It was a year ago, tomorrow, that Haiti experienced a devastating magnitude 7.0 earthquake. The AP’s Jonathan M. Katz, the only American reporter in Haiti full time at the time of the earthquake, recalls the day of the quake and reports on the days since.
In the year since, crisis has piled upon crisis. More than 230,000 are believed to have died in the quake, and more than a million remain homeless. A cholera epidemic broke out in the fall, and in its midst a dysfunctional election was held, its results still unclear.
There was hope that the quake would bring an opportunity to break the country’s fatal cycle of struggle, catastrophe and indifference. But promises were not kept, and no leader emerged, within Haiti or outside.
What little center there had been simply disappeared, and the void was never filled.
On this anniversary for Haiti, will coverage be heavy on “disaster porn”? Will it be overshadowed, in the U.S., by news closer to home? CNN, for one, is today going the feel-good route, with “Baby Jenny’s” story getting plenty of air time:
Rebuilding [in Haiti] is still slow, despite pledges of millions of dollars in international aid. So much time has passed and there are so many sad stories to tell. In the midst of all of this bad news, Elizabeth Cohen has the story of an amazing little girl named Jenny who survived despite all the odds…
And Dr. Sanjay Gupta reported this morning on a woman “who was trapped under the rubble for five days [and] has found a way to turn tragedy into triumph.”Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR. Tags: Associated Press, CNN, disaster porn, Haiti, Jonathan M. Katz