LiberianME News is a project with aim to start local, mobile and sustainable Newsrooms in sub-Saharan Africa. To give the local people a voice and a way to be heard and to produce news and to give people locally, nationwide and globally the possibility to listen to these voices, to access these news and information.
The background is that today it is easy, and not very costly, to equip a person with a smartphone, a tablet, solar chargers and power banks (external batteries). Also in most urban areas and in many rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa the access to Internet is very good thru mobile networks that offers Internet access.
Thus a person can be equipped with tools that enables her to shoot photos and videos, record people, write news and publish it on Internet for general access. Also these tools (solar chargers, power banks) gives her independence of immediate access to electric sockets for recharging the tools.
In sub-Saharan Africa today the penetration of mobile phones and mobile networks with Internet access capability is already high and still growing rapidly. Everybody agrees that sub-Saharan Africa has mostly leap-frogged the fixed line access for telephony and Internet.
But what is may be is not as known is the fact that, for the majority of the population apps on mobile devices like smart phones and pads will be used for accessing news and information rather than news-papers and traditional web with lap tops and web browsers. TV and radio will more and more streamed over the mobile networks in addition to being broadcasted and thus making the mobile phone the main access tool for information and news for most people.
We strongly believe in this development and our news will be presented thru an app downloadable from Internet and adapted to all major mobile gadget operation systems (Windows, Android, IOS) as well as accessible over social applications as Facebook.
In addition to locally produced news the apps and social application will stream general news thru RSS.
The policy when it comes to the staff employed is that at least half of them will be women.
The project will start by employing two young persons in Buchanan, Liberia and equip them with necessary tools. If the projects turns out well and suitable funding is secured the concept will be spread to may be 10 Newsroom in Liberia (Liberian is a fairly small nation in size as well as population).
The purpose of this initiative is creating job opportunities for young people and to give everyone in the world that can understand English (official language in Liberia) and has Internet, access to relevant and interesting news and information from and about Liberia
But we also see beneficial spin offs: Building confidence; we can do this ourselves. Strengthening democracy and freedom thru adding independent news sources. Spearheading introduction of smart and sustainable technology, not the least introducing solar energy. Inspiring others to follow. Giving young individuals a chance to develop their talents, especially women.
Eventually the Newsrooms can be financially independent thru sponsorship and or selling advertisement and featured articles to other News agencies.
This concept is of course possible to, and intended to be, implement in many other sub-Saharan countries.
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