Nouvel sa pa bon, yo bowlet.
Recently we had a major gift come our way in the form of broadcasting and camera gear thanks to the generosity of an amazing media institution. This is something I have envisioned for over half a decade. I knocked on several doors over the years, explored various avenues of financing for Limage Media Group but nothing that seemed like a "wise" move. I felt it was important to maintain control, not go into debt to create more jobs in Haiti and protect the artists on the roster I personally built relationships with.
It turns out with just a bit of patience and perseverance along with sticking to my ethos pays off. I am happy to announce we are launching the first edition of "Ghetto News International" in Haiti in January 2018.
Ghetto News International will be launching new pods during 2018 to scale Limage Media's vision into other countries. We are allocating broadcasting and camera gear to the new pods in each new location. We are interested in data mining and conducting feasibility studies prior to choosing the best partners.
What's Next- Given our foundations are deep in Haiti we are starting out the new initiative there with one episode per local pod each month with a total of three community pods to start. This is happening starting in January 2018.
Each pod is a "studio" and station we have previously established in the slums of Port au Prince during the last 8 years. The individuals at these studios are trained and equipped members of Limage Media's core team, the local champions we partner with. Our partners are artists that we have provided tools and contract work to over the years. These are artists who have attended our workshops and shown they have integrity as well as a willingness to overcome adversity and extreme poverty. The studios are their businesses, they make a living producing music, events, photography and now news and other broadcast media.
With the new tools and equipment the crews and artists at the studios will be able to obtain larger local contracts for digital media production. We are providing one of the studio's / pods with a switcher so they can produce live TV if they wish and obtain the best results possible for the local clients.
The idea for Ghetto News International has been a concept I have wanted to produce for several years to give the power of media to those on the margins. I feel they have to endure "outsiders" reporting on their country in the international media so that NGO's and various stake holders can capitalize on their poverty, perpetuating the ongoing cycles that keep them in poverty. I have wanted to hand the keys over to the locals living life daily in the areas that are often reported on "inaccurately". Areas where local and international stakeholders are typically those who directly "benefit" from disasters and the suffering of others creating a business around and of the poor. These are individuals who make false claims but have access to those in power or access to donor funding. Typically it is those who have had some education and can speak English which makes it easier for them to manipulate the truth to get their own mandates met and also those who have found poverty to be a great way to make a living and are outsiders. This I have seen hundreds of times in Haiti, I find it disgusting and hope by handing over the keys and power of media to my marginalized friends this will eventually eliminate at least some of these core issues.
This has been the heartbeat of my work in Haiti for the last eight years as I myself was led to believe false information on local projects and upon investigation realized things are not always what they seem. This happens more often than one may think, thousands of NGO's operate in Haiti with no accountability or governmental auditing. Often donors dump money in areas / regions and that money does not reach it's intended beneficiary and also causes damage instead of the good it is supposed to produce.
We all know this, we all know that the Earthquake in Haiti made many people wealthy except its voiceless victims. Imagine during that period if those crimes were captured by citizen journalists exposing the corruption from the ground to those on the outside world, then perhaps there would be more social impact today from all of the money raised for Haiti. I call it a crime as it is just that, it is stealing from those who need it most, those who live in tents and face adversity you and I will never know.
It is out of respect for this suffering that I am happy to provide this conduit that will soon be a global community of citizen journalists reporting from their communities providing a much needed perspective. I am often sent links to mainstream media editorials that are claims and stories from Haiti none of which are vetted properly and tend to be some truth mixed in with lies.
You can check back here at the end of January 2018 for the first episode of Ghetto News International shot and produced by local Haitian artists in Port au Prince Haiti.
The new gear will also be used to train new filmmakers and visual artists to make a living producing digital media as it will now allow us to expand our roster. We will be acting as a conduit for the artists to get their work into film festivals around the world to be an extension of their voice to expand their reach and audience. We have developed our show bible, registered our intellectual property and covered our legal bases so that our foundation to fly this next phase stands firm. In keeping with tradition and being transparent I am personally flying down to Haiti to launch this and train my local core team to get the production rolling.