Newspapers in Liberia
Newspaper publishing in Liberia has a long tradition - West Africa's first
newspaper, the Liberia Herald, was started in 1830 - but newspaper distribution
is very limited. There are three newspapers. The largest is the Daily Observer
with an edition of about 30,000 copies. Freedom of the press has been limited
since the 1980s.
Radio and television are dominated by the Liberian Broadcasting System,
which is financially controlled by the government; its television is regarded as
faithful to the government, while the radio also represents other groups.
Alongside this are other radio stations, including Voice of America. There are
274 radio receivers and 25 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).
Like its neighboring countries along the West
African coast, Liberia has a rich musical life. Many
songs derive from the music that Christian American
missionaries brought, but they have been adapted to
domestic traditional music.
Various Liberian music genres are usually associated
with special phenomena in society or private life.
Celebrations such as weddings, naming ceremonies or
royal processions are all accompanied by their
distinctive musical styles.
Latest population statistics of Liberia, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
Liberia was one of the countries where so-called
highlife music developed from the 1950s. In it, Western
instruments are mixed with African, and Latin American
rhythms are combined with traditional West African
melodies and lyrics.
The literary tradition is limited. The most
well-known author is probably Bai T Moore, 1916-1988.
His short novel Murder in the Cassava Patch is
considered a modern classic in Liberian literature.
American-Liberian journalist Helene Cooper, in the
autobiographical The House at Sugar Beach, talks about
growing up in a privileged family in Liberia, the flight
to the United States and the return to home after the
civil war in 2003.
Tougher grip to prevent the spread of infection
The nightly curfew is extended to apply between 18:00
and 06:00. The reason for the tougher rules is that the
country has seen an increase in the number of infected
covid-19. President George Weah also announces that the
emergency permit introduced in April to curb the spread
of infection will be extended until July 21. The
country's borders remain closed and travel between
regions is still prohibited. So far, 626 cases of
covid-19 have been registered in Liberia, 34 people have
died in the disease.
Prosecution is dropped
15th of May
Justice Minister Musa Dean files the indictment
against ex-President Ellen Johanson-Sirleaf's son
Charles Sirleaf and three other men accused of illegally
printing Liberian dollars into multi-million dollars.
The trial against the five began last year (see
August 26, 2019). The prosecution is closed
because the four are considered to have acted on the
former central bank governor's request. He is still
charged with the crime.
The shutdown is extended
The restrictions imposed in early April to prevent
the spread of the covid-19 viral disease are being
extended in the capital Monrovia by two weeks. At the
same time, President George Weah announces some relief
for religious communities. Prayers in churches and
mosques will be allowed again next week. But unnecessary
business operations must remain closed, residents of the
million town of Monrovia are urged to stay at home and
it is still prohibited to travel between the country's
15 different districts. By the end of May, Liberia has
registered 250 infected and 24 dead in covid-19.
Fuel shortage threatens in Liberia
24th of March
Minister of Commerce Wilson Tarpeh says Liberia now
only has fuel left in the country that lasts for seven
to nine days, and that it will take a while before new
deliveries reach the country. His statement causes long
queues to arise at the gas stations in the capital
Monrovia. Later, the state oil company LPRC announces
that there are reserves for twelve days and that
deliveries will come on April 2.
Liberia stops air traffic
President George Weah stops all flights to Liberia
from countries that have reported more than 200 cases of
covid-19. This has happened since Liberia received its
first case of the viral disease, a person who returned
to his home country from Switzerland. Later, Weah
records a song about the importance of washing his
hands. The UN agency Unesco draws attention to the song
and uses it later in its information campaign. "
Journalists in protest against harassment
the 12th of March
Journalists march on the streets of the capital
Monrovia in protest against harassment and violence. The
journalists carry placards with texts such as "Stop
abusing me for doing my job". The protest is a reaction
to the death of radio journalist Zenu Koboi Miller in
February. Miller was beaten at the beginning of the year
by President Weah's bodyguards as he watched a football
match and passed away a week later. According to
official statements, he died of high blood pressure, but
his journalist colleagues believe Miller's death was
caused by the abuse. The Liberia Journalists'
Association says in a statement that attacks, arrests,
violence and harassment against journalists have reached
completely new proportions. The association believes
that it is an attempt to push the media into
self-censorship. In recent months, ten journalists have
Suspected war criminal arrested
11th of March
A man is arrested in Finland accused of murder, rape
and for acquiring and exploiting child soldiers during
the civil war in Liberia (1999-2003). The man originally
hails from neighboring Sierra Leone and held a high
position in the rebel movement RUF.
Female candidates are rejected by the military
About 80 percent of the women who applied to work in
the defense are rejected. In some cases it is not that
they do not have the physics required (especially women
from the cities), in other cases lack of theoretical
knowledge (there were usually women from the countryside
who did not pass the test). Corresponding upper
secondary education is required in order to gain
employment in the army. To change this, the military
promises to organize special courses for women so that
more people can qualify.
Gasoline shortages raise suspicions of corruption
Liberia has been hit by a shortage of gasoline,
leading to protests by motorcycle bidders in the
country. According to Wilson Tarpeh, Minister for Trade
and Industry, the shortage has arisen because the state
oil company LPRC has had incorrect figures on how much
gasoline they have in stock. The data raise suspicions
of corruption, something that is expected to hit the
Liberia opens for oil offer
President George Weah announces that Liberia is now
ready to accept bids from companies seeking oil and gas
in Liberian waters. There are nine blocks that have been
opened for tenders.
Thousands in protest of Weah's rule
The opposition movement Patriotic Council (Council of
Patriots, COP) is conducting its protest against
President George Weah's rule. They require Weah to
account for his private assets, which he should have
already done by law, and that he should talk about what
has happened to the US $ 25 million that was withdrawn
from the central bank in 2018, and which would have been
used to stabilize the Liberian economy. Requirements are
also made for him to dismiss his entire financial staff.
At least 3,000 people are participating in the protest.
In the evening, the police put in tear gas to resolve
the protest, after the participants began to prepare
their evening meals outside the government buildings,
despite the police orders. Several people are then taken
to hospital. The economic crisis is hitting hard on many
government employees who have been without pay for
months. Promises were made earlier that they would
receive all their wages in November and December, but he
did not do so. No pensions have been paid either.