PRI Highlights Brooklyn’s Bustling Haitian Radio Scene

Via a lively episode of podcast Afropops.

The Aug. 9 episode of Afropops, a new PRI podcast produced and hosted by Ian Coss, focuses on the crazy number of Haitian radio stations broadcasting out of Brooklyn. There are around a half-dozen, clustered in and around a stretch of Nostrand Ave. in Flatbush.

Haitian music courses throughout the 15-minute report as Coss retraces the growth of the Haitian immigrant community in the U.S. and speaks to people like John Anderson, an assistant professor of broadcast journalism at Brooklyn College who is writing a book on radio regulation. These French-language Haiti stations are a mix of pirate signals and more expensive legal partnerships:

“So you have a station — let’s say like 101.9 LiteFM — they broadcast throughout the Tri-State area,” explains Jeffrey Joseph, operations manager at Radyo Pa Nou. “They sell a radio and they put a special chip in it: Wherever LiteFM goes, they are able to listen to our station too, but they need to buy the radio from us.” In Pa Nou’s front office, there are boxes of those radios for sale, each one modified to pick up their signal. These subcarrier frequencies are not regulated and require no license, but Pa Nou does have to pay a significant fee to its host station.

Tangentially, these are exciting global times at PRI, which just announced that it has merged its operations with those of GlobalPost.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Brooklyn Radio Station Goes Live… From a Shipping Container