CAP-HAITIEN — The Haitian Times kicked off a one-month bootcamp for six aspiring journalists based in Haiti earlier this week. The hope is to train participants to follow the New York-based publication’s American-style journalism, founder Garry Pierre-Pierre said.
“The journalists are young and eager to embark on this journey of learning a new way of writing and reporting,” Pierre-Pierre said. “Above all, they are smart and curious, and that’s exactly what we sought.”
The Haitian Times decided to build the program after struggling for years to find journalists in Haiti who could produce the quality of journalism it provides. It launched a search last September and was inundated with nearly 100 applicants. After narrowing the list to 30, the team invited 20 for interviews. The final six selected are based in different regions of Haiti: Garlyn Casimir and Jean-Paul Saint-Fleur in Jacmel, James Noncant in Les Cayes, Francois Oldjy in Cap-Haitien and Murdith Joseph and Juhakenson Blaise are in Port-au-Prince.
The Haitian Times hopes to hire most, if not, all the students after the bootcamp and turn them into permanent correspondents reporting from the areas where they reside, Pierre-Pierre said. At the very least, each will have the skills to report quality journalism for other outlets and elevate the practice of the craft in Haiti over time, he added.
Pierre-Pierre, who is the lead instructor, is accompanied by Executive Editor Macollvie J. Neel and News Interpreter/Coach Mitzy-Lynn Hyacinthe. The bootcamp also features guest speakers, including photojournalist Dieu-Nalio Chéry and Edvige Jean-François, an award-winning journalist, public speaker and storyteller who formerly worked as a CNN senior producer.