Haitians telling their own stories
March 23rd, 2010

While the mainstream media necessarily filters stories, a new undertaking called Project Haiti Speaks seeks to capture directly the experiences of individual people in the Haitian earthquake and aftermath. The Huffington Post describes the project, which is designed to be completely participatory and open to all:

haitiMedia Make Change, a media justice organization, launched a new outreach program, Project Haiti Speaks. They want to provide multimedia support to relief organizations on the ground and provide a multimedia platform for volunteers, workers, citizen journalists and survivors so their stories can be told. Conley stresses the significance of Haitians telling their own stories for the primary reason that sound bites about this disaster will have long-term implications.

“We always have to consider how mainstream media filters the stories of others particularly in the context of a natural disaster,” Conley said. She said we need to ask ourselves, “How are Haitian citizens being portrayed? Who’s telling their stories? What is the historical and political context of the crisis itself?”

The mainstream media has an important role, but she suggests that more stories need to be told from a first-person perspective through social media. “The mainstream media cannot be the only narrative when we look at this event 100 years from now,” Conley said. . . .

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