Class Is In Session!

Stefan Dunbar and Kindness Nehwon work on an assignment at the first workshop session.

Our first class of students showed up Wednesday, and they put in a full morning and afternoon of work. We’ll be working with them at our headquarters in Monrovia all of this week; next week we plan to travel out into one of Liberia’s 15 counties to find stories to tell there.

The idea is for our training and outing to serve as a template for two more rounds just like this one. We hope to equip our trainees with the skills (as well as some equipment) to continue this kind of work long after we are gone.

The focus is on telling the stories of everyday people, giving voice to those who may have had little attention — but should — as this nation begins to blossom. Citizens who don’t live in Monrovia can be cut off from public discussion, even forgotten. Yet the capital many have never visited in this country — a near carbon copy of the U.S. system of government — is where the action is as the nation allocates resources in its recovery from two civil wars in a quarter-century.

Our students include:

  • Three from the office of Liberia Media Initiatives: Stefan Dunbar, Kindness Nehwon, Beyan Howard.
  • One — Nat Bayjay — from Frontpage Africa, considered perhaps the top paper and online news site in the country.
  • One — Clarence Nah — from the University of Liberia Department of Mass Communication.

Kindness told me she got interested in journalism through her sister-in-law, who worked at a TV station. At age 12, Kindness accompanied her to the studio and read books to kids on a children’s program.


About Steve Davis

I am an associate professor at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.