Urgent notice to subscribers of the English translation of the news from AHP:
We are writing to ask for your help in preserving two of the last remaining vehicles of independent media left in Haiti. The essential Port-au-Prince station Radio Solidarite, along with its sister organization, news agencyAgence Haïtienne de Presse (AHP), are now struggling to remain operational in the face of dire economic and political impediments.
During the 1991-1994 military takeover, AHP was among the very few organizations providing at great personal risk the only reliable news from Haiti, offering a beacon of hope for the many Haitians craving courageous, independent reporting. AHP’s record of defending basic Haitian human rights has been monumental. In the lead up to the February 29, 2004 ouster of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, AHP and Radio Solidarite resisted tremendous pressure to abandon their independent line.
Today, after yet another coup which has forced democratically-elected President Aristide from office has given way to violence and oppression, AHP and Radio Solidarite function together as a daring experiment in solidarity with the Haitian people and the democratic movement. By financing operations via paid commercial advertising and public service announcements, and subsidizing AHP text news resources through the radio station, the joint operation¹s director Georges Venel Remarais was able to keep this highly professional but feisty and independent project alive. This unusual commercial model with its public interest mission has also informed Haitians on a wide range of issues through radio programs on women’s and children’s health, HIV/AIDS and human rights. This model has great potential to sustain democratic development and unfettered grass roots communication.
Unfortunately, advertising revenue has dropped off considerably over the past year. Despite hard times, AHP and Radio Solidarite have grown to support a staff of 12 in the main Port-au-Prince office. Another 10 correspondents are based throughout Haiti; additional reporters write from The Dominican Republic, Canada and the United States, where there are large Haitian populations.
In order to maintain its loyal staff, Radio Solidarite and AHP need to raise US$7,000 by the end of January to make up for lost income from the precipitous decline in advertising revenue. You have received daily English translations of AHP news without charge and know the importance of the service it provides, and so we are asking you to give generously in this, our first fund major fund appeal to our subscribers.
Your generous support for Radio Solidarité/AHP¹s efforts to tell the truth about Haiti are greatly appreciated. Every dollar of your checks will go to Radio Solidarité/AHP in Haiti. We will keep you
informed about future projects to keep this essential project solvent.
Please make checks out to AHP/Radio Solidarité and mail them to:
Friends of AHP
PO Box 370
Osceola, WI 54020
(Please note that your contributions are not tax deductible.)
Thanks for whatever support you can provide this essential beacon of independent media in Haiti.
The Friends of AHP
For more information, or to receive English translations of AHP news, email firstname.lastname@example.org.