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Reporters Without Borders to create centre of operations for Haitian journalists

January 15, 2010

It is impossible to locate survivors, organise relief and distribute aid without reliable news and information being relayed by functioning news media. The major relief operation being mounted by the international community in Haiti requires a similar effort on the part of the international media, which have a vital role to play.

But the Haitian press has been devastated by the earthquake.

Reporters Without Borders therefore intends to set up a centre of operations for Haitian journalists in Port-au-Prince in order to enable them to cover the situation and thereby assist the process of providing assistance to the population.

Due to be operational by the start of next week, the centre will be equipped with laptops, mobile phones and generators provided by the leading Canadian media group Quebecor, Reporters Without Borders’ partner in this initiative.

The president of the Canadian section of Reporters Without Borders, François Bugingo, will travel tomorrow to Port-au-Prince to evaluate short- and long-term needs. The Canadian embassy in Haiti has offered to house the emergency centre within its compound.

The creation of this centre of operations will be followed by reconstruction assistance – again in partnership with Quebecor – for Haiti’s media, which are virtually all currently unable to function. This will be one of the targets of the donations raised by the appeal already issued by Reporters Without Borders.

The press freedom organisation hopes to get news media in countries that are providing significant amounts of aid to Haiti, such as Canada, Brazil, the United States and France, to become financial and logistic sponsors of Haitian media that need rebuilding.

For more information contact:
Reporters Without Borders
Phone: 33 1 44 83 84 84

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