Funds needed at paper read by the homeless

While
most newspapers target the ABC1 readers so liked by advertising
agencies, a new title has been launched for an altogether different
demographic – London’s homeless.

The Pavement is an eight-page
monthly newspaper with a print run of 1,300, distributed at day centres
and soup kitchens around the capital.

It is edited by former day
centre worker Richard Burdett and subbed by freelance Nick Taylor. It
is produced entirely by volunteers and the paper has been boosted by
free cartoons provided by contributors to Private Eye.The print run of
the first two editions was paid for by a major publishing house, which
does not want to be named, and The Pavement is now looking for more
funding. It does not yet carry advertising and Burdett admits that it
is hard to know who would want to advertise to such an unusual
readership.

But he said the object of the exercise is not to make
money: “The aim is to carry news from the streets, news affecting life
on the streets and issues like ASBOs and the Vagrancy Act which affect
the homeless.”

Issue two of the free title, due out thisweek,
includes a story about actor Andy Serkis (Gollum in Lord of the Rings),
who is making a film about homelessness, and a front page lead about
how Eastern European immigrants end up sleeping rough in London.

Burdett said: “Initially we just want to establish a dialogue with the readers.

We’ve
already had a couple of emails and a few calls from people who are
homeless. A lot of people are saying well done for not toeing the party
line and not spouting the usual platitudes.”

For information see the website: www.thepavement.org.uk

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