[Hpn] STREETWISE FIGHT MAY HURT VENDORS

chance martin streetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org
Sat, 10 Feb 2001 17:24:35 -0700


compare this post to the next, examine it in light of the letter I've
forwarded from Streetwise's editorial staff, and we can begin to get a
handle on the degree to which corporate media is utterly devoid of TRUTH.

now, consider that (some? most?) street papers tell the truth because they
they have nothing to lose.

chance


http://chicagotribune.com/news/metro/chicago/article/0,2669,SAV-0102070276,F
F.html

STREETWISE FIGHT MAY HURT VENDORS

By Kim Barker 
Tribune Staff Writer
February 7, 2001   

Next week's edition of StreetWise newspaper might not hit the streets on
time because of an editorial dispute, which could hurt the almost 300 poor
and homeless people who earn a living hawking the weekly paper on street
corners.

The dispute flared up Monday when five workers asked the newspaper's board
of directors to investigate StreetWise and remove Anthony Oliver, the
newspaper's executive director, from his job.

On Tuesday, the three full-time editorial staff workers were sent home when
they showed up for work.

"We were told, `Don't take your coats off. You've got to leave the
building,'" said Charity Crouse, StreetWise editor.

The copy deadline for the newspaper is noon Wednesday, she said. The
newspaper is scheduled to be ready on Monday.

But when asked about the dispute, Oliver said the newspaper would be
published on time. He also said he couldn't talk about the newspaper's
staff.

The newspaper tries to get poor people off the streets and give them a job.
Vendors buy an issue of StreetWise for 35 cents, and sell it for $1, keeping
the difference. At last count, 267 people sell the newspaper, pulling in an
average of $400 a month.

"In order for me to make my ends meet, I need to sell these papers," said Ed
Cephus, who has sold StreetWise in front of the Art Institute of Chicago for
five years.

"I think it's going to be a disaster" for the vendors, said Doug Dobmeyer, a
poverty expert who writes a column for StreetWise. "If they can't produce a
quality newspaper, they're not going to be able to sell it."

The newspaper started on $100,000 a year in donations. StreetWise now has an
annual budget of about $900,000.

In the past year, the newspaper has increased the cost of the paper to its
vendors, going from 25 cents for a copy to 35 cents.

Crouse said that promises of raises and more help were not met.

Oliver and Board President Pam McElvaine countered that new people were
hired. McElvaine said staff members were given bonuses last year. She also
said the board supports the direction in which Oliver plans to take
StreetWise.

Last month, the newspaper's editor in chief, Jalyne Strong, left her job.
Staffers say she was fired.

Then on Monday, five StreetWise workers sent a single-spaced four-page
letter to the StreetWise board, accusing the newspaper of unethical
practices.


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