Daily Talk

The Daily Talk

As of 2006, 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 a New York Times report, 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 is reported to have founded his blackboard newspaper because of his belief that a well-informed citizenry is the key to the rebirth of Liberia after years of civil war. He compiles his stories daily from newspaper reports and messages by volunteer correspondents. The Daily Talk is free to read, and is funded by occasional gifts of cash and pre-paid cellphone cards.

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, however, 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.

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