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It's not just sticks and stones

The words the media use to describe marginalised people and how that impacts the way we think.

The objective is to show the different ways, blatant and subtle, in which the media stereotypes marginalised people, the way politicians utilise the press to blame victims and identify what needs to change.

The words and phrases used by the media to describe homelessness can form the foundation for the way many of us view marginalised people and perceive the problems of homelessness, mental health and addiction. Negative descriptions wrapped up in words like ‘scroungers’ reinforce negative stereotypes that are designed to dehumanise homeless people and blame them for what’s wrong with the world. Victim blaming is an age old political ploy employed by newspapers to sell copy and by politicians to divert attention away from their latest scandal.

Our workshop will show just how widespread and ingrained these prejudices are through video and paper clippings. We will ask participants to identify the ways that negative stereotypes are formed in the media and ask them to suggest  more constructive ways to talk about these issues. 

Martin Burrows
Director of Research and Campaigns at Groundswell.

Martin oversees Groundswell’s Insight and Action work and the day-to-day operations of the organisation. He joined Groundswell in April 2014 so he could follow his passion for peer–research and participatory practice. Previously Martin has worked for various homelessness organisations, at home and abroad, including Crisis, Broadway, Homeless Link and Casa Ioana (Bucharest)

Mat Amp
Deputy Editor of the Pavement/ Research and Journalism project worker at Groundswell. 

After volunteering for the Pavement for three years Mat is now employed under a joint contract with the Pavement Magazine and Groundswell. He writes a regular column for the Pavement and helps run  From the Ground Up, a project funded by Comic Aid to find and develop peer journalists to write about the issues that effect the homeless community.