. The bus flipped, injuring one of the journalists, and the bandits rushed in to take money and a laptop computer.

E&P: Haitian press ‘every bit as devastated as island itself’

In a special report to its biannual meeting, the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) has described the state of the Haitian media two months on from the country’s devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake. What remains of the industry has been severely damaged in its ability to bring in revenue, pay staff, and establish communication lines.

The earthquake damaged or destroyed many media office buildings as well as broadcasting equipment, printing presses and computers. And by shutting down so many businesses that bought advertisements, the quake undermined the financial foundations of the industry. Some airlines and wireless companies continue to advertise, and some aid organizations have bought public service announcements. But many other businesses that used to buy airtime or print space will take months or years to rebuild, and that could translate into a prolonged nosedive in ad revenue for the industry.

Editor & Publisher have the full report at this link…

CPJ: Only Creole newspaper in Haiti ‘disappeared under the rubble’

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has an update on Haiti’s only newspaper published entirely in Creole, Bon Nouvel, which had its offices and printing unit destroyed by the earthquake on 12 January.

The CPJ is asking anyone wiht informaions on journalists and media outlets in Haiti to email msalazar [at] cpj.org or get in touch via Twitter @HelpJournalists.

Full story at this link…

Sanjay Gupta and Haiti: should a journalist get involved in a story?

Dr Sanjay Gupta is CNN’s chief medical correspondent, but also a practising neurosurgeon. This means that during CNN’s coverage of the Haitian earthquake and its aftermath Gupta has been reporting from the field, but also filmed performing surgery and working in an emergency medical clinic.

Today’s Connect the World show on CNN will explore the issues this raises from whether journalists can/should be part of a story to whether Gupta can carry out his role as a doctor and a journalist at the same time without undermining either position. The show airs at 9pm (GMT).

CPJ: Provisional journalist death toll rising in Haiti

The Committee to Protect Journalists reports: “A month after the January 12 earthquake, the death toll for journalists has risen to 26, with two others injured, according to a new provisional tally released by media groups in Haiti.”

Full post at this link…

Future of News meet-ups in Brighton and Birmingham

Inspired by the first UK Future of News meet-ups in London, a couple of regional nests have been formed, with the Brighton and West Midlands groups holding their inaugural meetings last night.

My colleague Laura Oliver live-blogged some notes from our Brighton event, which featured the Argus online editor, Jo Wadsworth and the Guardian’s software architect, Simon Willison.

Willison, who was the lead developer for the Guardian’s crowd-sourced MPs’ expenses projects, talked about the ups and downs of user-driven information gathering; and about his latest collaborative launch, Wildlifenearyou.com, a project that collects users’ animal photographs for an online wildlife mapping project. Users can rank and identify photographs, building their site profiles. The feature allowing users to pick their favourite picture of two (for example, what’s your favourite meerkat?), accumulated more than 5,000 votes within a few hours.

Group breakout time at the #bfong on TwitpicAs Laura notes, a specific version of Wildlifenearyou.com, Owlsnearyou.com launched just a few weeks ago. Getting the site some extra coverage, Owlsnearyou cannily “piggybacked” on the Superbowl hashtag on Twitter by creating “Superb Owl Day”… Geddit?

Willison also told the group about OpenStreetMap, the first free, wiki-style, editable map of the whole world. He said that the project has become adept at responding to crises.

OpenStreetMap was given some high resolution photographs of Haiti, when the earthquake occurred, and the team traced them to create the best digital map of Haiti available. It has become the default map for rescue teams, Willison added.

Read Laura’s full post at this link…

Reporting Haiti: How news orgs are covering the story online

A week on since a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, how are news websites covering the story? What tools are being used and how are media organisations helping those affected with information on top of news for a wider audience?

Here’s a selection of sites that have made the most of multimedia tools to break and roll reports of the crisis. Please add your own examples in the comment space below or email Journalism.co.uk.

Breaking news of the quake
Journalism student Emily Purser was interning at Sky News when the earthquake happened:

Unsurprisingly, the earthquake took out all the landline and mobile phone lines in Haiti immediately. This obviously disabled the country spectacularly – as well as the pressing issue of not being able to speak to each other, it meant that Haitians were not able to speak to the rest of the world. As a result, the classic ways of gathering information for a rolling news channel – call everyone we know and find out what’s happening – were redundant. We had a map, and that was it.

Twitter, Google Chat, Skype and Facebook were used to contact sources and conduct interviews; while YouTube and searches of TwitPic provided on-the-ground footage. These tools were being picked up by the entire newsroom, Purser tells us, not just the online team. What’s more the geography of the newsroom (the online desk is right next to the studio floor, for example) helped grow the story across platforms, she adds.

Beet.tv has this video interview with Reuters’ global editor of politics and world affairs Sean Macguire, who explains how the news agency builds up a network of local stringers to prepare for crisis coverage.

Macguire describes how some of the first video footage of the disaster was sent back to London by a Reuters’ videographer thanks to a “friendly embassy” in Port au Prince with an internet connection.

Helping to find the missing
Online news coverage and multimedia from Haiti has been used to locate missing persons by relatives. CNN in particular is using its citizen journalism site iReport to help connect people with family, friends and loved ones in Haiti.

An ‘assignment’ on the iReport site asks users to submit photos of missing people, including their last name, first name, age, city and any other significant details. So far, 6,753 iReports have been sent in for this assignment.

With CNN’s main site, a database of all the reports submitted by users has been created, which can be searched by name and is updated with information about those missing relatives and friends featured in the iReports.

“We are also in the process of integrating incoming e-mails, phone calls to CNN and tweets to the #haitimissing hashtag,” a CNN spokesman said – helping individuals conduct a wider search for information about missing loved ones.

“Since the earthquake hit, the Impact Your World page has had an increase of 7,545 per cent in page views over the previous week.  The site lists opportunities to donate via phone, text and website, with special sections devoted to texting and international currencies.”

And there have been some good news stories as a result – survivor Karen Jean-Gilles  didn’t know if her in-laws had survived the quake until she saw the photo of Joachin “Clark” Jean-Gilles and his wife Marie on the front of the CNN.com homepage.

Social media coverage and real-time tools
Digiphile blog has a great round-up of this, but Twitter lists have been used extensively by news organisations to group together twitters and correspondents on-the-ground in Haiti.

National Public Radio (NPR) built an extensive list of sources located by recommendation, referral and through a series of geolocated searches. This fed into an initial breaking news story, which was updated throughout the day on 13 January, and has informed the site’s topic page on the crisis.

The Associated Press (AP) is continuing to build its social networking presence by offering behind-the-scenes updates via Facebook.

Elsewhere the New York Times is bolstering its main news channel coverage of Haiti by using its The Lede blog to provide rolling coverage. The blog is updating with links to reports from other news sources as well as the Times’ own coverage and has posts filed under different days stretching back to when the earthquake occurred. The aggregation of multimedia reports on the disaster available on the site’s homepage has been replicated through a Facebook page posting updates on the situation in Haiti.

The Times’ homepage currently features this rolling picture gallery, but the Lede also links to this Flickr map of geotagged photos from the area that have been uploaded online.

The site has also set up an online photo gallery to post pictures of missing persons in Haiti submitted by friends, relatives and colleagues. In addition to the Lede’s posting of comments from survivors and those trying to reach loved ones, this is both a valuable service and a source of news leads.

In Haiti
And then compare the online coverage with the media on the ground in Haiti.

This report from the Washington Post on Haitian radio station Signal 90.5fm, which has reportedly stayed on air without pause since the quake struck, provides a stark contrast to the multimedia news coverage elsewhere.

(It also reminded me of an interview with independent Zimbabwe radio station SWRA, whose founder Gerry Jackson extolled the virtues of traditional, radio-based communication and media in such situations.

Writes the Post’s William Booth:

In a city without electricity, with no functioning newspapers, no TV signals, no telephone lines, and cellular service so spotty that it is hardly service at all, radio stations in Haiti have become the lifeline of news about the living and dead.

(…) The station operates on two diesel generators and owner Mario Vian’s promise not to stop.

RSF creates centre of operations for Haitian journalists

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is to set up a centre of operations for Haitian journalists in Port-au-Prince with the aim of enabling them “to cover the situation and thereby assist the process of providing assistance to the population”.

[T]he centre will be equipped with laptops, mobile phones and generators provided by the leading Canadian media group Quebecor, Reporters Without Borders’ partner in this initiative.


The creation of this centre of operations will be followed by reconstruction assistance – again in partnership with Quebecor – for Haiti’s media, which are virtually all currently unable to function. This will be one of the targets of the donations raised by the appeal already issued by Reporters Without Borders.

Full story at this link…