Last week, Marie Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue met with the press corps to unveil a series of initiatives, simple but long overdue.
Ms. Lassegue, who is Minister of Culture and Information, said that once a week, ministers from various ministries will be made available to answer reporters’ questions and to present the work that they’ve done. While this seems like standard practice in most countries, it has not been the case with Haitian government officials, who think that the government’s affair is their personal prerogative and not that of the people. They are not held accountable until it’s too late. Ms. Lassegue, a journalist by trade, also announced that bureaus of information from various ministries, including the Prime Minister’s, will be revamped and become more efficient. She has pledged to work with consulates and embassies so that they too, can be useful to reporters seeking information in the Diaspora.
We welcome these steps and applaud the minister’s initiatives. Far too long, we’ve been unable to do our job with many relying on rumors and innuendos to pass as reportage. That has been detrimental to the country, which has struggled badly with its image. This is something that Lassegue mentioned as a catalyst for these initiatives. She said that far too often, the government is building roads, and other major projects, but officials have failed to inform the media, giving the wrong impression that there is nothing going on. Such misconception has been at the root of the changes of the last two administrations: Jacques Edouard Alexis and Michelle Duvivier Pierre-Louis, Lassegue said.
During the conference with the journalists, Lassegue also announced some major initiatives on her other portfolio: Culture. She said that the government plans to open some cultural centers in Champs de Mars, having purchased Rex Theatre and the old Triumph Theatre.
Providing information and improving cultural institutions alone will not solve Haiti’s myriad of problems. However, they will go a long way in improving our troubled, beloved homeland.
We hope that Lassegue will be able to successfully implement her projects. They are much needed.