I used to sell Real Change on a corner where there were rows of vending machines for newspapers; some paid, some free. I watched people gather up a bunch of papers, maybe even pay for a couple, and walk right by me. It bothered me, and not just because it wasn’t a sale, but because those people seemed to assume that there was nothing in Real Change they wanted to read.
I’ve had a lot of people just give me the money for the paper and not take it to read. While I appreciate their kindness, I’d like them to know that they’re missing a lot.
Real Change is an award-winning newspaper. In the last year alone, Real Change won two regional reporting and photography awards at the Society for Professional Journalists’ Northwest Excellence in Journalism contest and a first-place photography award from the International Network of Street Papers contest, competing against newspapers and magazines across the world.
One reason we get so many awards is that our writers are really good. They write about important topics, often with an angle other people haven’t thought of, and they write clearly. Real Change articles tell readers more than just what the news is; they also tell readers how the news affects people. For example, a recent article about the water tax showed the effect on all of us who drink bottled water, including myself. You don’t have to be low-income or homeless to be affected by that.
When Ashley Archibald reported recently on RV residents and how the city was towing and auctioning their homes, she met with people living in their vehicles to hear their stories. She even went to an RV auction with people who live in their vehicles to witness how companies contracted by the city sell RVs that were once homes.
Our articles about art are outstanding. I know. I’m an artist. It’s not just about something pretty that somebody made or drew. There’s a good meaning behind it, and our articles explore that.
Real Change is written and published by talented, hard-working professionals who care deeply about the quality of their journalism, and it shows.
We write about things that are important to everybody, and often include aspects that other news media outlets don’t cover. Real Change is real news.
Jen Tibbits is a Real Change vendor, newsroom assistant and 2017 Vendor of the Year. She sells at the PCC in Kirkland.
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