Haiti's community radio movement / "Alternative" media theory and practice
During the 1991-1994 coup d'état, I worked at a semi-clandestine, human rights-oriented news agency known as the Bureau Haïtien d'Information or Haitian Information Bureau. "Grassroots stringers" (today they would be called "citizen journalists") from youth groups, popular organizations, teachers associations and unions would sneak cassette tapes with on-the-ground reporting to the Port-au-Prince office.
From 1992-1999, we published the bimonthly newsletter Haiti Info. You can access the six volumes, and the indices, here.
Once the coup ended, with the help of Sosyete Animaskyon Kominikasyon Sosyal (SAKS) and others, grassroots organizations around the country opened dozens of community radio stations. Working with a team, I documented the movement with a video (in Creole), and with articles like this one on Creole for IPS, in a dissertation and in articles, like this one for Media Development and this one for Américas.
I also served on the SAKS board, and later as a part-time staffer, setting up the institutions Documentation Center.
One of three videos from the 2010 post-earthquake fact-finding mission. This is from a visit to Radyo Zetwal, in the mountains above Petit-Goâve. The other two are here (click) - on REFRAKA and to SAKS.
Following the 2010 earthquake, I returned to Haiti, first as a member of a fact-finding mission for AMARC, during which I made several videos (see above) and later, to co-found and coordinate
Former investigative journalism students train leaders from the womens' community radio animators network.
Haiti Grassroots Watch, which worked with SAKS, with an "alternative" news agency, with students and with community radio volunteers. I've also continued to explore and reflect on the potential for community and "alternative" media to contribute to social change.In addition to the aforementioned articles, I have presented the results of my theoretical and practical work in the Encyclopedia of Social Movement Media and most recently the Routledge Companion to Alternative and Community Media, where, among other approaches, I questioned the use of the term "alternative."
I've also given papers or presentations at conferences in Quito (1993), Port-au-Prince (1999), Minneapolis (2008), Port-au-Prince (2011), Dublin (2013), Rio de Janeiro (2013), New Hampshire (2014), Leicester (2016) and Boston (2016). Download and read her 2016 paper "New(s) Access? Local and Alternative Journalism at U.S. Community Television Stations."