Humanitarian aid to Haiti has both positive and negative effects on a country that is already in a state of turmoil. Considering the aspects of education, economics, and the political climate in Haiti, and after conducting both academic research and primary source interviews from those affected firsthand by these issues, I concluded that outside aid and volunteerism to Haiti, and other third-world countries like it, is ultimately ineffective. Donations coming into Haiti are doing more harm than good because the amount of goods being gathered and shipped to Haiti combined with the instability and corruption of the government in that area is detrimental to the economic progression of the nation. As a country struggling with an internal economy, the constant influx of goods keeps local vendors and business owners from starting up their own industries, constantly forcing money to circulate out of the country. As a nation, Haiti has faced many hardships, including natural disasters, and the response from other countries is not always positive. The current and most pressing issues they face today are a lack of education and the abundance of political corruption that is keeping the country in a perpetual cycle of poverty. Outside countries that simply provide donations and resources to Haiti usually serve to enable this cycle when the most effective strategy is to empower the people of Haiti to help themselves.
This research-creation PhD thesis contributes to recent debates about what journalism could (or should) be in today’s fast-changing media landscape by focusing on graphic reportage, a journalistic approach that relies on the drawn medium of comics. In order to assess how working in this drawn form might affect the practices that journalists use in their work, I reflect critically on my process of making Picturing Aid in Haiti, a work of graphic reportage about humanitarian interventions in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.