On Tuesday, Haiti was rocked by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, which has claimed thousands of lives so far. Aid organizations have been scrambling this week to make sure they prevent as many more deaths as possible.
And now several South Florida alt-weeklies have gotten involved.
Miami New Times, New Times Broward-Palm Beach and Village Voice Media have already cut one check to the Partners in Health relief organization, and they are now offering to match any other AAN paper’s donation, up to a total of $10,000. We caught up with Miami New Times publisher Kevin Thornburg to find out a little more about the project.
What made you and everyone else at the South Florida New Times papers want to get involved in the relief efforts?
In short, when a tragedy of this magnitude happens so close to home, and being we have such a large Haitian Community here in South Florida, it is vitally important that we, not only as a news organization, but as a community, get involved and help out in anyway we can. Our involvement extends beyond just making a relief fund contribution to the Partners in Health Organization, as we also are actively promoting numerous local relief events.
How do you see this fitting in with the role that your paper — and alt-weeklies in general — play in a community?
Our role in the community is to champion the real local voice, as with all alt-weeklies — here in South Florida, we feel it our duty to always have a pulse on what is happening within our community from an editorial and marketing standpoint. Thus, when something as terrible as the earthquake in Haiti happens and again, with the large Haitian Community that resides here in South Florida, it is our responsibility to take a lead-voice and give back.
To that end, and as of this morning, we have posted 7 blogs on our site covering the story in Haiti since Tuesday and our marketing department has taken an active role in getting involved with numerous local relief fund concerts, as with coordinating efforts with Gibson Guitars to do a fundraiser auction giveaway for an autographed guitar painted by local artist David LeBatard (Lebo).
Anything else to add?
Last night, we attended a local relief concert and on behalf of the Miami New Times, New Times Broward-Palm Beach and Village Voice Media, we presented a check to the Partners in Health area contact to show our support and aid matters in Haiti.
Want to give and take advantage of the matching donation? Contact Kevin Thornburg at 305-571-7651 or Kevin.Thornburg (at) miaminewtimes.com.