Hello, Real Change reader.
You purchased this paper for a reason.
Perhaps it was to support the vendor in your neighborhood, to get the scoop on a local issue you care about, or maybe the colorful cover caught your eye.
Whatever your reason for purchasing this copy of Real Change, thank you.
That single transaction — you handing over $2 or maybe tapping your Venmo and a vendor handing you a crisply folded copy of the paper — is a single transaction with the potential to spark change.
The Winter Fund Drive is here — and we have a critical goal to reach to lay a foundation for the year to come. Please visit tinyurl.com/RCWinterDrive to join in!
We build a cross-class community when readers engage with vendors.
Perspectives shift, and people are able to see their neighbors experiencing homelessness differently.
It’s a point of connection we believe has the power to open hearts and minds.
Whether you’ve been reading the paper for years or this is the first time you’ve picked up a copy, you’re bound to find something within these 12 pages that surprises, challenges and delights you.
That’s because the professional news team covers issues and elevates perspectives that are often left out of more mainstream media.
Take, for instance, the encampment sweep coverage by Samira George last year that told the story from the perspective of someone who lost their home. Or the “Table-turning Theology” column from John Helmiere that continues to pose questions about faith and community. Or Wes’ long-running and much-beloved “Adventures in Irony,” which never ceases to make me laugh.
When you make your gift to the Winter Fund Drive this year, you are powering the journalism that you’ve come to rely on. The journalism that creates moments of connection between vendors and customers. The journalism that holds power to account and challenges traditional media narratives.
Last week, the newsroom hosted an event, bringing together journalists from different publications to unpack some of those narratives. This panel discussion, featuring Interim Editor Ashley Archibald, Charles Mudede of the Stranger, freelance journalist Nathalie Graham and PubliCola’s Erica C. Barnett, provided a platform for reporters to explore the Seattle media landscape and its impact on the recent election. Importantly, they talked about the ways that people experiencing homelessness are othered by reports on public safety, setting up harmful misconceptions about our neighbors.
In an increasingly divisive political time, how does the media exacerbate tension? When everybody has their own side to a story, whose “truth” do we advance?
These are exactly the questions that the newsroom centers each week as content is planned for Wednesday’s new edition. The Real Change newspaper has always existed in a space of “advocacy journalism.” But that space is primarily about speaking truth to power and uplifting the voices of people who are too often left out of the conversation.
Archibald shared an open letter to readers in a recent edition. She wrote, “What some people think of as advocacy journalism I think of as the work I’ve always done. I have always looked at people in power and questioned. My reporting has had substantial impacts in the communities in which I have reported. I back up my stories with facts, evidence and interviews that absolutely no one likes.”
Your readership supports a newspaper that strives to be different. That strives to show you the other side of a story. That digs into the details of the city that so many different people call home.
And one of the key ways we uplift those stories isn’t even printed in black and white. It is that moment when you purchase the paper. When you look a vendor in the eye, see their work and dignity and start a conversation between two people. A newspaper vendor and a reader. Two neighbors. Two friends.
This is how we build community. This is how we build a shared city, where we think differently about how our actions, votes and perceptions can impact each other.
Tracie Mohnkern, a Real Change vendor, shared with me recently just how important of a tool the Real Change newspaper is in her life.
“With Real Change, I can feel proud,” Tracie shared. “I get set up, get my papers set up, get my vest on and my game face on and I’m good to go. I speak to every single person who walks by; I say ‘good morning.’”
Start with a simple “good morning” and you never know how your heart will be changed.
Please make your donation of any size to the Winter Fund Drive today. Your gift, your readership and your engagement makes this movement possible.
Read more of the Dec. 1-7, 2021 issue.