Covering the Haiti Earthquake Of 2010: How Journalists used Technology to Capture the conditions of Haiti in the Aftermath

For decades, Haiti has been repeatedly troubled by devastation and disasters that pull at the heartstrings of the international community. In recent history, Haiti struggled under a military dictatorship in the 1980 and 90s, faced numerous hurricanes, and weathered destructive tropical storms. On January 12, 2010 the international community once again watched as Haiti suffered through a devastating earthquake that killed close to 300,000 and injured thousands more.

This paper will examine the processes by which information was collected and distributed by journalists in the month after the Haiti earthquake, by examining the newswork of journalists. This project will show that media coverage increased as technologies became available to journalists. This increase yielded a broader awareness of the tragedies in Haiti. Relationships between journalists, their technology use, and how they went about the newswork of covering the earthquake’s aftermath were examined through a survey and online interviews. By looking at the news media technologies used, the resources tapped and the frames used in journalism coverage, this project uncovered details concerning these relationships. Technology became imperative in the news coverage of the recovery efforts and as technology use increased, but journalists did not solely rely on technology to communicate and gather information. This paper will also examine the challenges journalists face as they covered the earthquake crisis, and how as a group they influenced the information shared with their audiences.