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New Narratives is an innovative new support program for reporters in Africa. New Narratives works with Africa's best reporters at the biggest media houses to do fact-based, thorough and balanced reporting on countries' most pressing but under-reported issues. By setting a higher standard for journalism, New Narratives encourages the national media to lift their standards to compete. By working with women, we strengthen a group of women role models in highly visible positions. Women reporters inspire other women to see themselves as leaders. The women reporters, in turn, interview women experts, giving another group of women a public platform to increase their credibility in society. Few women's empowerment projects can have such widespread reach.
Since the launch of our Goldman Sachs-backed pilot in Liberia in July 2010, the program has had a big impact. Our reports on major issues such as rape and prostitution, sexual exploitation by peacekeepers, child malnutrition, unsafe abortions, mass graves, forced female circumcision and the failure of the judicial system, have sparked outrage and action in Liberia and the Diaspora. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and members of her government have established a safe house for rape victims and called on legislators to pass child protection laws. The UN has launched an investigation into peacekeepers' use of teenage prostitutes. Our reporting has also shone a light on Liberians, particularly women, who are doing great things for their country. Our reporters have become widely sought after as commentators inside and outside the country. New Narratives reporting has appeared in major media around the world, allowing our Liberian reporters to tell their own stories to the world.