Sunday, November 12, 2006

New “Street Newspaper” in Marquette Neighborhood

A press release we just received:
A new Street Newspaper will be distributed at Marquette University and in the surrounding community. Local homeless workers will be employed with the proceeds of sale and paper content will raise awareness of urban issues and community news.

A startup student group at Marquette University will be selling the street newspaper: The “Milwaukee Street Beacon,” in front of Raynor Memorial Library for a suggested contribution of a quarter on Monday and Tuesday. All proceeds will go towards recovering printing costs of 4,000 newspapers and employment costs of homeless vendors.

We are the first street newspaper to be distributed by homeless vendor in Milwaukee, and the second in Wisconsin after the beginning of the “Street Beat” in Madison a year ago. We have defined our paper using the North American Street Newspaper Association as a guide, and more information on the growing street newspaper movement is available at http://www.nasna.org.

WHO: The new Marquette University student group: the Urban Initiative

WHAT: Distribution of street newspapers with homeless vendors

WHERE: 1355 W. Wisconsin Ave, outside the main entrance to Raynor Memorial Library

(http://www.marquette.edu/contact/finder/raynor.shtml)

WHEN: Monday, November 13th; Tuesday, November 14th

WHY: To raise awareness of urban issues, provide a community newspaper in the Near West Side and provide a means of employment for homeless vendors seeking work.

Matthew Ryno, the Editor in Chief and founder of the Milwaukee Street Beacon and Urban Initiative, can be reached throughout the week for interviews or comment at 414-248-1455 (cellular phone), or by email at matthew.ryno@marquette.edu.
Whether a “community newspaper” for the Near West Side is a viable project remains to be seen. The Warrior has been a huge success, but it’s aimed at the Marquette community.

Is there a coherent “Near West Side” community that can support a paper? Our guess is that, to survive, this will have to be, de facto, a Marquette paper (but perhaps stressing neighborhood rather than campus issues).

Is this simply a slightly disguised form of panhandling, in which people will happily pay 25¢ just to get rid of a homeless person?

But still, two bits isn’t a lot of money, and we expect the initial press run to sell out simply on the basis of curiosity.

What happens beyond that? As with all journalism, content is king.

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