Getting the story across

In Monrovia, Liberia, a unique form of journalism exists where the news is written out daily on a chalkboard for everyone to read as they pass by on the busy main street.




On May 14, 2000, Alfred J. Sirleaf first established his news source, the "Daily Talk". In a time of violence and cruelty under the Charles Taylor regime, this innovative journalist saw a need for “straight to the point” reporting that was free to all. He started with a chalkboard standing on a main road. Hoping to inform the members of his community, he wrote the day's news on the board for passersby to see. Then, he built up a kiosk from the chalkboard, which became a regular gathering place and a resource for everyone to access information. Nevertheless, Alfred's 'provocative' style of reporting the truth attracted malice from those he had criticized, and soon, he seriously feared for his life. The kiosk was destroyed twice before Alfred finally fled in exile to Ghana. Yet when peace returned, so did the Daily Talk. Today, it is one of the most read news sources in the capital, with thousands taking the time to stop as they walk or drive by to get the breaking news. Upon returning to Monrovia, Alfred rebuilt the kiosk, constructing his booth for maximum efficiency. He still delivers the news to the community, working on the next set of news in the small "News Room" behind the folding three-panel chalkboard while viewers read the current set by means of a rotating double-sided chalkboard.