One of the things we seldom talk about is Real Change’s commitment to building the global street paper movement. We hosted the founding conference of the North American Street Newspaper Association (NASNA) here in 1997 (much of the West Coast delegation walked out when a decision to operate by consensus was narrowly defeated, but that’s another story for a different time), and Real Change has played a key leadership role ever since.
Next week, papers from Boston, Washington DC, Denver, Portland, Vancouver (Canada), and Milwaukee will begin an intensive technical assistance project that we have co-designed with the local consultants that helped Real Change achieve the level of success we have. The NASNA TA Project is funded by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, whose longtime support of NASNA has literally made the North American streetpaper movement possible.
While our goal is to build a stronger poor people’s movement by helping other papers grow and thrive, Real Change will benefit as well. As we lead other papers to assess their strengths, weaknesses, and capacity, build strong vendor programs, raise the money they need to be effective, and earn the respect of their communities, we have the opportunity to rethink our own systems and freshly challenge the assumptions we hold.
If we’ve learned anything over the last dozen years, it’s that there’s always room for improvement. We’re a work in progress, and always will be.
By TIMOTHY HARRIS, Executive Director
For copy of actual issue, go to https://www.realchangenews.org/2007/02/14/feb-14-2007-entire-issue