Marquette Warrior: Street Beacon Still Alive, Coming Out in April

Friday, March 30, 2007

Street Beacon Still Alive, Coming Out in April

Last fall semester, we ran a couple of stories about the Street Beacon, a newspaper aimed at the Near West Side neighborhood around Marquette.

Not a campus paper (although produced by Marquette students), its purpose was to serve homeless people by enlisting them to sell copies to earn some income.

We were impressed with the paper as a journalistic enterprise.

But we were skeptical about the paper as a going business concern. It contained no ads. It was funded on a shoestring basis by a bit over $700 in printing costs chipped in by Editor Matthew Ryno. Participation of homeless people was virtually nonexistent. And we doubted there was really a market for a paper serving a neighborhood as poorly defined and incoherent as the Near West Side.

We may have been too pessimistic. Editor Ryno informs us that the second number of the paper is coming out in April.

The paper has a website now.

And the first number from last fall won a journalism award.

We’ll be writing more on the issue.

As of right now, it has to be added to our list of upstart student media that had made a difference. It hasn’t made as much of a difference as The Warrior or Front Page Milwaukee . . . yet. But perhaps editor Ryno, who had his journalistic ducks in line at the very beginning, now has his financial ducks in line too.

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