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Haitian Journalists Learn Best Journalism Practices

Haitian journalists receive plaques at the conclusion of their workshop
Haitian journalists receive plaques at the conclusion of their workshop

Five Haitian journalists from the television and radio network Tele-Ginen in Port au Prince, Haiti, came to Washington, D.C, in August for a three-day journalism workshop at the Voice of America. Tele-Ginen operates one of the largest networks throughout Haiti.

“The Creole Service has held workshops for Haitian journalists ever since I became service chief in 2008,” said Ronald Cesar, chief of the service. The majority of workshops have been sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Port au Prince, but this year’s sessions were sponsored by the Broadcasting Board of Governor’s Office of Strategy and Development. Some workshops have been conducted in Haiti, and some at VOA’s headquarters.

Bruce Sherman, Director of the Office of Strategy and Development, and Acting VOA Director Kelu Chao welcomed the five Haitians at a reception along with staff from VOA and the Office of Strategy and Development. Jennifer Noisette, Cultural Attache at the U.S. Embassy in Port Au Prince, was in Washington and also attended the reception.

At the conclusion of the workshop, the five journalists said that the workshop had taught them how to be better journalists. “I am going to share with my colleagues what I have learned here in the Voice of America in order for them to perform their jobs better,” said Ederson Phelelos, “We are fulfilling the mission of the Voice of America which is to present news that is correct, balanced, and exact.”

The workshop was designed to introduce the journalists to VOA’s Journalistic Code; teach them about social media and writing for the web; what editors should know; how to conduct a professional interview; the difference between writing for television and radio; and the way to prepare reports that will capture the audience’s attention.

Rubens Jean Baptiste said, “My wish is that this type of training can continue so that others can profit from it.”

Eric Phillips, Acting Director of VOA’s Latin America Division, presented each journalist with a plaque at the conclusion of the workshop. He told them that he hoped that they would “benefit from the presentations” by VOA staff during the workshop.

The five journalists also visited the Department of State, where they met with Ambassador Kenneth Merten, who was the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti when an earthquake struck the country in 2010. Ambassador Merten is currently the State Department’s Special Coordinator for Haiti.

The workshop for Tele-Ginen’s journalists is only one of many presented by the BBG’s Office of Strategy and Development each year.