Global 'Hope for Haiti Now' Telethon Broadcast Reaches Haitians Via Local Radio

Jan 23, 2010, 01:18 ET from Internews

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Earthquake survivors in Haiti heard firsthand a worldwide chorus of support through Friday's telethon.

Internews, a nonprofit media development organization, worked around the clock to establish the connection between the telethon and a nationwide radio station based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

With the help of Internews, MTV, Westwood One, the BBC and CNN, the Haitian people were able to hear the broadcast through a national radio broadcaster.

Translating into Creole and anchoring the lead-in to the telethon was 23-year-old Gaelle Alexis, who was rescued by her husband after spending 10 hours under rubble. Outside, a crowd of Haitians gathered to hear the broadcast from a speaker mounted on a truck by Haitian technicians. 

"It's important that the people of Haiti know that the world is with them, that people around the globe are deeply concerned by what has happened, and that their concern is being turned into action," said Mark Frohardt, Vice-President for Humanitarian Media at Internews who also led the organization's first-response team to Haiti. "It's a message of hope, a message of solidarity with the survivors. They are not alone."

Internews pursued the idea of the broadcast within Haiti to ensure that Haitians themselves were able to hear the worldwide fundraiser organized by actor George Clooney and MTV Networks, and featuring such major entertainment stars as Bono, Jay-Z, Wyclef Jean, Bruce Springsteen and Brad Pitt, and numerous others.

Internews was among the first organizations to begin assessing the damage to local media after the earthquake earlier last week. Within a matter of days, it had brought in a team of six specialists and two portable broadcast units. The Internews team is also producing emergency information programs that are being carried by at least 11 key radio stations in Haiti. The programs provide Haitians with potentially life-saving information.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has designated Internews to fulfill the role of ensuring media relief efforts are coordinated and that critical humanitarian information is accurate and consistently disseminated across broadcast, SMS, and print media.

Internews is an international media development organization that empowers local media worldwide to serve the information needs of their communities. The organization has worked in over 70 countries and trained over 70,000 media professionals.

John Boit


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SOURCE Internews