International Press Institute (IPI)

Renowned Haitian Journalist Joseph Guyler Delva to Speak at IPI World Congress

    Vienna (ots) - Delva To Talk about Plight of Haiti's Journalists, at Closing Ceremony in Bratislava

    The International Press Institute (IPI) today announced the inclusion of Joseph Guyler C. Delva, one of Haiti's most respected and renowned journalists, in its line-up of World Congress speakers.

    In a presentation titled, "After the Quake: Press Freedom and the State of the Media in Haiti," Delva will talk about the current situation facing Haitian journalists after the devastating 12 January 2010 earthquake that killed up to 300,000 people and caused unprecedented devastation in the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.

    At least 26 journalists were killed in the January earthquake and most of the island nation's radio and TV stations were heavily damaged and forced off the air. Computers that were not destroyed in the quake were stolen by looters. IPI's North American Committee recently joined with the Haiti News Project, an international effort to help Haitian journalists recover from the earthquake, providing tents, equipment and training programmes.

    "I am thrilled that Guy Delva will be taking part in this year's IPI World Congress," said IPI Interim Director Alison Bethel McKenzie. "Haitian journalists and the Haitian media have suffered terribly and it is important that Guy share the experiences of his fellow journalists with our participants - representatives of some of the world's leading media organisations."

    Joseph Guyler Delva began his career in journalism in 1985 and currently reports from Haiti for Reuters and the BBC, as well as for several Haitian media outlets. He is the secretary-general of SOS Journalistes, a press freedom watchdog he founded in 2005 which also provides professional training to journalists. In addition, he also heads an independent committee set up in 2007 to monitor investigations into the cases of journalists murdered in Haiti since 2000, and to put pressure on the political and judicial authorities to end the impunity surrounding these crimes.

    Always a target because of his press freedom work, Delva's own safety has become even more precarious since the earthquake. According to Port-au-Prince's chief prosecutor and police authorities, several dangerous criminals, who escaped from prison after the earthquake and who were involved in the 2005 murder of Haitian journalist Jacques Roche, have vowed to kill Delva because of his part in their arrest. Delva has received death threats over the past months, and is forced to carry out his work as a journalist accompanied by security guards.

    Delva is slated to talk at the Closing Ceremony, to be held at the Kempinski Hotel River Park Bratislava on Tuesday, 14 September 2010, during this year's IPI World Congress in Vienna and Bratislava.

    The 2010 World Congress will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the founding of IPI and will focus attention on the state of the news media. Under the overall theme, "Thinking the Unthinkable: Are We Losing the News? (Media Freedom in the New Media Landscape)," the four day event will examine the many challenges facing the media, while providing examples of how both traditional and new media organisations around the world are managing to not only survive, but actually thrive in the new media landscape.

    To mark 60 years of defending press freedom, IPI will also honour 60 "World Press Freedom Heroes" during a special Award Ceremony and Dinner at Vienna's City Hall on Monday, 13 September. IPI's Press Freedom Heroes are brave men and women who have made a significant contribution to the defence and promotion of press freedom in their country or region - often paying with their lives for what they wrote or said.

    To read the biographies of all the Congress speakers, as well as more about the programme topics and the IPI World Congress in general, visit the Congress website:

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    IPI's partners for the Congress include: Google; Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd; OMV; Bank Austria - Member of UniCredit Group; Telekom Austria Group; City of Vienna; Federation of Austrian Industries (IV); SITA - Slovak News Agency; Slovak Tourist Board (SACR); Slovak Electricity Transmission System, Plc. (SEPS); Slovak Telekom; Bratislava Culture and Information Centre (BKIS); Kooperativa poist'ovna a. s. Vienna Insurance Group; Slovak Health Spa Piestany; Minerálna voda Mitická; Carat Distillery; Cisco Systems, Inc., Prva stavebna sporitelna (PSS); Austrian Airlines; Twin City Liner; Blaguss; Vienna Chamber of Commerce - WKO; Allianz - Slovenská poist'ovna; DATALAN; Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO); GUEST Magazine; and Carat Distillery.

    Media partners include: APA - Austria Press Agency; ORF - Austrian Broadcasting Corporation; Der Standard; Die Presse; The Vienna Review; Austrian Journalists Club (ÖJC); and

ots Originaltext: International Press Institute (IPI)

Michael Kudlak, Conference and Events Manager
International Press Institute (IPI)
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