Report to the 71th General Assembly

Charleston, South Carolina

October 2 – 6, 2015

A major issue in the media during this period, both in Haiti and in the neighboring Dominican Republic, has been the immigration dispute between the two countries.

The conflict surrounding the migratory and legal status of thousands of Haitians in the Dominican Republic created diplomatic tensions between the two countries. These tensions stem from a 2013 ruling by the Dominican Constitutional Court, which retroactively stripped citizenship from 200,000 people, most of them people of Haitian origin who had migrated to the Dominican Republic between 1929 and 2010.

Against this backdrop, a group of 25 journalists from both countries gathered in Port-au-Prince in May to seek a common understanding, and they signed a commitment to work in a climate of fraternity and understanding. The document states that "as journalists we defend the right to freedom of expression and freedom of information," and it rejects "the expressions of intolerance and incitement to violence that do not reflect the general opinions of media outlets and journalists."

Legislative elections were held on October 9, and the presidential elections are scheduled for October 25.

The effects of the devastating 2010 earthquake continue to be felt. The reconstruction process continues to be monitored by the media through editorials, according to a January 2015 post on the Journalism in the Americas blog by Shearon Roberts, a journalist and assistant professor in the Department of Mass Communication at Xavier University of Louisiana.

According to Roberts, journalists have denounced the lack of access to government information and the obstacles they face in seeking information.