Moving from Open Door to ‘Growth with Development’

During President William Tubman’s Open Door Policy, Liberia was averaging double-digit growth rates. Being open for business, however, did not mean growth was open to all. In the 1960s, it was claimed that we had ‘growth without development’—economic activities from large-scale foreign concessions in iron ore, rubber, palm oil, and timber did not improve the…

NN’s Mae Azango Interviewed By Radio France International

Liberian journalist urges women to speak out on excision Journalist Mae Azango Glenna Gordon By Laura Angela Bagnetto Liberian journalist Mae Azango has been forced into hiding after publishing an article in the Liberian daily Front Page Africa on the practice of female genital cutting or excision in the country. Azango, a New Narratives fellow talks to RFI’s Laura-Angela Bagnetto about…

Genital Cutting Threatens the Health of Liberia’s Women

The cultural practice of female genital cutting is rampant in Liberia, especially in the countryside.  Parents send girls as young as infants to ceremonies conducted by a secretive indigenous religion known as the Sande to be cut without knowing the health risks involved.  But openly talking about this secret rite of passage is taboo here. …

Amnesty International Joins Calls for Police Protection of Mae Azango and Her Sources

DOCUMENT – LIBERIAN POLICE MUST TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION TO PROTECT JOURNALIST AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC STATEMENT 13 March 2012 Liberian Police Must Take Immediate Action to Protect Journalist Mae Azango, an investigative journalist based in Monrovia, is receiving death threats after publishing a story in FrontPage Africa uncovering the practice of female genital mutilation of girls [FGM]…

From Petty Traders to Entrepreneurs in War-Battered Economy

Clothing designer Geneva Garr supervises several men crouched over sewing machines surrounded by beautifully tailored dresses hanging for customers to see. Starting up with just one sewing machine on her porch, Garr, 37, now makes 72 outfits a week. Garr says she started the business in 2005 in Accra, Ghana and moved to Liberia in…

Seek Ye First the Economic Kingdom, Woman

First appeared in Liberia’s FrontPage Africa newspaper March 1 Africa’s first post-independence president, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, urged colonial Africa to “seek ye first the political kingdom, and all else shall be added onto you.” Nkrumah was alluding to the biblical verse, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these…

High Number of Teenage Pregnancies Holds Liberia Back Say Experts

Baby Blessed wriggles and wails in discomfort in his young mother’s lap.  Winnie pulls out her breast to feed her sick child and quiet his cries.  She looks out at the swampy backyard behind her home as if she would rather be any place other than here. By Mae Azango. Originally published in FrontPage Africa…

NN Reports First Interviews With Gay Men in Liberia

NN fellow Wade Williams and photographer Chase Walker have published the first interviews with openly gay men in Liberia. The story was published as gay rights activists have been attacked and faced death threats in the country. The reporting took considerable bravery on the part of our reporters, the interview subjects and FrontPage Africa editor…

NN and FrontPage Africa Feature Liberia’s First Interview with Homosexuals

At New Narratives we believe discussing issues in a public forum is the first step to finding solutions that will protect the rights of all people. For that reason we are proud that are reporter, FrontPage Africa editor Wade Williams has done the first interviews with gay Liberians to run in the country’s press. Prior to…

NN Executive Director to Present at African conference on Media Development

New Narratives Executive Director Prue Clarke will present on a panel discussing business models in African media at the Commonwealth Sierra Leone Media and Development conference in Freetown January 25-27th, 2012. Prue will discuss New Narratives’ innovative approach to media business model building and the work of Columbia University students on the topic, supervised by…

Liberian President Faces Tough Second Term

By NN fellow and FrontPage Africa editor Wade Williams MONROVIA, Liberia — Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will be sworn in for her second term this Monday but the 73-year-old Nobel laureate begins her six-year term under a heavy cloud. An acrimonious election campaign against the main opposition party, Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), was…

US government gives $50K to Liberian rape clinic featured in NN reporting

The THINK rape clinic in Monrovia, featured in New Narratives reporting on child rape, has been granted $50,000 by the US embassy in Liberia to keep up their outstanding work. A 3-year-old rape victim walked into the clinic when NN was reporting there in 2010. Said clinic supervisor Elizabeth Kekula: “We tell leaders that tiny children…

Clarence Jackson NN Fellow, Editor-in-Chief, Radio Gbarnga

Clarence Jackson is Editor-In-Chief at Radio Gbarnga and Regional Coordinator of the Press Union of Liberia for Bong, Nimba and Lofa Counties. He has been a journalist for more than fifteen years.  Clarence is a prolific journalist whose reporting focuses Politics and Governance. He has also worked as correspondent from Central Liberia for several institutions…

Robtel Neajai Pailey Alum

Robtel Neajai Pailey joins New Narratives as our first Opinion Writing Fellow. Robtel’s opinion pieces appear in FrontPage Africa and her commentaries air on radio stations across Liberia. Robtel was recently named one of the Top 99 Foreign Policy Leaders Under 33. Born in Monrovia, Liberia, Robtel is an activist/writer who spent her formative years…

Chase Walker Photojournalist, Court Artist

Chase Walker is New Narratives’ resident photojournalist. He works at FrontPage Africa newspaper and website where he is head of the graphic department and is responsible for the layout and design of the newspaper. He also regularly contributes political and social cartoons. Chase’s photographs for New Narratives have appeared in publications around the world. Chase…