Our special edition of the New Internationalist magazine – Sierra Leone rebuilds post-Ebola – is something of a journalistic experiment. It’s the product of a collaboration with a remarkable group of Sierra Leonean citizen reporters. Trained by media advocates On Our Radar, they give us a privileged insight into the aftershocks of Ebola in this corner of West Africa.
The reporters took me on a journey from the coastal capital Freetown in the west to the early epicentre in the remote east; their stories reveal Ebola’s lasting impact on friendship, community and the ties that bind us to one another.
More than half of this magazine’s Big Story is given over to reporters’ accounts, where they relate their experiences, and those of their friends and neighbours, in their own words (see Where my father lies and Everything is on my shoulders).
This joint-effort storytelling is thanks to a partnership with On Our Radar, who use new technology to bring people from the margins on to the front page. The citizen reporter pieces you read in this magazine grew out of SMS messages on a hub that functions like a glass-sided story beehive – visit nin.tl/AfterEbolaHub to see how ideas germinated and took root to become features.
The magazine is actually only the half of it. We are also delighted to be publishing web documentary vignettes from our citizen reporters. Don’t miss it: newint.org/after-ebola
This multiplatform Ebola project has been made possible by the European Journalism Centre (EJC) via its Innovation in Development Reporting Grant Programme.
Elsewhere in the magazine, we reveal the inner workings of special tribunals that we will be seeing more of if TTP and TTIP trade deals are successful.