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Revival of journalism lags behind media reconstruction, says RSF

(RSF/IFEX) - 11 January 2011 - Haiti will tomorrow mark the first anniversary of the "35 seconds" that devastated Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas and caused some 300,000 deaths. Today reconstruction is more of a hope or a prayer than a reality, contrasting with the international community's mobilization immediately after the earthquake and the massive NGO presence.

"Goudou Goudou, reconstruction's forgotten voices," a web-documentary by Benoît Cassegrain and Giordano Cossu of the NGO Solidar'IT, will be screened tomorrow on the Radio France Internationale website with Reporters Without Borders' support. It shows the Haitian tragedy through the experiences of five radio journalists. "A year later, it is as if the earthquake happened yesterday," one of them says.

Watch the preview (in French):

Haiti's earthquake highlighted the importance of the role the media play in a humanitarian disaster; not only as news sources but also as vehicles for rallying and uniting the population. Examples of this were given by Signal FM, the only radio station still operational immediately after the earthquake, and Caraïbes FM, a radio station that resumed operating in the street, in close proximity to its listeners, very soon afterwards.

The 17 radio stations in Petit-Goâve (a town to the west of the capital that was also badly damaged), which formed a coalition to provide special programmes about the earthquake, are another example.

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