Dangerous and precarious work environment
Despite recent changes in Haiti’s media freedom laws, journalists suffer from a cruel lack of financial resources, an absence of institutional support and difficulty in accessing information. And some continue to be the victims of intimidation or physical violence, especially while covering protests. A series of natural disasters in recent years have inflicted a great deal of damage on the impoverished country’s already extremely limited infrastructure. The privately-owned media, which are heavily influenced by the interests of their owners, tend to censor themselves. Journalists would be exposed to heavy penalties under a proposed defamation law that was approved by the senate in 2017. Haiti’s vulnerable journalists have often been targeted by protesters during the waves of sometimes violent mass protests held since 2018 with the aim of bringing down President Jovenel Moïse, who has been implicated in corruption. The country was shocked by journalist Néhémie Joseph’s murder in 2019 and photojournalist Vladjimir Legagneur’s disappearance in 2018 while reporting in one of the capital’s more dangerous neighbourhoods.
62 in 2019
29 in 2019