Last week for BBC's Creole broadcasts, and other Haiti media updates.

Posted: 31 Jan 2010   Print   Send a link
"I’ve been in Miami for almost a week now working with my BBC World Service colleagues, on getting out daily broadcasts of Connexion Haiti. ... This is the first time ever that the BBC is broadcasting in Creole, Haiti’s national language and it’s been crucial for us to respond to this terrible disaster in a Haitian voice. Tomorrow, when Connexion Haiti goes into its final week, I will leave for Port-au-Prince with the producer Nick Miles, and will report back." Lisa Robinson, humanitarian programme manager at BBC World Service Trust, 28 January 2010. See previous post about same subject.
     "It's nice to see the 'Commando Solo' story getting wide news coverage. [See previous post.] That's the U.S. government's plane that's acting as a radio station over Haiti 10 hours a day. ... Voice of America news and information in Creole is transmitted by the plane. ... The story reminds me of my time at VOA, writing and announcing the English news as part of a daily program broadcast in Creole and English to Haiti. After dictator Jean-Claude 'Baby Doc' Duvalier was overthrown in 1986, VOA scrambled to increase the hours of programming transmitted to the island nation. At the time, the Russians were transmitting several hours each day of propaganda there, and the U.S. was trying to keep pace. ... We changed the frequencies we broadcast on each day to try to outwit the Russians, who were jamming our broadcasts." Leslie Stimson, Radio World, 28 January 2010. The Soviet Union was jamming VOA broadcasts to the Caribbean? More likely, Radio Moscow, with its many, many transmitters, was all over the dial and causing incidental or semi-incidental interference to VOA. Radio Moscow never had, I think, a Creole Service, but another Soviet external broadcaster, Radio Peace and Progress, did, as did (and does) Radio Havana.
     "Members of Fort Bragg's 4th Psychological Operations Group's 3rd and 9th Battalions loaded at Pope AFB for the trip to Haiti Wednesday." WTVD-TV (Raleigh-Durhamn, NC), 27 January 2010, with video. "Psychological operations soldiers are the Army's specialists in mass communications. Those soldiers get out military messages with everything from loudspeakers to leaflets to radio broadcasts. They took their loudspeaker trucks with them on Wednesday on the airplanes. In combat, they might be telling the enemy to throw down weapons. In Afghanistan, they might be asking people to turn in bad guys. In Haiti, they will be instructing people to drink safe water and how to get food and medical aid." Henry Cuningham, Fayetteville (NC) Observer, 28 January 2010.
     "Arbitron has partnered with radio manufacturer Etón Corp. to send radios to Haitian earthquake victims. The companies are donating 1,000 emergency radios. Etón’s solar-powered, crank-operated devices generally feature AM/FM, NOAA weatherband reception and a built-in LED light, among other features." Radio World, 28 January 2010. The NOAA weather band transmissions would not be audible in Haiti, and I don't think Haiti has a similar service.
     "It isn’t surprising that the idea that the U.S. military caused the tragic January 12 earthquake in Haiti is making the rounds. But the way that it is making the rounds is interesting. ... Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez went on television to repeat the report. Chavez’s analysis was picked up by RT (formerly Russia Today, the Kremlin’s English-language television channel) on January 20. The RT report does not mention that Russia's Northern Fleet was supposedly the original source of the Chavez sensation. RT has been pushing various anti-American themes in its Haiti coverage, including the notion that Washington is using the crisis to 'occupy' the country. ... In fairness, the RT story does admit that the use of 'tectonic weapons' is a favorite theme of conspiracy theorists." Robert Coalson, Transmission blog, RFE/RL, 25 January 2010. See previous post about same subject.
     "Normally, [Brooklyn's] Radio Soleil broadcasts news of interest to the Haitian-American community with a strong emphasis on music and other cultural programming, primarily in Creole French. But these are not normal times. Moments after the earthquake struck in Haiti on January 12, Radio Soleil became a community center as well as a vital communications link to the homeland through its hookup with Signal FM, the Haitian mega-station that was miraculously undamaged by the quake." Adam Phillips, VOA News, 26 January 2010.