Haitian Times to Add News Staff & Expand Coverage Ahead of 10th Anniversary of Earthquake in Haiti
NEW YORK – Brooklyn based, Haitian Times has won two grants that allow the online publication to shore up its reporting of the Haitian Diaspora around the world, and issues germane to Haitians in the United States and Haiti. The first grant is from the Pulitzer Center, which will allow the Haitian Times an opportunity to do extensive coverage of the 10th anniversary of the January 2010 earthquake that flattened Port-au-Prince and killed more than 200,000 people. The other grant was awarded by Report for America, a nonprofit journalism organization that places talented emerging journalists in newsroom across the country. The grant will cover the salary for two full-time correspondents for Haitian Times, one in South Florida and another in New York.
“The judges were so impressed with Haitian Times commitment to doing great journalism and serving their audience, said Steven Waldman, co-founder of Report for America. “These two Report for America journalists should help them take it to the next level.”
The Haitian Times Florida correspondent will focus on climate gentrification in Miami’s Little Haiti, as well as overall news coverage for the area. The New York correspondent will provide robust enterprise coverage of the Haitian community in Brooklyn, as well as produce watchdog stories examining the work of Haitian-American elected officials in New York.
Next month, the news site will begin its 12-part series of the earthquake anniversary coverage. Stories will range from a first-person account by Haitian Times founder Garry Pierre-Pierre retracing his steps from 10 years ago to the role social media, then in its infancy, played in keeping Haitians informed during the tragedy.
Vania Andre, the Haitian Times editor and publisher, is excited about the coverage that begins in January, starting with the earthquake coverage.
“We are thrilled because these grants allow us to expand our coverage beyond our means right now. We will be able to keep a spotlight in Haitian communities across the U.S to keep to our motto of Bridging the Gap,” said Andre. “The Pulitzer Center and Report for America’s support shows that the Haitian Times is truly one of the leading voices in community and immigrant press in the United States.”
“Ten years after the devastating earthquake, Haiti’s infrastructure, medical facilities and governance are still under tremendous stress, but most news organizations have moved on, leaving this critical story uncovered,” said Indira Lakshmanan, executive editor at the Pulitzer Center. “The Haitian Times is providing a vital service to its audience with its in-depth, on-the-ground reporting series that Pulitzer Center is proud to support.”
At a time where community media are struggling to attract and retain small advertisers, these grants allow the Haitian Times to expand coverage and develop other revenue streams.
Andre said that for the last two years, the site’s subscription had seen a steadily increasing, and she believes that providing readers with robust and unique stories will generate the kind of funding needed to keep the news site relevant and authoritative on all things related to Haiti.
“Many news organizations are now relying on a subscription model to increase revenue. Quality journalism matters in Haiti and here, but it cannot be free,” Andre said. “We intend to compete for the mind and hearts of Haitian and diaspora readers who have an interest in the community.”