Local radio a lifeline in Haiti

signalfm_haiti_796522331.jpg

Haitians wait in line at SignalFM studio. (Image: signalfmhaiti.com)

This story is adapted from a broadcast audio segment; use audio player to listen to story in its entirety.

Player utilities

Communications are still disrupted in Haiti, hampering relief efforts. Cell phone service is, however, slowly being restored; as are Internet connections.

But in the aftermath of the earthquake, many Haitians have turned to local radio as a way to get and share information.

SignalFM, in Port-au-Prince, has somehow managed to keep broadcasting, on the airwaves and online, since the earthquake struck.

We've got the Internet here at Signal, and it's been a miracle that we've been able to stay on air." said Mario Viau, the station's director. "Don’t ask me how we’ve managed to do that."

Signal has been posting messages on its website from people within Haiti and abroad. On-air, the station acts like a phone for the masses.

"So, when people would come to the station, they would send messages to loved ones, and those who heard those messages, would also come down to the station as well," Viau explained. "And some have come to tell us that they know some people are still alive under certain buildings. So they’d come here to ask for help."

Representatives from the government have also shown up at the station to deliver their messages, as well as people from the international community, who pass on details about where aid is being distributed.

"So really, we've been the only point for information, and since the earthquake we’ve been on air 24 hours a day," said Viau.

SignalFM website
Listen to SignalFM online

You can help through these aid organizations.

PRI's "The World" is a one-hour, weekday radio news magazine offering a mix of news, features, interviews, and music from around the globe. "The World" is a co-production of the BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Boston. More "The World."

Comments