The Real Issue: who speaks for homeless people?

Tom Boland (
Sun, 26 Apr 1998 04:35:44 -0700 (PDT) [requires Real Audio/Player]
FWD from National Public Radio (NPR) Weekly Edition - Saturday, April 18, 1998

Homeless News: "The Big Issue," a London-based street newspaper focusing on
the concerns of the homeless, is being sold starting this month in the
United States. Editors of domestic street newspapers are very concerned.
NPR's Margot Adler reports. (8:00)
If anyone has the transcript of this broadcast, please cite text referring
to NANSA and to The Big Issue's plans for starting new papers in the USA or
elsewhere.  The Big Issue, which started in the UK, has spread to other
continents, and it's combined circulation is magnitudes greater than that
of other street magazines.  This month TBI launched a paper in Los Angeles.

How media present homeless people affects big decisions by corporate,
government and nonprofit policy makers.  Their decisions, in turn, strongly
affect our prospects.

So it's very important whether:
1) homeless people get to speak for ourselves in the media,
2) those of us who get to speak are picked by ourselves and not others, (and)
3) we indeed are the editors and office staff who decide the content of
street newspapers.

Others have spoken for us for too long, or chosen which of us get to speak.
And what have we got?  Homelessness, hunger, rape, beatings and jail.

Enough of control in the guise of helping us.  It's time for poor people to
take charge of poor peoples' movements.

Seeking peaceful means to homeless peoples' aims.--Tom Boland

Related sites:

The Big Issue

North American Street Newspapers Association (NASNA)

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