Archive for September, 2011

September 20, 2011

Interview – Greg Flannery, Editor of Article 25 Street Paper

Interview with Greg Flannery, Editor of ARTICLE 25

By Michelle Gilbert

RED! – Can you please tell me about yourself?  Do you have a family; where you went to college, give me a mini-biography?

Greg Flannery:  After graduating from Covington Latin School, in 1974, I attended St. Gregory Seminary for three semesters. In 1980 I was hired by the Mount Washington Press to handle debt collection. When the editor found out I liked to write, he gave me an assignment and then hired me as a reporter. I have worked in journalism ever since. My recent work includes serving as editor of Streetvibes for two years and news editor of CityBeat for eight years. In 2009, at a ceremony in Bergen, Norway, I had the honor of receiving the Best Feature Story Award from the International Network of Street Papers.

My wife, Mary Alice, and I have been married 31 years. We have four adult children, all feisty and disinclined to let anyone tell them what to do.

 RED! – How did Article #25 become a purpose in your life?

Greg Flannery: As a member of the board of directors of the North American Street Newspaper Association, I have witnessed the growth of street papers around the world while “mainstream” corporate newspapers founder. I wanted to start Article 25 because I believe democracy requires a vibrant free press and because street papers offer a meaningful opportunity for disenfranchised people to earn a living. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which forms the foundation of our editorial policy, is an inspiring yet largely overlooked testament to every person’s right to liberty.

 RED! – Can you share with us a success story that has come about from Article #25?

Greg Flannery: Because Article 25 began publishing June1, I’ll tell you instead what I have seen at other street papers. People who are homeless or addicted or dealing with mental illness not only earn a small income buy distributing street papers but, with the right assistance, connect with human services that enable them to improve their lives. Street-paper distributors help their customers to overcome stereotypes about poor people and regain a sense of their own dignity and ability to decide their future. Equally important, street papers tell the stories that the corporate media ignore. In the case of Article 25, our goal is to report local news and issues relevant to the theme of human rights – the defining issue of our times.

 RED! – Human Rights is undoable an important aspect in everyone’s life, what is one way that a person can change in their day to day lifestyle, that might build awareness to the Human Right Issue?

Greg Flannery: Think about what you’re buying and where it comes from. Is the chocolate you’re eating the result of forced labor in Africa? Are your cheap appliances made affordable because workers in Asia make substandard wages? Is your landscaper forced to live in hiding because he doesn’t possess immigration documents? We are responsible for making sure our comfort and privilege as Americans don’t come at the expense of other people’s human rights.

 RED! – If you can leave us with a quote, mantra, or belief that gives you strength on a daily basis, what is that saying?

 Greg Flannery:  “When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible. But in the end, they always fall. Think of it always.” (Mahatma Gandhi)