In Liberia's capital Monrovia, Alfred Sirleaf has built a unique, roadside news outlet that has become one of the city's leading information sources, a remarkable feat considering his daily updates are all written by hand using chalk.
I'm Paul Bowers, and I won a trip to West Africa with Nick Kristof.
Produced by Clare Major
While we were staying in Liberia I saw journalism taking on an unexpected form. If you're ever in Monrovia, don't waste your money on a newspaper. You can get all the latest news on Liberia's capital city here. Alfred Sirleaf, founder and owner of this roadside phenomenon, calls his media experiment The Daily Talk.
After realizing that there are thousands and millions of people out there who cannot afford to buy the newspaper, who cannot afford to have access to the Internet, I decided, looking at all of these things, to come up with a free media system that would be able to inform the public on a daily basis of both community and national developments.
He told me about reporting during Liberia's civil war when angry political leaders would alternately steal or break his blackboard. But he'd always bring it back. May 14th marks Daily Talk's ninth birthday.
Daily Talk Celebrates 9th Birthday yesterday, on May 14, 2000 at 8 am. Daily Talk was established by Mr. Alfred J. Sirleaf after years of research. But how did it all started & who are the brains behind this powerful media. Details, tomorrow.
Mr. Sirleaf keeps his operation running on donations, but he wants to expand to other cities and villages around Liberia. What is it that keeps him going?
We are doing this not because we want to sell the news. It's not for sale. It's for consumption. We want for people to understand exactly what's happening.
Chalk it up to a more robust press. Reporting on West Africa, for the New York Times, I'm Paul Bowers.