Committee to Protect Journalists
Country Report: Haiti
As of December 31, 1998

| Country and Regional Reports | Press Freedom Database | CPJ Home |
While there has been no evidence of direct government persecution of the press since the democratically elected government of President René Préval took power in 1996, an upsurge in drug-related violence and corruption has posed new challenges for journalists. While paramilitary groups such as the tontons macoutes have disbanded, journalists are still at risk from rogue police commanders and private security forces. In one incident, reporters covering the parliament were roughed up by security guards; in another, private security guards beat up a television reporter on the grounds of the Haiti State University Hospital.

Haiti's high illiteracy rate means that radio is the principal news medium. The number of privately run local stations has doubled in the last few years. Call-in programs give voice to a wide variety of perspectives.

Years of covering political turmoil have made local journalists extremely proficient at reporting breaking news. Investigative and analytical journalism remain rare, however, which journalists attribute to a lack of money and personnel. The Haitian press has stayed away from at least one important but potentially dangerous story -- the upsurge in drug trafficking and corruption as the island has become a favored transshipment route of Colombian drug cartels. Because some political disputes are still settled by violence in this fledgling democracy, the press continues to exercise a degree of self-censorship.
Attacks on the Press in Haiti in 1998
Date Journalist Incident
04/07/98 Marc Esnan Fleurissaint, Télévision Nationale d'Haiti (TNH) Attacked
04/07/98 Dominique Beauplan, Radio Ginen Attacked
04/07/98 Yvlaine Paul, Radio Lumière Attacked
04/07/98 Yves Lormé, free-lance Attacked
04/07/98 Henri Israel, Radio Signal Attacked
04/07/98 Abel Descolines, Radio Galaxie Attacked

| Back to the Top | Attacks on the Press in 1998 |
| Search the Press Freedom Database |