June 27, 2014
by msnathan

Best New Thing In The World: The Daily Talk, a chalkboard newspaper.


20121122-163642Both images via Messy Nessy Chic

“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating.” – Kofi Annan

In our class we have this Kofi Annan quote on our Information Hub wall and it is surrounded by all sorts of ideas, statements, beliefs and feelings that we have about various things we read, watch or talk about in the news. When I read about The Daily Talk, that quote and the empowerment knowledge gives us is the first thing I thought of.

Alfred J. Sirleaf is a Liberian journalist who believes it is important for people to be informed and that knowledge shouldn’t only be held by a wealthy few newspaper owners. So, knowing how low the literacy rate in his country was as well as how little money people had to buy newspapers or access the internet, he decided to start The Daily Talk, a blackboard newspaper in Monrovia, Liberia. It is situated in a public place for anyone to read who wants to.

Alfred doesn’t own a computer, so every day he goes to the internet cafe and researches the latest news stories then handwrites the headlines and stories on The Daily Talk. Can you imagine handwriting out the news, everyday! Also, to help people who have trouble reading he uses pictures and symbols (a blue helmet for UN peacekeepers) to help people make sense of what he has written.

He believes that it is important for the news to be reported honestly and without the bias that you will often find in larger media outlets, but because of that and his criticisms of the former president The Daily Talk was once destroyed by government soldiers and Alfred was jailed then exiled. This hasn’t stopped him though, he rebuilt it and is back to reporting the news. As his space is limited, he has to make decisions about what to report, how much to include, which stories are the most important for the people and who’s voices need to be heard. Watch below to Alfred talking about his work with The Daily Talk.

Watching and reading about this made me realise how incredibly lucky we are to have access to a wide range of information via the internet, and also that we have our own voice on the internet through our blogs. What lessons do you think you could take away about writing, blogging and sharing knowledge from this story?

May 21, 2014
by msnathan
1 Comment

Best New Thing In The World: Rabbit Show Jumping

I’ve decided to start a new feature on our blog called ‘Best New Thing In The World’. To be honest, I’ve completely stolen the title from The Rachel Maddow Show (I love this one) and Rookie do a similar thing with their Literally The Best Thing Ever posts. It’s just a fun way of sharing cool stuff that we’re into.

Anyway, for our first Best New Thing In The World we have…rabbit show jumping! We all know I love a good animal video and basically anything where we get to watch animals doing cute stuff. I can’t believe this has been around for 20 years and I didn’t know about it! Of course it was invented in Sweden which totally seems like a magical land full of good design and funny ideas. What do you reckon, do they give horses a run for their money?

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