VOA Creole Service Marks 25 Years of Broadcasting to Haiti

Haiti’s Ambassador to the United States praised the Voice of America’s Creole Service Monday for its role in the country’s transition to democracy over the past 25 years, calling the service “a model and example for many radio stations and for journalists in Haiti.”

Ambassador Louis Harold Joseph made the comments at VOA’s Washington Headquarters as the Creole Service marked the anniversary of its first regularly scheduled broadcast on February 7, 1986, the same day the regime of Jean-Claude (Baby-Doc) Duvalier was overthrown in a popular uprising.

Ambassador Joseph said the first broadcast was a “clear signal, the Voice of America wanted to accompany the country in its democratic transition,” and he called the Creole Service broadcasts a “breath of fresh air for us.”

The ambassador also thanked the service for its coverage of the deadly cholera epidemic that health care workers in Haiti are still fighting, and for its role in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck the country in January of 2010. Ambassador Joseph noted how VOA “opened its microphone to the victims of the earthquake so their voices could be heard.”

Richard Lobo, the Director of the International Broadcasting Bureau, praised the journalists in the service for the lifeline they provide Haiti during critical times.

In addition to broadcasting on radio and the internet, VOA’s Creole Service is also credited with providing the country with a wealth of material for universities and special schools for those learning Creole, which became an official language of the Republic of Haiti in 1987.

Visit the VOA Creole Service webpage at www.voanews.com/creole/news.

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