What is local voices

  • Local Voices Liberia is a network of journalists working for different media outlets in Liberia. We use this website to share information and report about what is happening in our communities.
  • Who We Are

Local Voices is an independent network of community radio journalists working in Liberia’s 15 counties. The group was formed in 2015 by rural journalists who participated in the Internews’ “Information Saves Lives” Ebola training and mentoring program. During the training, participants realized that they were in the unique position to tell the stories about issues in rural Liberia to national and international audiences.

With the support of Internews, Local Voices created a website (https://localvoicesliberia.com) to highlight development issues, especially health issues in rural Liberia. The website is operated under Word Press template.

The Internews supported, USAID funded 2017 HACKATHON Project title voices from rural Liberia helped rebuilt our website with a multi-media platform. The 2017 Hackthon project aimed at giving voice to rural community dwellers that have no means of making their views heard to national government about the entire governance system and their welfare. Specifically, it lifts the voices of rural Liberians about their concerns on the electoral process to national and international audiences. We will provide balance coverage on the presidential and Legislative elections.

 

  • How we work

Reporters file their stories to the group’s Secretariat, who edits the stories and posts on the website. Many of Local Voices stories are published by FrontPage Africa as well articles by members are broadcast as radio news stories on members’ individual community radio station in their respective county.

Our plan is to extend our work with other Monrovia-based media outlets by forming partnership for further publication of Local Voices stories at a minimum agreed cost per story. Besides, other non-media institutions like the business communities and nongovernmental organizations will also be engaged for partnership.

In order to reach the most remote communities, we know that we have to think outside of the box. We are committed to what is necessary and apply innovative solutions to ensure that our mission of raising local voices becomes a reality.  

We are honest about our strengths by inviting opinions. Recognizing that our mission will not be fulfilled by one member alone, we team up with and learn alongside partners to form an network committed to lifting the voices of rural communities.es

  • Where we work

We are well- suited for any community driven media activities, advocacy projects and community engagement programs because we cover areas of the country that are largely ignored by mainstream Monrovia-based media.  We always bring rural citizens views and perspectives on national and international audience.

 

  • Why we work

Lifting local voices, empowering communities for healthy life, our overall mission gives us more reasons why we must work as a group of rural journalists. We believe the media plays a major role in creating a peaceful and prosperous society and so once people are aware of the happenings around them they can make inform decisions that can improve their lives and livelihood. For example, if dwellers of a specific rural community are aware that drinking water from the stream exposes them to water bone diseases they can change their behavior and live healthy. On the other hand they should be provided an alternative instead of drinking from the stream and this where we think we can lift their voices so that policy makers and authority can make the relevant interventions.

Helping to echo the voices of local and rural communities helps brings relief and also gives them a value of being part of the society.

  • Reaching to hard-to-reach places
  • Rural dwellers believing in communities’ radio by listing to themselves
  • Highlighting their plights on a bigger media platform to attract concern and interventions

 

Local voices Liberia: At a Glance

During the Ebola crisis, Local Voices was instrumental in telling the stories of how rural Liberia was dealing with the crisis. In addition, Local Voices participated in the INTERNEWS 2014-2015 ‘Dey-Say’ project which tracked rumors about Ebola and dispelled some of them by providing the public accurate information. Our work served as one of the sources for John Hopkins University research on Ebola information dissemination in 2016.  

Local Voices members successfully organized and implemented county level healthy life roundtable radio programs under Information Saves Lives, a project implemented by Internews in Liberia.  These activities provided platforms where health workers meaningfully interacted with locals and shared health messages which positively impacted the public. As a result of the roundtable, rural community dwellers doubts were clarified about health services and some doubters became going to clinics frequently.

 

Overall Resources:

 Country Statistics

  • Population

4.615 million (WB 2016)

  • GDP per capita

USD 376 (Trading Economics, 2014)

  • People living below the poverty line 63.8 per cent (WB 2007)
  • Life expectancy at birth 61 years (WB 2014)
  • Primary School Completion rate  59% (WB 2014)
  • Adult literacy rate 47.6 (UNESCO 2010)
  • Maternal Mortality rate (per 100, 000 live births) 725 (WB 2015)
  • Infant mortality rate (per 1000 live births) 53 (WB 2015)
  • Chronic malnutrition rate 28% (WFP 1)
  • Food Insecurity 55% (WFP, 2012)