Thanks for checking into the blog! I’m setting out for Liberia tomorrow – finally, after more than a year of brainstorming and planning for this project. My main activity in Monrovia will be helping Alfred Sirleaf with day-to-day operations of The Daily Talk, as well as assisting him with the expansion of his grassroots journalism network. Throughout the summer, I’ll be working with him to select new neighborhoods for Daily Talk offshoots, find community members to run the boards, and train more volunteer reporters. I’ll chronicle our efforts on this blog, as well as repost some of the stories that appear on The Daily Talk each day.
While in Liberia, I also plan to conduct some reporting of my own. I’ve been following the news in Liberia closely for the past few months, and the following are some of the stories and themes I hope to explore:
- Influxes of refugees from Côte d’Ivoire
- Liberian views on the Libyan war (Qaddafi trained and funded Charles Taylor’s militia, but has also invested heavily in Liberian infrastructure and development.)
- Vaccine availability and transport
- Women in politics (Women were instrumental in pushing for an end to the civil war, and both the Mayor of Monrovia and the President of Liberia are women.)
- Tourism, especially in Robertsport, a remote beach resort with great surfing
I should have more than enough stories to keep me busy for nine weeks. My first mission as a journalist? Try to get access to a peace- and state-building summit starting on Tuesday, hosted in Monrovia for heads of post-war states. And for now, here’s the weather next week in Monrovia. Ohhh, the rainy season…