Rodney by Ken

FreeRodney.org Site Launched with Petition Demanding Editor’s Release

Supporters of FrontPage Africa editor-in-chief Rodney Sieh have launched a website demanding his immediate release. Please find a petition on the site. FrontPage Africa is New Narratives’ major partner in Liberia and has worked with us on a range of … More

by Ken Harper  – S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

NN’s Robtel Pailey named to Top 99 Foreign Policy Professionals Under 33

WASHINGTON, DC:  The Diplomatic Courier and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy are pleased to announce that Robtel Pailey, Opinion Columnist with New Narratives, has been recognized on the 2013 “99 Under 33,” an international list noting the most influential foreign … More

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf makes historic announcement of day devoted to the  elimination of female genital cutting

NN Reporting Prompts Govt to Announce Elimination of Female Genital Cutting Day

In the wake of the international uproar prompted by death threats against NN Country Manager Mae Azango, the Liberian government has taken the unprecedented step of announcing February 6 will be “Intensifying Efforts for Elimination of Female Genital Cutting” Day. … More

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Genital Cutting Threatens the Health of Liberia’s Women

By Tetee Gebro

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 … More

Glenna Gordon/Agence France-Press

NN in the New York Times

By New Narratives Country Director, Emily Schmall

Photo by NN photography coach Glenna Gordon MONROVIA, Liberia — Election officials announced on Thursday that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s only female president, had been re-elected by an overwhelming margin this week in a runoff vote that was marred by an … More

Liberians line up to vote in the presidential, senatorial and legislative elections on October 11, 2011 at a polling station in Monrovia. Around 1.8 million Liberians were eligible to vote in the second election since the end of a 14-year civil war. The elections are seen as a litmus test of the west African nation's fragile democracy. (Issouf Sanogo /AFP/Getty Images)

Despite rain, Liberians turn out in huge numbers to vote

By New Narratives team in Liberia

In West Point, a shantytown community on the edge of the Atlantic, dozens of people endured long lines and the pouring rain to vote in this country’s second presidential elections since the end of 14 years of civil war. Frances … More

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is running for a second term in the Oct. 11 election in which she faces 15 challengers. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Will Liberia’s Women Support “Ma Ellen” again?

Tecee Boley

Women make up about half of the total registered voters in Liberia, according to the National Election Commission. They made up slightly more than half of voters in 2005. That is almost certainly what propelled Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to become … More

Robtel-headshot for news

The Morning After Is Only the Beginning

Robtel Neajai Pailey

I knew I had to be home on October 11. Although it would mean blowing my modest student budget for a few months, I bought the cheapest ticket I could find from London to Monrovia. And despite well-intentioned warnings from … More

Former Liberian warlord and current senator Prince Johnson in his home in Monrovia on June 26, 2009. (Glenna Gordon/AFP/Getty Images)

Is former warlord Prince Johnson fit to rule?

By Mae Azango and Wade Williams

Surrounded by bodyguards, Prince Yormie Johnson swaggers with confidence toward a meeting hut in the center of his large Monrovia compound, decorated with brass figurines and farm animals. The Liberian senator and former warlord is among the 16 candidates vying … More

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is running for a second term in the Oct. 11 election in which she faces 15 challengers. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Nobel Peace Prize winner Johnson Sirleaf runs for re-election

Wade Williams, Mae Azango

Just days before winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf stood on a makeshift stage at the jam-packed Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Monrovia. She launched into a rousing campaign song. Singing “Ellen’s got the Mansion Key” to … More

Election Day 10.11.11

Despite Stiff Opposition to 2nd Term Bid, Sirleaf Vows To ‘Do it Again’

Wade Williams, Mae Azango

Standing on a makeshift stage hooked on to two trucks at the jam-packed Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Monrovia, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf seems assured by the crowd assembled for her party’s launch that she will win a second term. … More

Photo credit:Alex Majoli/Magnum for Newsweek

New Narratives in Newsweek

A piece by NN’s Prue Clarke and Emily Schmall for Newsweek magazine caused an uproar in Liberia this month by highlighting the disparity between the way President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is viewed by the international community and the way she’s … More

Women at Memeh Town

In Run-Up to Election, Women’s Views Diverge on Liberia’s First Female President

By Fabine Kwiah

INTRO: Six years ago in the Liberian presidential elections slightly more than half of voters were women, giving rise to the first female president in Liberia and Africa. But with barely two months to go before elections women say the … More

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FrontPage Africa and New Narratives Fellow Mae Azango Wins Pulitzer Grant

FrontPage Africa Staff Reporter

FrontPage Africa reporter Mae Azango has been selected as one of four African journalists to win a prestigious grant from the U.S.-based Pulitzer Center to cover reproductive health issues. Mae will join 3 other African journalists awarded the grants at … More

Ivory Coast militia looks at African masks in a burned out village at Liberia's border with Ivory Coast on  April 21, 2011.

Return to Conflict? Upcoming Elections Threaten Post-War Liberia’s Security

Mae Azango and Emily Schmall

MONROVIA, Liberia — On a rainy August evening three days before a national referendum, white United Nations tanks rolled down Tubman Boulevard, the Liberian capital’s main road, and took up positions in front of the president’s house and the national … More

There are worried that Liberia's elections could erode the country's security, as the elections in neighboring Ivory Coast took that country to the brink of civil war. Here Ivory Coast militia look at african masks in a burned out village at Liberia's border with Ivory Coast on April 21, 2011. (Philippe Desmazes /AFP/Getty Images)

UN Prepares for Violence in Liberia’s poll

Mae Azango, Emily Schmall

MONROVIA, Liberia — On a rainy August evening three days before a national referendum, white United Nations tanks rolled down Tubman Boulevard, the Liberian capital’s main road, and took up positions in front of the president’s house and the national … More

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She Na Fini Yet ‘O: Why Ellen Is the Only Choice on October 11

Robtel Neajai Pailey

There was a lot “spoiled” about Liberia in January 2006, when a woman draped in regal gold, with a glitter of hope in her eyes, took the podium, offering a promise of renewal. Monrovia roads had pot-holes the size of … More

Photo credit:Alex Majoli/Magnum for Newsweek

‘No Vote For Ellen In Nimba’: Candidate Prince Johnson Claims Referendum Victory

Mae Azango and Wade Williams

The flag bearer of the National Union for Democratic Progress, NUDP, Nimba County’s senior Senator Prince Y. Johnson says, he will make sure that President Johnson-Sirleaf does not get any vote from Nimba County. Senator Johnson addressing a number of … More

Maima Sackie, 46 years old

Women lifted Ma Ellen to president in 2005. Will they do it again?

Mae Azango

Maima Sackie has lived here in Memeh Town, a collection of mud and thatch-roof houses 30 minutes from Monrovia, for fifteen years, selling potato greens to take care of her four children. The stout 46 year-old, wearing a dark t-shirt … More

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LIBERIA: VERY RICH, OR VERY POOR

Tecee Boley

MONROVIA—It is after 8 o’clock in the evening on the Barnersville estate, a low-income housing project on the outskirts of the capital of Liberia. The entire area is dark. A few candles illuminate small shops along the road. A path … More