Citizen journalists use their phones to report on the Ebola aftermathBy On Our Radar
On Our Radar
When Mariama Jalloh’s father died during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, she didn’t know where or how he was buried. She undertook a long and painful journey to find his grave. Weeping, she made sure his grave at least had a sign instead of a mere number.
Mariama is a citizen reporter for On Our Radar, which has been training ordinary people to report on media events from the front lines, offering a much-needed local perspective. While the media covered the Ebola outbreak extensively during its peak, access has been difficult. Many areas were quarantined and serious health risks prevented a number of news crews from reporting safely on the ground. Crucially, news interest – and donor funding – have decreased since the crisis ended, even though Ebola’s social and economic after effects will continue to be felt for years to come.
On Our Radar and New Internationalist magazine have collaborated to launch #AfterEbola, a project to continue to report the outbreak’s aftermath. Local citizens are trained and verified as reporters, and file stories using only basic mobile technology available to them, sharing the news through recorded phone interviews, WhatsApp and SMS. Earlier this year On Our Radar also developed a 30-minute web documentary on the subject, and in June 2016 New Internationalist ran a 10-page feature compiling content from local journalists.
The project has now been nominated for a One World Media Award. To better understand what happened #AfterEbola, visit www.onourradar.org/ebola and follow the hashtag on social media.
Image courtesy of #AfterEbola
Last updated: 10th of August, 2016