Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thoughts about media from Jerry

Hello folks. Hope you have enjoyed the writings so far on the blog. I wanted to write about my frustrations of the way the mainstream media was and probably still is for all I know depicting Haiti and their situation.

Before I arrived, my perspective as to how it was going to be here was very skewed. All you were seeing was death, destruction, riotous and mob behavior, and a depiction of the poor Haitian who would surely perish without our help. It’s been amazing to see how much the international community has pulled together to do something for Haiti. But it has been even more amazing to see how hard people here are working to simply live life as normally as possible. Whether it be sitting under a mango tree all day playing cards, cooking for each other, going to work and visiting the beach. Seriously, it blew my mind to see these things. I was given the impression that this was a warzone or something.

It is a real shame to realize that anything the population is doing to better them selves has not gotten the credit it deserves. Remember that it wasn’t just foreign workers who pulled people out of the rubble, farmers brought food down from the mountains, it hasn’t just been pre-packaged goods sent overseas that have nourished people. And it is not only death and carnage here. Where was CNN in Jacmel when the entire town marched through the streets in candle light and one song to commemorate the month anniversary of the quake? Or the beautiful voodou ceremony on the beach the following morning? Or to focus on groups like Cine Institute, KROSS, or MESS all groups working to better Haiti before and after the quake?

So this is already a longer rant than I was wanting to make so I will jump off here. But again there is one side of the coin that it has been extremely hard for the whole country and they still need so much help from the international community. But the other side is that it’s not a warzone and there is a huge amount of beautiful people and places, self-sufficiency and unshakeable strength here in Haiti.

Check out the Cine Institute website for videos made by Haitian film students in Jacmel. Hope to write again soon. Right now I need to chase these chickens out of my room. Take care everyone and keep Haiti in your thoughts.


  1. J, It is really great to be able to read about your experiences in Haiti. I really like the fact that not only is it first hand, but it is unbiased and straight from the heart. Know that I am proud of you and I love you! Keep up the great work and let me know if there is anything I can do to help you and/or your friends. Take care. Dad

  2. Such an important point to make. While it's important for the media to showcase the depth and the scope of the suffering, I have also felt that not broadcasting the self-sufficiancy and day to day robs the haitians of being seen in the full breadth of their humanity. I think it also fosters the paternalistic savior mentality we as Americans can easily fall into. Thanks so much for posting this. This is important stuff. David Ames