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The Haiti EarthquakeInside HumanitarianismInside the Documentary

Haiti in the Media

If you’ve seen or read anything about the country in the media, you’ve probably know that it’s the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. In July 2010, Ansel Herz, a 22-year-old journalist based in Port-au-Prince, published a satirical piece entitled How to Write About Haiti (inspired by the Granta article How to Write About Africa) on his blog, Mediahacker. Here’s an excerpt:

You are struck by the ‘resilience’ of the Haitian people. They will survive no matter how poor they are. They are stoic, they rarely complain, and so they are admirable. The best poor person is one who suffers quietly. A two-sentence quote about their misery fitting neatly into your story is all that’s needed.

Haiti in the Media

In the spirit of Herz’s piece, we used the LexisNexis database to research how often key terms were used to describe Haiti over a year of print and TV news coverage (August 2009 – August 2010), and assembled it into the visualization piece above; the larger the term appears, the more frequently it was used in media coverage.

What’s your opinion of how Haiti is portrayed in the media? Share your comments below.

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