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Shaw Africa Project: Laurel Clark in Liberia

As Global Edmonton’s Laurel Clark hits the ground running in Liberia as part of the Shaw Africa Project, here’s some background information on the initiative, and why Laurel is thrilled to be part of it.

There were roughly 60 applicants from across the Global network, and Laurel was matched with a cameraman from Ottawa for their West Africa assignment.

“I was chosen to go to Liberia with a cameraman named Barry Acton. He works on The West Block with Tom Clark in Ottawa,” she told Global Edmonton’s viewers on the Early News with Gord Steinke. “He’s been to Afghanistan and Libya, and I’m very excited to go with him.”

From May 5 – 28, Laurel and Barry will be living and working in Liberia as part of the Africa Project. You can follow their adventure at Global National as well.

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Troy Reeb, Vice-President of Global News is confident in this initiative, and the staff they’ve chosen to represent Global. “We have a group of professionals who represent the high journalistic standards and principles advocated by Global News,” he says. “We are happy to provide them with an amazing opportunity to grow personally and professionally while helping to strengthen the communities they visit.”

Just days before leaving Edmonton for Liberia, Laurel was asked if she’s concerned for her safety. “I’m well aware that I’m probably going to stick out like a sore thumb,” but she’s taking precautions. “I’m not going to go walk around at dark in the night by myself.”

Laurel has some experience travelling; she’s backpacked through Asia, and isn’t afraid of being pushed outside her comfort zone, especially for such a fantastic cause.

“We’re going over there with Journalists for Human Rights so we will be teaching half the time and reporting half the time.” As part of the project, Global journalists will be working with local journalists in a local newsroom.

“We’re going to try to help them expand their coverage, and do more human rights reporting, which is so important right now as it continues to develop as a country,” Laurel says.

Still, it’s not all about what she can offer them. Laurel’s more than ready to have the tables turned; and also be the student.

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“I’m sure I have a lot to learn from the journalists over there, but I’d love to leave them with something that will help them grow.”