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Haiti stations become lifelines

by RadioToday UK
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One radio station in Haiti has become famous for broadcasting during and ever-since the devastating earthquake almost two weeks ago.

Signal FM managed to stay on-air via a back-up generator, and is now one of approx. 20 stations broadcasting life saving information whilst the search and rescue operation continues.

Creole-language humanitarian information broadcasts are being produced by international media development organisation Internews in collaboration with a growing alliance of humanitarian aid and media assistance providers, including BBC World.

A special series of programmes called Nouvelle-Utiles (News You Can Use) is now being produced daily and distributed to local radio stations.

On Sunday, programmes brought Haitians up to date on the earthquake rescue operation as the majority of emergency search personnel withdraw. However, Nouvelle-Utiles was able to confirm that there are still three teams on standby for at least the next ten days to respond to calls if there is a credible report that someone may be alive and trapped.

Stations airing the programmes include Signal in Port-au-Prince, Radio ONE, the only independent radio station with national reach, and Radio National, Haiti‘s state broadcaster.

An Internews team of media specialists and radio technicians has been in Haiti since the earthquake to assess damage to media infrastructure and support local media.

Internews is a founding member of the Inter-Agency Group on Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities (CDAC) that includes UNOCHA, key agencies such as the Red Cross and Save the Children and other media assistance providers such as the BBC World Service Trust, the Reuters Thomson Foundation and IMS.

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