Across Haiti, residents tune in to Enfomasyon Nou Dwe Konnen (News You Can Use) to find out the latest information on basic services in their earthquake ravaged country. Questions from callers center on basic humanitarian needs, such as how to get a death certificate for a person whose body was never found or whether tenants should pay rent on properties that have collapsed.
Knight-funded Internews began producing the segment the week after the January earthquake, and has answered more than 380 questions. Now, just over six months later, close to 75 percent of Haitian adults listen to Internews' humanitarian broadcasts. The spots contain information on food, shelter and employment, urgent news for the nearly two million people still living in internally displaced persons camps.
This is an important time for Haitian journalism, and Internews is working to train journalists and strengthen the news and information infrastructure. The presidential election scheduled for November will also provide an opportunity for local journalists to cover important national issues. 'One of the candidates is hip hop star, Wyclef Jean, and his candidacy will increase international attention on the country and the election.
Internews is also reaching Haitians who migrated to rural areas after the earthquake through collaboration with the nonprofit organization Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities. 'The partnership is implementing a traveling news service.
Knight Foundation and Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities sponsored a meeting in May looking at how the media responded to the crisis. 'The event also evaluated the role technology and communications played in helping address the information needs of Haitian communities in the aftermath of the earthquake. 'Other Knight grantees at the meeting included representatives from Global Voices and Knight News Challenge grantee Ushahidi.