Half-Hour for Haiti: Urge fair coverage of Haiti in the UK media
September 15, 2006
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Stonewall in Port au Prince, Haiti — photo: ©2006 Randall White

Half-Hour for Haiti: Urge fair coverage of Haiti in the UK media


Still no good news on political prisoners in Haiti. But some good news in the U.S.: former political prisoner, Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste, received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree Monday from the University of San Francisco. Fr. Jean-Juste expressly thanked all of us who wrote, called, faxed and prayed for his release. More good news: Fr. Gerry looked good, and is now in Miami for his last round of chemotherapy.

IJDH’s analysis of the class issues involved in the fight to free Haiti’s political prisoners was published this week by the Power and Interest News Report.

The study in the prestigious British medical journal, The Lancet, which documented a brutal and widespread campaign of repression in Port-au-Prince, continues to generate controversy. Unfortunately, the controversy surrounds the activities of one of the study’s authors (including volunteering for a program for street children in Haiti), not the activities of those who preyed on poor Haitians, or what activities people in wealthy countries can do to alleviate the suffering. IJDH.org has a special section on the study, including the study itself, some of the reporting on the study, and analyses provided by the study’s critics and its defenders, including IJDH.

This week’s action:

Fair reporting by the media in powerful countries is a pre-requisite for fair foreign policies towards Haiti. Although Half-Hour for Haiti often focuses on policies of the U.S. government because the U.S. has the predominant influence on Haitian affairs within the International Community, it is important to address officials and the media in other countries as well.

Media Lens, a UK-based media watchdog organization, provides us with an excellent opportunity this week to engage the media in the UK. On Monday, Media Lens issued an action alert, titled: HAITI – The Traditional Predators (Human Rights, Media Silence And The Lancet) that examines the controversy over The Lancet study in the broader context of reporting of human rights violations in Haiti. The alert is worth reading for educational value, but it also provides a concrete way to let  key players in the UK media know what you think. Please read the alert below on http://www.medialens.org/alerts/06/060911_haiti_the_traditional.php, and let your voice be heard in the UK.