Editor’s Corner: Starting Real Change at Real Change | October 13-19, 2021
When I sat down to write this column, the phrase that came to my mind was, “New face, same as the old face.
I was a writer at Real Change for over four years, exploring public policy, social justice issues, and – whenever my editors let me get away with it – esoteric topics like vote stickers.
It’s surreal to be back. Editor-in-chief Lee Nacozy admirably ran the newspaper for nearly two years. I am now in an interim role to ensure that the weekly issue comes out and that the product our suppliers are selling continues to add value to the local media landscape.
It’s not easy in Seattle.
The South Seattle Emerald, Converge Media, PubliCola, Crosscut, the Capitol Hill Blog, and the Seattle Times all do an incredible job educating readers about their city and the people who live there. My hope is that Real Change can continue to be part of this illustrious coterie by contributing something that no one else can – the voices of our suppliers.
Salespeople are the lifeblood of Real Change. They are the public faces of the newspaper, but they are also the inspiration, the reason why we are here. They guide us through their experience and advocacy, and to them we are indebted.
For those who are wondering what it means to do “advocacy journalism”, I admit, I don’t know. I grew up on bad news. I came to Real Change as a writer because I wanted to question the policies that created homelessness – because yes, politics did, and I believe good politics can get us out.
What some people think of as advocacy journalism I think of as the job I’ve always done. I have always looked at the 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 no one absolutely likes.
This is what I will continue to bring to Real Change.
This is not the first time that the newspaper has changed editorial hands. But while people can come and go, the mission remains the same – to build community between what were once friends and unlikely allies through information and, most importantly, interaction.
This second element, interaction, became more difficult during the pandemic. We have all lost something of ourselves when we have withdrawn from others for the sake of our own well-being and that of our loved ones.
But from what I’ve seen, even in the midst of a disaster, you haven’t forgotten Real Change and you haven’t forgotten your suppliers.
We are in a new world now. With the vaccine, our society has reached a milestone. And in this new reality, the sellers of Real Change have been out there, selling the paper safely. You, dear readers, have supported them.
Thank you and hope I can keep the paper at the level that you and the sellers deserve.
My first day back at Real Change was a homecoming. I love my colleagues, new and old. They are here with a driving mission – to make the world a better place for the stay and the non-stay and in particular for the sellers of Real Change.
The editorial staff is fortunate to have Henry Behrens, our artistic director. They are talented, professional and quite theatrical! They coordinate the look and feel of paper, from covers to book reviews. I don’t know what I would do without them.
We are fortunate to have talented and dedicated volunteers who help us with articles, puzzle pages and book reviews. Part of Nacozy’s legacy will be the depth of the partnerships she helped create with the International Examiner and South Seattle Emerald that have broadened audiences for our work.
Together we can support each other and our community. That’s the beauty of local journalism.
In conclusion, this is my promise to you, as long as I’m in this office: Real Change is here for those who don’t feel heard. Real change is here for those who need it. Real Change is there for those who want to learn.
The real change is here for you.
Ashley Archibald is a freelance journalist and former Real Change reporter. His work can be found in the South Seattle Emerald, KNKX and the Town planner.
Read the rest of the issue from October 13 to 19, 2021.