The Daily Talk
The Daily Talk is an English-language news medium published daily on a blackboard on Tubman Boulevard in the center of the Liberian capital Monrovia. According to the New York Times, it is "the most widely read report" in Monrovia, as many Monrovians lack the money or the electricity necessary for access to the conventional mass media.
The founder, managing editor and sole employee of the Daily Talk is Alfred J. Sirleaf, who founded his blackboard newspaper in 2000 because of his belief that a well-informed citizenry is the key to the rebirth of Liberia after years of civil war. In post-war Liberia, Sirleaf sees access to information as the key to peace.
He compiles his stories daily from newspaper reports and messages from volunteer correspondents. The Daily Talk is free to read and is funded by occasional gifts of cash and pre-paid cellphone cards. It even has its own suggestion box for readers and followers.
Sirleaf first built his shack, which serves as the news room for the blackboard installed outside, during the rule of Charles Taylor. It was destroyed by government soldiers after The Daily Talk published criticism of the Taylor regime, and Sirleaf was briefly jailed. With help from his fellow Monrovians, Sirleaf rebuilt it a week before the 2005 election of president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (not a close relation) and resumed publication of the Daily Talk.
- Lydia Polgreen (August 4, 2006). "All the News That Fits: Liberia’s Blackboard Headlines". The New York Times.
- Video report from Monocle featuring The Daily Talk, September 2009
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