Tips n Tricks To Getting Housed

because there's always a way through...

The Media Does Not Want To Tell People How To Get Housed

How the Guardian wasn't interested in solutions, only problems.
newspaper-3I believe that 'Get Housed' is a truly important publication and that the information in it is incredibly useful to everyone who is homeless, in insecure accommodation as well as those who work with or advise individuals and families in such a position. Its sole purpose is to help people get housed. As such, I naively thought that a national newspaper with an interest in social matters might be interested in it.

I want to write about what happened because it shows how manipulative the national media is in terms of the type of information we are given about a problem and how that shapes our perception of it - in a way that does not reflect reality.

Being the left-leaning Utopianist that I am, I pitched an article about the book to the Guardian. The Guardian has been leading with major articles about the extent of homelessness, its increase, its impact on society and individuals etc, for most of 2017 and shows no sign of letting up. In a way, this is a good thing. It's right and proper that attention is drawn to such a serious issue and it's good that a national newspaper is doing this. One thing I noticed though in every single article - there is never anything about solutions. The articles focus only on blaming and 'doom and despair' moaning about how awful the situation is.

Hang on a minute I thought. There is a solution here. Why is nothing positive being written about ways around this situation, about ways to actually help people? I innocently thought that perhaps the Guardian would be genuinely interested in the book Get Housed as a practical solution for people in housing need. Nope.

The editor of the relevant section responded fairly quickly. Her reply shocked me to my core. I couldn't believe that she actually wrote what she did. She said that she wasn't interested in anything that was about giving advice that could help people. Instead, could I write about my time when I worked as a homeless officer and any problems and difficulties I had experienced?

Good. God.

It struck me that she must live in such a bubble that writing the above didn't strike her as odd, unusual or unacceptable. She consciously wasn't interested in anything that might help people. What she wanted was more bad news. Nothing positive that might inspire people. Nothing useful that might help people. Just more bad news to depress people, make them feel that their situation is normal, unsolvable and helpless.
I never wrote back to her.

This does make me look at the media with a new eye though and it should you as well. I don't know why, but the mainstream media (television, newspapers, radio), seems fixated on feeding us an exclusive diet of bad news only. Don't believe it, don't swallow it, don't be taken in by it. There are positive, inspiring and effective things happening out there that people are doing that are making a difference.

Imagine if all the news channels reported predominantly positive things. Imagine if whenever you turned on the TV, tuned in the radio or picked up a newspaper, all you saw were positive stories of people doing amazing things, inspiring things, creating initiatives, changing things for the better, working together, making their bit of the world a better place. Imagine how inspired you would feel to do something similar. Imagine how your view of the world would change. Imagine how easier it would feel to do something yourself and how much less you would tolerate something not working. Imagine that.
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