The online media MagHaiti is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Training young journalists, offering visibility to young talents, are some of the achievements of this online newspaper which is published in Creole, French, and English. On this occasion Enquet’Action had met with professional manager and the founder of MagHaiti, Franciyou Germain.
In 2014, MagHaiti launched its Web TV called Alolakay (www.alolakay.tv) to better promote Haitian culture. “Our greatest achievement was the creation of the first Haitian fact checker known as T-Check Haiti (www.ticheck.org).
“The results are rather promotional and progressive” says Franciyou Germain, the chief executive officer of MagHaiti, in an exclusive interview with Enquet’Action. He talks about MagHaiti, and the management aspects it composes, within four online branches of news agencies: MagHaiti, Alolakay TV, T-check Haiti and the company Quiet Production. His mission is to train and inform the population. “For 10 years, we have trained dozens of journalists with a mass communication background after starting their career from universities. Those trainees are built with us in order to best deal with the demand of the job. We prepare them to be everywhere, especially with some of the major media in the Haitian capital” says Mr. Germain, who claims that the public calls MagHaiti, Atletico de Madrid.
It is an honor to have worked with these reputable journalists; Guerking Souffrant, owner of the online media “Passion Info Plus” Clifford Dubois of “Le Quotidien News”, Féderson Jeune, founder of the company Innovare Capital Investissement; ThonywoodAntoine, owner of ThonyWood TWAMS, is part of a long list of journalists who startedtheir career with MagHaiti. Professional journalists like Godson Lubrun (owner of Radio Top Haiti) and Milo Milfort (investigative journalist) also joined the project and managed to carve out a good reputation for themselves, initially working with MagHaiti.
“We have also given a lot of visibility to hundreds of new singers, soccer players, writers, poets and entrepreneurs. Of those 10 years, we have built a large network of diversified human resources” showcasing some of the leaders from the community. In 2014, MagHaiti launched its Web TV called Alolakay (www.alolakay.tv) to better serve Haitian community and culture. “Our greatest achievement was the creation of the first Haitian fact checker named T-Check Haiti (www.ticheck.org). With these media tools, we are promoting real news and avoiding manipulation by politicians” that aim to utilize MagHaiti. MagHaiti is fulfilled from creating its contents and providing to the citizens of Haiti with the most accurate and reliable information that are available and freely.
10 years, immense projects and challenges assessments
The MAGHAITI Media Group is working on setting up an audiovisual studio in the city of Delmas. Thus, the media want to give even more visibility to young talents.. “We will produce educational programs to train those who are interested, while we could also entertain the public. The future of MagHaiti seems to be successful with the audiovisual sector and we will make sure to produce relevant content” adds Mr. Germain. As an independent media, it does not prevent MagHaiti to partner and advertise with other parties and business, as a means to boost the economic and financial areas of the platform. As of currently, we are building a plan to receive a form of incentive from the Haitian government, as their contribution to the way of backing up the financial needs of the platform, due to the services we are providing to the Haitian public.
“A way for us to preserve our independence. Knowing that in Haiti, sponsorship is often combined with dependence” it is an economic choice that has repeatedly restricted our growth in the media, because we have yet to receive sponsorships. “We want to be comfortable to properly compensate our writers, whom MagHaiti has been devoted a lot of energy to training them,” says Mr. Germain. An exemplary financial assistance we are inviting is one that resembles the financial support received in 2018 from the United States Embassy in Haiti, through a collaboration to the launch of T-check Haiti. The Knowledge and Freedom Foundation (Fokal) and the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) also sponsor this project to be the first fact checker in Haiti. As for the financing of the magazine, Franciyou Germain is the main sponsor, but are welcoming ethical sponsors. MagHaiti is a nonprofit agent, and it represents the essential tool for advancing democracy in Haiti.
“Unfortunately, it is often that we face threats of all kinds from certain gangs and politicians. I have been living in exile for two and a half years after being attacked in November 2019. Our journalists can no longer wear their badges for fear of being attacked in turn is one of our worst challenges” says Mr. Germain.
10 years, between celebrations and success?
On the occasion of these ten years of existence in the media, the independent MAGHAITI Media Group launched a singing competition titled: “Follow in the footsteps of Christopher Laroche” in August 2022. In order to honor the illustrious singer Christopher Laroche, alias Freedom. Germain believes that in 20 years of career, Freedom has carried a standard that he continues to presently follow. Because his name has never been attached to any scandals. “To remain faithful to our editorial line, it symbolizes Liberty in this contest” adds Mr. Germain. More than 650,000 Haitian gourdes of rewards will be given to the 2023 winners of the contest, plus extra promotional benefits for the 10 finalists.
In addition to that, the winners will have the opportunity to produce music in collaboration with Christopher Laroche. This initiative will perfectly illustrate and highlight the beginnings of MagHaiti.
“During the first three years, we were very popular because we focused on people and the music industry. Our website was booming with millions of visitors per month. From 2016, we made the choice to professionalize our magazine, it was a great initiative, which nonetheless caused the detachment of some of our best supporters from some of our social networks” “But for seven years, MagHaiti has not stopped informing readers , and those who have faithfully followed it, using our media platform advocating accuracy and transparency every day, between 4,000 and 15,000 people visit our other sources of online presence in search of news in the Haitian media” says Mr. Germain.
These are some of the works for which the founder is no longer living in Haiti. A situation that regardless has not changed the editorial line of MagHaiti.
The authorities and the people in concerned want nothing to do with us. Sometimes they mislead us just to get revenge because of previous reviews. This causes a slowness of MagHaiti compared to the news. But as a friend once said: “it is better to miss a bad scoop than to feel sorry at the end” he says. MagHaiti wishes to continue its journalistic work fact-check those that have the responsibility to make decisions that will benefit the Haitian people. An attitude that many readers consider too categorical.
“We cannot be lenient with corrupt leaders who support banditry. We cannot be lenient with opponents of the oppressed power in place, which regularly change our position. We cannot be lenient with other media that take part in corruption. MagHaïti denounces the excesses and proposes concrete alternatives, which is ethicalism“.
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