Farewell & Thanks
Below is FOL’s announcement of the last issue of the FRIENDS OF LIBERIA NEWS DISPATCH. As head of the Indiana University Liberian Collections, I strongly thank FOL for their support and for giving us the opportunity to distribute this Liberian news weekly. We also thank the many subscribers on both sides of the Atlantic for their faithful interest. And especially hearty praise goes to the many IU graduate and undergraduate students who compiled and edited each week’s dispatch over the past 10 years.
I am especially happy to know that as this FOL NEWS DISPATCH is ending, the Ebola outbreak seems to have been defeated and that on May 9th, Liberia will be considered Ebola-free.
Peace & Health to Liberia and All,
Verlon L. Stone, IU Liberian Collections
The Liberian News Service is closing its 24-year run today (May 7, 2015) with this last posting. We want to thank you for your loyalty and interest in Liberia. This service began as the brainchild of Friends of Liberia founding member Dr. Jim Gray, who singlehandedly put together what became known as Jim’s List in the early days of the Liberian Civil War. It was also pretty early going for listservs. The idea was to fill in the gaps in the mainstream media’s coverage of Liberia by aggregating their coverage in one email and offering it to anybody who signed up. The news service played a crucial role during the war in galvanizing U.S. support for the peace process. At its peak, thelistserv had about 2,000 subscribers.
About 10 years ago, Dr. Verlon Stone, the director of the Liberian Collection at Indiana University offered to have work-study students manage the list for a modest fee from Friends of Liberia. This partnership has kept the news feed alive while allowing FOL to occasionally talk to subscribers about what it was doing for Liberia. In the last year, it helped FOL raise more than $100,000 for Liberian efforts to battle the Ebola epidemic. The partners came to a mutual decision that with many good internet-based aggregation tools out there, listServs are no longer as necessary as they once were.
FOL is discussing other ways how to keep our membership up to date on the news in Liberia. We encourage you to continue to visit FOL’s blog on our new website, check-in on IU’s Liberian Collections by Googling “Indiana Liberia Papers Photos,” and follow The Bush Chicken, a new media outlet created by former Friends of Liberia board member, Jefferson King.