I couldn’t tell you the last time I sat down and read a magazine or newspaper section from front to back, but it’s been half a decade at least. Partly it’s because a few of my favorite magazines have died, and partly because the job description of an editor person means flying madly from news source to news source all day long. Still, it seems like everyone I know is either spending all their time reading myriad blogs, who’ve collected and analyzed the content they like so they don’t have to, or they’re searching for random gems on socials.
It all makes my constantly-stressed self feel like these days being in the know is less about actually knowing anything — being the proverbial newsman, whether that means breaking stories at the New York Times or over drinks at a dinner party — and more about a ridiculously frantic dash for finding the next big thing, because everyone knows that that thing is right there waiting to be found right now.
But in Monrovia, Liberia, there’s a guy who’s got it all figured out. When we met him in 2009, Alfred Sirleaf woke up every morning, combed the lopsided dispatches of state-run media, and whipped it into cohesive, free news that he aggregated on a local bulletin board. Every day at 10:45 sharp, Sirleaf started posting, and folks from all over cruised past to pick up the snippets of important news they’d missed. This is the story of what has been called Liberia’s only analog blog.
Follow Derek Mead on Twitter: @derektmead.