Crowdfunding for Citizen Journalism in Liberia: An Update
By: Anne Sophie Lambert, Accountability Lab Associate Director
In line with its mission to cultivate citizen participation and to try out new approaches, the Accountability Lab launched its first crowdfunding campaign last month.
The campaign was inspired by Alfred Sirleaf, a Liberian citizen journalist who saw the people’s desire to be better informed and devised a creative solution: the “Daily Talk.”
On a large handwritten chalkboard positioned at one of Monrovia’s busiest road intersections, Alfred displays the most relevant and important news headlines of the day, using colloquial language and illustrations that all who pass by can understand.For years, the Daily Talk has been providing as many as 10,000 passers-by with free and convenient access to information on what is going on in their country. It has received international recognition – by the New York Times and Al Jazeera for example. However, no one has ever taken the time to support this innovative, locally-owned initiative.
The Lab has plans to help Alfred renovate his current chalk-billboard, which Liberia’s heavy rains have taken a toll on over the years, and set up a second one at another popular intersection. Throughout this process, the Lab’s Liberia team will help him expand the scope of the Daily Talk content to include information on how to navigate government services and hold the government accountable. By informing citizens of their rights and responsibilities, the Daily Talk will give citizens greater voice and dignity and will empower them to serve as a check against government corruption. Alfred is launching this civic education component this week, starting with clear instructions on how to navigate the newly installed traffic lights in Monrovia.
Through an Accountapreneurship Fund investment of $3,000, this project can improve the lives of 20,000 Liberians. Over the past three weeks, generous supporters have helped up raise 84% of that goal and we would truly appreciate your support in helping us get to the finish! Click here to see the campaign.