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Internews Deploys to Haiti

Media-development NGO working to assess, start rebuilding Haitian media infrastructure

After a crisis like the Haitian earthquake, people need a lot of things: food, shelter, medical aid. They also need information.

The 7.0 Mw magnitude earthquake that struck on Jan. 12 damaged the electrical grid and communications systems in Port-au-Prince, the capital, making it difficult to get information to citizens.

Internews has responded to this information gap by sending a rapid response team, including media specialists and radio technicians, to the Caribbean nation. They will assess the assess the extent of damage to Haiti’s media infrastructure and set up portable broadcasting equipment that can be used to get emergency information to the populace.

The MacArthur Foundation and other donors are providing funding for the Internews relief effort.

Internews recently completed a project in Haiti working with Rasanbleman Medya pou Aksyon Kominote (RAMAK), a grouping of 40 community radio stations across the country.

The project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, focused on journalism trainings and technical skills for radio production personnel. The head of RAMAK, Jean Fedner Chéry, was awarded the 2009 Internews Media Leadership Award for the radio network’s track record of providing essential medical, educational and humanitarian relief information to its listeners.

Internews is an international media development organization focused on building and professionalizing local media worldwide. It has worked in more than 70 countries and trained more than 70,000 media professionals.