Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Journalists routinely include this statistic in their reports on Haiti, which in recent months have focused on hurricane-triggered flooding and protests over skyrocketing food prices (seen above). But why is resource-rich Haiti, the second-oldest democracy in the hemisphere and just 800 miles off the coast of Florida, so poor? The U.S. media have failed miserably to explain the reasons for Haiti’s poverty in their reporting.
Dan Beeton, International Communications Coordinator at the Center for Economic Policy Research, talked to a number of journalists about Haiti and identified the under- and mis-reported stories in a piece for NACLA.org. In an interview for my radio program, Dan and I discussed how U.S. foreign policy has usually blocked Haiti’s progress against corruption and poverty – and how the media have missed the story time and time again. Listen to the interview below or download it.