Haitian president Jovenel Moïse was assassinated last Wednesday, leaving the country in turmoil—and putting Haiti back in the news here in the U.S.
It’s true that most of the world only turns its sights to Haiti when there’s a crisis. When reporting on Haiti, international news outlets often neglect to consult Haitians or Haitian media, says Dr. Shearon Roberts, which can lead to misunderstandings and even misinformation about what’s really going on there.
Today, we speak with Dr. Roberts to provide meaningful history and context to the latest news, touching on topics like the media landscape in Haiti, the effects of the 2010 earthquake, and Haiti’s long battle for democracy.
“Haiti is in the constant pursuit of liberty in spite of international resistance,” says Dr. Roberts. “That pride in what Haiti is to all Haitians, friends, and allies is something that everyone keeps fighting and hoping for.”
Shearon Roberts is associate professor of mass communication at Xavier University of Louisiana. She is the co-author of Oil and Water: Media Lessons from Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon Disaster (University Press of Mississippi, 2014) and editor of Recasting the Disney Princess in an Era of New Media and Social Movements (Lexington Books, 2020). Her new book, Media Discourse in Haiti, is forthcoming from the University of Michigan Press.