New Democrat Goes on the Net

The Perspective
February 7, 2001

The New Democrat newspaper, which shutdown operations following President Charles Taylor's threat to personally invade its offices without the help of his security forces and handle staff, has launched a website.

Editors say the site will provide news and analysis on events in Liberia and within the West African sub region, amongst others. Coverage will include dispatches sent from Liberia on a periodic basis but concentration will be on analyses, features and editorials. European-based journalists will assist The New Democrat in the technical and editorial aspects of the site. The paper will compliment Liberia's exiled press, including US-based The Perspective, while contemplating its Liberian operations.

The paper's offices were burnt down in 1996 upon the orders of President Charles Taylor in 1996. "Is the New Democrat still around?" Taylor asked during a live press conference as the paper's equipment, including printing presses, lay in their ashes. As President, Taylor rejected the paper's application to resume publication in 1998, but consented later following international and national protests. What followed was a series of arrests of editors and reporters, culminating in broadcast presidential threats against the paper, which force the entire staff to flee the country last year for Ghana.
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