Re: Media: Is it fair & accurate or biased about policy issues?

Tom Boland (
Tue, 16 Mar 1999 12:18:20 -0800 (PST)

FWD [request for information from homeless people]
CC Replies To: Rebekah Widdowfield <>

Dear Tom,
Yes, it would be great if you could post my message on the HPN and I
will certainly keep Dee's list informed as my study develops. I've
already had a look at the website you mentioned and as you say it does
provide an insight into the way the media construct homelessness. I've
actually been very impressed by the amount of information on
homelessness on the web in the US which involves present or ex-homeless
people themselves but there is nothing comparable in this country.
Indeed, homelessness in my view has a pretty low profile over here  -
there is no equivalent discussion group to Dee's list and the websites
are predominantly limited to the national homelessness charities -
which contain pretty much the same information - or sites more
related to housing than homelessness.
Anyway, thanks for forwarding the message on,
Best wishes,

Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 12:44:34 +0000 (GMT)
From: Rebekah Widdowfield <>
Subject: Re: Media: Is it fair & accurate or biased about policy issues?  FWD

Dear All,

I was interested to receive the email from Tom Boland regarding the
representation of homeless people in the media. I am a research fellow
at the University of Bristol in England and have just begun a two year
study which is looking at perceptions and representations of
homelessness and homeless people.

Through previous research on homelessness and related issues and
personal experience of working at a shelter for street homeless people,
I have become very aware of the way in which attitudes towards
homeless people have a significant impact both in terms of access to
services and facilities such as health care, housing and less
tangibly in terms of their impact on self-esteem etc.

As well as the impact of personal experience and encounters I believe
the media - and in particular the way in which homeless people and
homelessness issues are portrayed in the local and national press -
have a profound influence on shaping attitudes, with consequent affects
for the way in which homed people respond and react to homelessness and
homeless people.

I would welcome any comments and thoughts from list members regarding
attitudes towards homelessness and homeless people and/or their
representation in local and national media.

More particularly, I am anxious to hear from homeless people,
accounts of how they have been treated - positive as well as negative
experiences (though I expect the latter may be more common) - and the
impact this has had on the ability to gain access to services, exit
homelessness and on their view of themselves and their life, along
with thoughts on the role of the media.
Responses to:

would be much appreciated,
Many thanks,
Rebekah Widdowfield

Dr Rebekah Widdowfield
School of Geographical Sciences,
University Road,
(0117) 928 9828

4,000+ POSTS by or via homeless & ex-homeless people
Nothing About Us Without Us - Democratize Public Policy