Wade C.L. Williams is an investigative reporter and chief of the news desk for FrontPageAfrica newspaper and website. Some call her the most powerful newswoman in Liberia where few women have been able to make a career in the media, let alone reach the top ranks. Since joining NN in January 2011 she has interviewed warlords and written about discrimination against homosexuals, which brought death threats against her. Wade was one of several reporter’s whose lives were threatened during the coverage of elections in 2011. When her publisher was forced to flee the country, she kept the paper running.
Wade was awarded Liberian Journalist of the Year in 2013 as well as the German Development Media Award for Africa. In 2012 she was a recipient of the prestigious Dag Hammarskjold fellowship becoming one of four international journalists chosen to spend three months in New York City covering the United Nations and the 2012 UN General Assembly. In that role she broke stories with dramatic repercussions in Liberia and again received death threats, this time for her reporting on the UN’s criticism of Liberian government efforts to end female genital cutting by traditional societies.
In 2012 she received the national awards for human rights and political affairs reporting, joining only a handful of women who have won national reporting awards in Liberia. She has been chosen to accompany the president and government ministers on trips to West African neighbors and the World Bank Forum in Washington D.C.
“It is our responsibility to tell people what’s going on,” says Wade. “Then they will learn how to move forward. At NN we explore issues that normally media dare not touch, because all they are concerned about is politics, politics, politics. What about the woman in the village who is not getting adequate healthcare? Or is accused of being a witch because she has complications during childbirth?”
Wade holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from the United Methodist University. As a student, Wade pioneered the first student newsletter, Inside UMU, and graduated magna cum laude.