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8813: Pina 's questions and comments about extract from GMB July Haiti Briefing (fwd)

From: kevin pina <kpinbox@hotmail.com>

The excerpts from the extract of the July issue of Haiti Briefing, #43, the 
newsletter of the British Haiti Support Group, inspired some questions and 
few comments for the GMB:

1. Can the GMB describe for us in more detail the composition of the 
National Union of Haitian Media Workers and tell us what Haitian media 
outlet does its current president work for as well as the date of his 

2. I have heard several estimates on the size of the Haitian media, for 
example how many full time and part time reporters there are throughout the 
country. Does the GMB have any reliable figures regarding the size of the 
Haitian press?

3. I am curious to know much more about the situation concerning "smear 
campaigns by local government" against teachers. Can they provide more 
details about the officials purportedly involved and tell us where these 
events are taking place so that we might investigate further for ourselves?

4. How does the GMB reconcile their statement, "Journalists campaigning for 
freedom of speech continue in constant fear of violent recrimination...", 
with the fact that almost everyone in Haiti, except the most opportunistic 
of souls with political axes to grind, agrees that this is objectively the 
most open and free press in the history of the country.

One need merely sample press reports from major media outlets over a 
relatively short period of time to see they include intermittent barrages of 
incendiary interviews with the "Convergence" and daily pieces highly 
critical of the government for one thing or another. It certainly reflects a 
level of critisizm that would have been met with persistent intimidation 
under the rule of the Haitian military and most certainly would have 
resulted in wholesale slaughter under the Duvalier dictatorship.

They seem absolutely on the mark in asking "just how far Haiti has to 
go...?". Yet, I am somehow made uncomfortable by the structure and tone of 
the question when read separately from their implication that Haiti is 
currently an unresponsible and undemocratic state. Such an awkward and odd 
way to not say what they really meant to say.