The Haitian News Vacuum

One of the striking things about the news out of Haiti in the wake of yesterday’s devastating earthquake is that… given the scope of events, there’s not been that much news out of Haiti. One of the themes in the early reporting, in fact, is in the inability of Haitian Americans to get information about what’s happening in their homeland.

That’s due in part to the relatively scarce journalistic resources that had been devoted to Haiti before the disaster. It’s also due, of course, to the wreckage the quake created. And it may be a serious problem for victims of the disaster. The Rundown, the blog of PBS’s Newshour, got in touch last night with Gabriel Verret, an economic adviser to the Haitian government. Here’s how he described the availability of information within Haiti itself:

“There is very little local news. Most of the local news stations are off the air. I heard two all afternoon or evening since the quake. One station continues to work normal and that is radio RFI (Radio France International). Every half hour it gives new reports,” Verret said.

Meanwhile, CJR’s Curtis Brainard has been taking a look this morning at the role “new” media has played in delivering information about the quake and its aftermath. You can read his take here.

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Greg Marx is an associate editor at CJR. Follow him on Twitter @gregamarx.