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a529: (a526) Conflict of interest in Haiti: Chamberlain comments(fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
P Louissaint <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> I propose that we create a fund to sponsor
> one journalist in Haiti. Since this journalist
> would have a "guaranteed" income we hope
> that he would be able to provide bias-free reports etc...
This is a noble idea. But the problem isn't money. It's the present
culture of intolerance that makes it very difficult for journalists to work
without fear of intimidation, violence or death at the hands of the
powerful or their paid thugs. Money doesn't usually buy the truth anyway.
The problem is how to move away from intolerance and no-compromise. This
is especially hard in a society where political, social and colour
apartheid means one half has no real access to or dialogue with the other,
except in the imagination and dreams of each.
> I am referring to the website for the Aristide
> Foundation for democracy which is hosted
> and paid for by the Haitian Embassy in
> Washington DC. I am also referring to the
> rice that is imported duty free by Fanmi
> Lavalas. I would not be surprised if that rice
> was also paid for by taxpayer's money.
But few pay taxes. Haiti has long had one of the lowest ratios of tax
revenue to GDP in the world.
The diversity and profusion of the media in Haiti is one of the keys to
building democracy and tolerance (as in any society), so we should do all
we can to encourage and support it. It's one important social institution
that requires little or no public money to support. Of course it has
flaws, but don't let a speck of dust spoil the whole picture, as some
people on this list seem to do when it comes to this very easy and obvious
target, on that hoary old principle of "blame (or even kill) the