All The News Fit to Write: Liberia’s Analog Blackboard Blog

alfred sirleaf analog blog monrovia liberia

(image via: Neatorama)

Imagine not being able to check your favorite blogs or even read the news every day. Whether because you can’t afford the newspaper or because the local government doesn’t allow access to the news, it would put you in the dark permanently. It’s a fact of life for countless people in the world. In Monrovia, Liberia, Alfred Sirleaf is striving to bring information to the people. Every morning since 2000, he has headed to his public bulletin board and painstakingly writes out the day’s news on the blackboard for all to see at no charge.

Sirleaf’s project is, in all likelihood, the world’s only analog blog. His news, called “Daily Talk,” brings readers out in droves: an estimated 10,000 people read his “blog” every day. People line up in cars and on foot in the busy neighborhood to read the headlines Sirleaf has posted for them. His grateful neighbors often can’t afford the cost of a newspaper, much less a home computer – many of them don’t even have reliable electricity. And Sirleaf’s big personality seems to add to the readers’ enthusiasm. In the above video, he explains the day’s news to the crowd – many of whom cannot read – in a tone reminiscent of an energetic preacher. Despite being arrested and harassed in the past, Sirleaf continues to bring a world of news to a group who would otherwise be left in the dark.

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See more in Do It Yourself or under Technology. October, 2009.