Haiti assassination reverberates in local news coverage by Report for America corps members

Report for America host newsroom The Haitian Times has tenaciously covered the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise over the past few weeks, fearlessly employing corps members to chase the intricacies of a story that has great impact on the Haitian diaspora. Moise was killed and his wife, Martine, was seriously injured in an attack on their Port-au-Prince home, July 7. 

Moise is the first head of state to be assassinated in the Western Hemisphere since the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy in 1963. His funeral will be held July 23 in the city of Cap-Haitien. Martine underwent surgery in Miami and has since returned to Haiti.

As the investigation into Moise’s killing continues, the U.N. says nearly 15,000 people have been forced from their homes in Port-au-Prince over the last six weeks. President Moise’s critics say he, through indifference as well as malice, allowed gangs to take over the most destitute areas of the capital. 

Mimi Pierre-Johnson speaks at a Haiti vigil in Elmont, N.Y., July 10. Photo by Sam Bojarski

The story extends well-beyond Haiti. Report for America corps members Sam Bojarski and Onz Chéry have been doggedly covering the story in New York and in South Florida, where three Haitian Americans were among those arrested in the killing. 

Bojarski covers the Haitian community and its diaspora in Brooklyn. Chéry covers Little Haiti in Miami. Together with their editor Macollvie Neel, they have reported more than two dozen stories on the assassination—it’s impact there and in the United States.

“Without Report for America we could never have reached the heights that we have climbed. I know our reporting on this would have been smart and insightful,” said Garry Pierre-Pierre, founder and publisher of The Haitian Times. “But Report for America has shown what media outlets can achieve with the proper support. This is what Report for America’s founders envisioned and should serve as a clarion call to everyone why an independent journalism ecosystem undergirds democracy.”

The Haitian Times was founded in 1999 by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Pierre-Pierre as a weekly English-language newspaper based in Brooklyn. It is one of the oldest news outlets in the Haitian Diaspora. The paper’s aim is “to share the stories of Haiti and of Haitians across the diaspora, shed light on issues that impact Haitian enclaves and highlight the achievements and challenges of our community.”

The Haitian Times, currently an online only publication, is one of 15 Black-owned publications that have partnered this year with Report for America to cover communities of color throughout the United States.

You can follow The Haitian Times on Twitter @HaitianTimes.

These are among the stories published by Report for America’s corps members:

Haiti’s interim prime minister denies role in Moïse slaying, urges unity – Sam Bojarski

Northerners pay homage to Moïse as his body arrives in Cap-Haitien – Onz Chéry

Worldwide Capital admits funding Sanon and security firm for ‘Haiti leadership change’ – Sam Bojarski

“Our father died,” some in Haiti’s northwest say about Moïse’s killing – Onz Chéry

Haitian doctor’s arrest raises new questions, suspicion about Moïse murder plot – Sam Bojarski

In New York, diaspora leaders seek unity, ‘reflective’ leadership for Haiti – Sam Bojarski

Deep fakes, outdated Haiti news, conspiracies circulate after Moise slayingSam Bojarski

Haiti First Lady Martine Moïse sends voice message before surgery – Onz Chéry

Joining power struggle, Haiti Senate proclaims Lambert as provisional president – Onz Chéry

Haitians skeptical of Colombians’ offer to assist in Moïse’s assassination Onz Chéry

Diaspora pushes for justice, economic and humanitarian solutions amid Haiti crisis Sam Bojarski

Haitian authorities still waiting for names of guards at Moïse home – Onz Chéry

Uncle: Assassination suspect called Moïse ‘crazy’, wanted to be Jacmel mayor (audio exclusive) – Onz Chéry and Sam Bojarski

Interim PM: Haiti will move forward with fall elections Sam Bojarski

Arrests made so far in connection with the Moïse slaying in Haiti – Sam Bojarski and Onz Chéry

EXCLUSIVE: Video footage from Haiti in wake of Moïse assassination – Sam Bojarski

EXCLUSIVE: Boulos says Haiti’s opposition didn’t assassinate Moïse, couldn’t if they wanted toOnz Chéry

Line of succession unclear following Haiti President Moïse assassination – Sam Bojarski

About Report for America

Report for America is a national service program that places talented emerging journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered topics and communities. Launched in 2017, Report for America is creating a new, sustainable system that provides Americans with the information they need to improve their communities, hold powerful institutions accountable, and rebuild trust in the media. Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization with an established track record of training and supporting teams of emerging journalists around the world, including the recent launch of Report for the World in partnership with local newsrooms in India and Nigeria.