Haitian Media Leaders Meet with Global Experts in Post-Disaster Coverage
Port au Prince, HAITI, 6 March 2010 – Specialists from Haiti, the United States and France convened by the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma offer lessons learned from media in other global disasters, as senior executives of leading media companies meet in Port au Prince and Jacmel to plan recovery coverage. .
“Journalists and media professionals face unique challenges covering traumatic events“, says Bruce Shapiro, Executive Director of the Dart Center, “including the ethical treatment of victims and survivors, the impact of trauma coverage on news consumers and communities, complete and accurate reporting under stress, and the psychological hazards of traumatic events for the news professionals who cover them.”
“We feel very fortunate to be able to gather with our colleagues to discuss best approaches”, said Roosevelt Jean-François, director of CECOSIDA. “All of us have lost close ones, and in the midst of our own grief, we also collect stories of terror and triumph from the community. We want to ensure that as media professionals, we are among the leaders rebuilding Haiti. That as we rebuild the structures around us, we are also rebuilding the people around us, individually and as a community.”
Recognizing the unique power of media to inform, connect people with life-saving services, and engage communities, participating broadcast executives agreed to develop and coordinate a series of concrete initiatives, including a regional public information campaign and journalism workshops and other skills-building programs, to build broadcast capacity to support Haiti’s recovery.
The workshops are supported with financial contributions from the Global Media AIDS Initiative, UNESCO, Alicia Patterson Foundation.
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A Center for Communication on HIV/AIDS & Public Health, CECOSIDA was founded in 1999 as an association of journalists committed to improving health responses in Haiti. CECOSIDA produces original programming under the well-known brand “AN’N VIV: Lanmou. Pwoteksyon. Respe”. Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Elton John AIDS Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Dade Community Foundation are supporting partners of CECOSIDA, which is the Haitian implementer of the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS, a regional initiative of the Global Media AIDS Initiative.
About Dart Center for Trauma & Journalism
The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a project of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, is dedicated to informed, innovative and ethical news reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy. Whether the topic is street crime, family violence, natural disaster, war or human rights, effective news reporting on traumatic events demands knowledge, skill and support. The Dart Center provides journalists around the world with the resources necessary to meet this challenge, drawing on a global, interdisciplinary network of news professionals, mental health experts, educators and researchers. For more information, visit: http://www.dartcenter.org.
About the Global Media AIDS Initiative
Launched in 2004 by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in coordination with the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS, the Global Media AIDS Initiative (GMAI) mobilizes leading media companies around the world to leverage their vast resources to address AIDS. Through large-scale regional coalitions of media — a network that includes more than 300 media companies — the GMAI leverages the communication power of mass media to get out information about HIV and challenge stigma related to the disease. As Secretariat of the GMAI since 2007, the Kaiser Family Foundation provides strategic and operational direction. The GMAI receives support from the Ford Foundation and Elton John AIDS Foundation. For more information, visit: www.thegmai.org.
For further information contact:
Roosevelt Jean-François, 954.604.0817 (U.S.)
Soeurette Policar (509)3438-2315(Haiti)