“The goal is to get more people involved in social media in Haiti as a means to deliver news and information,” says Ronald Cesar, the director of the VOA Creole Service, which has also been training journalists in Haiti.
VOA staff traveled to Haiti last year to train 15 citizen journalists who were each loaned an iPhone and instructed how to shoot video, record audio and conduct interviews. Their reports are featured on a special Facebook page and Twitter feed and linked to a Citizen Journalist page on the Creole Service website.
The reports focus on Haitian culture, border issues, education, sports and other local and regional concerns.
“It shows that we not only provide news and information to our audience, but we also engage our counterparts in Haiti,” says Cesar. “We would also like to see professional journalists in Haiti receive more valuable skills and training, and this program provides that important opportunity.”
In addition to on-site training, VOA has also teamed up with the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince to help bring 10 professional journalists from Haiti for a week-long training program in Washington. The journalists received instruction and special briefings, visited the State Department, and attended a White House press briefing where they were given a special welcome by spokesman, Jay Carney.
VOA’s Creole Service is an important source of news and information in Haiti, where recent audience research shows more than 62% of the adult population listens to its programs every week. In addition to its popular Creole language website, VOA programs can be heard on a number of FM affiliate stations in Haiti.
For more information contact Kyle King at the VOA Public Relations office in Washington at (202) 203-4959 or write firstname.lastname@example.org.