U.S. Embassy Celebrates World Press Freedom Day with Newly Trained Journalists from Voice of American Program

May 3rd, 2023

As a prelude to the celebration of World Press Freedom Day (May 3), the United States Embassy welcomed 24 journalists to its premises in Tabarre on Friday, April 28, 2023.

These journalists recently participated in a two-part training program sponsored by the Public Affairs Section in conjunction with the Creole Service of the Voice of America.  The first training, “How to Investigate and Dive Deeper into Headlines” was held from August 13 to 21, 2022, while the second training, “Media Management” was held from February 25 to March 4, 2023.

In his remarks on the occasion, the Chargé d’Affaires of the United States in Haiti, Mr. Eric W. Stromayer, stressed the importance of a free press to keep citizens informed and to hold governments accountable.

According to Mr. Stromayer, “Bad actors seek to mislead the public for their personal gain.  They incite discontent, mistrust, and even violence. The best and only vaccine against their poison is accurate, unbiased journalism.”

In a discussion with Press Attaché of the Embassy, Ms. Kathryn Edwards, the journalists gave a brief account of what they learned during their recent training in Washington, sponsored by the United States Embassy, and the prospects this opportunity offers them in their careers in the media.

The Minister of Culture and Communication Emmelie Prophet Milcé said during her speech that journalists can freely exercise their profession in Haiti. However, she recognizes that the press in Haiti faces certain constraints, particularly economic ones, due to the multiplicity of media. The Minister Prophet-Milcé took the opportunity to thank the U.S. Embassy in Haiti for having organized this session for journalists. These trainings have the merit of allowing journalists to have a different perspective of the profession, of its nobility and above all reminds the Press of its responsibility to publish credible content.

Mr. Jean Jul Desauguste, journalist at Radio Télé Métropole, said that, “Thanks to these extraordinary discussion sessions with experienced journalists from the American press such as: Mister Teen, Sandra Dominique, Jacquelin Bélizaire, Jean Michel Mathurin, Ethan Bruce, Fred Cayimite, Chris Andino, Tom Detzel, who have developed the most recurring and current journalistic topics, we have learned that press workers always need to return to the basic principles of the profession to do their job better and participate in construction and development of their country.

Ms. Peguy Bartoli, Deputy Administrator at Radio Television 2000, thanked the Office of Public Affairs for allowing participants to broaden their horizons and perfect their knowledge of the Media Management plan in Haiti in order to better achieve their work “. “The VOA training funded by the U.S. Embassy has been a success for all of us, it opens doors for us professionally since we were previously unaware of certain concepts,” she says.The U.S. Embassy especially salutes the courage of all those journalists, bloggers, and citizens who sacrificed their lives, well-being, or freedom so that others might know the truth.  And we honor the role of free and independent media in building enduring democracies and open, healthy societies.

Note that this 30th World Press Freedom Day will be celebrated this year around the theme “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights,” a theme that puts the emphasis on the relationship between the press and democracy.