Knight Foundation CEO and President Alberto Ibargüen has long said that information is a core community need, as vital to a society's health as jobs, roads and electricity. And in the wake of a crisis like the devastating earthquake in Haiti, a community's information infrastructure can fail just like its power grid and transportation network.
So Knight is giving $200,000 to an international media development group called Internews to keep the country's radio stations broadcasting during the disaster:
Knight Foundation officials said they fear broken communication systems could prevent aid from being distributed efficiently, and the grant is meant to help retain the country's battered information infrastructure.
Without that system in place, Internews officials warned, survivors might not know where to go for food, medicine, or how to find missing friends and family.
Internews plans to ship a 300-watt transmitter from Paris to Port-au-Prince, where it is expected to broadcast messages that can be picked up by radios up to 30 miles outside of the demolished city.
The Knight Foundation reported that Internews estimated at least 12 of the city's radio stations and one national broadcaster got back on the air Saturday.