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News :: Media
The Paper Chase: Empowering the Grassroots to Inform the Public
29 Mar 2005
Modified: 02:40:49 AM
Seeking to bypass government-pre-packaged news and the mainstream media’s lack of substantive reporting, a group of news sites and blogs have teamed up to asks citizens to print, copy, and leave news wherever they go from Mar. 27-Apr. 9–leaving the leaflets in doctors'/dentists' offices, the DMV, subway walls, bulletin boards, community centers and anywhere else someone is likely to read them.
Raw Story's Larisa Alexandrovna says that the idea of limiting this project to two weeks aims to create momentum.

"We are trying to have a massive, organized activity, which generally cannot be sustained for an extended period," Alexandrovna said. "That said, people can and should continue after the two week period, but this will certainly give them the impetus to do so. I have been doing this locally for a while now and I do see an impact."

The Paper Chase was created as an antidote to the lack of critical information making its way to average Americans. Although the Internet has proven a useful tool, there remain millions of people who either have no Internet access, are unaware of the sites that promote such information, or do not refer to the Web for their daily information needs. The goal of the Paper Chase is to show them that what they are missing is the truth.

"Nothing could be more important than the truth," says Watching the Watchers' Anthony Levensalor. "Regardless of your political leaning, background or history, we must base our decisions on real news, not trumped up propaganda.”

Geoff Staples of Radio Left describes the Paper Chase Project against the backdrop of his own experience.

"Thanks to The Paper Chase, activists can do their own guerrilla actions anytime and anyplace," Staples said.

The Paper Chase is currently sponsored by The Raw Story, BradBlog, Watching the Watchers, Newsfare, Political Strategy, The Agonist, A la Gauche, Radiofreeblogistan, Rayne Today, and Radio Left. Please join us if you are a news blog, alternative news publication, MSM publication or any other news source.

The Paper Chase: Empowering the Grassroots to Inform the Public
Muriel Kane, Raw Story: murielkane (at)
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Re: The Paper Chase: Empowering the Grassroots to Inform the Public
29 Mar 2005

What Is the Paper Chase?

The paper chase is a way to help bypass government purchased pre-packaged news, as well as the mainstream media's lack of substantive reporting. The danger the lack of real information making its way to the people is apparent in the current state of affairs. What the paper chase asks people to do is to simply: print, copy, and leave news wherever you go on a daily basis for twoweeks. We cannot simply reach the people on the Internet, because people generally go to the sites they like and the people we want to reach are largely unaware of our sites and may be disinterested. We have to show them that what they are missing is the truth.

This is an opportunity to make a difference and reach out to those beyond the Internet.

When Is the Paper Chase? Starting Monday, March 27 - April 9

Process Questions:

What news should I pick? You should pick news on whatever issues you feel important. You should try to alternate between topics, however, because the goal is after all to inform the public. You should also avoid large, over the top stories. Remember, the people we are trying to reach do not know what the current state of affairs are. Our goal is to provide them with information they can digest, not to make a political statement. So do not pick stories about "left" vs. "right;" pick stories that are issue-based. Remember that your audience is not your echo chamber and choose accordingly.
How many copies should I make? As many as you want and can afford. Do not go overboard as too much paper might miss the point.

Where should I leave the news? It is important not to afix the news onto any public property or break the law in any way. Some suggestions are your doctor's office, gas station, grocery store, etc. The places you leave the news should be regular everyday places.

What type of paper should I use? Please use recycled paper because, while we are trying to reach the people, we still want to be responsible to our environment.

Can I just hand out to people instead? Not a good idea. Most people will simply walk away or the paper will be thrown away without reading. It has to be left in visible places, not afixed, simply placed in sight, so that people make an active choice to read it. Some small shop owners or even larger business may let you leave a few on their counter.

What news sources should I use?
Please do not use opinion pieces or anything that might be nothing more than propaganda. This is about getting the truth out to the masses, not coverting political point-of-view. The stories you choose may be the hot button issues for you, but at least select them from news sources you trust, not from opinion pieces or from talking points. You are not limited to the sponsors of the Paper Chase, so long as you respect copyright.

What about copyright? The sponsors of the paper chase have no problem with copying and printing as their URL/Title/etc. will appear on the pages. Other news sources should be asked what their policy is on distribution and you should indicate what your intentions are. Feel free to link to this URL as an explanation.

What will this accomplish? The hope is to open more minds to the facts that the media fails to report. Even if it it raises the awareness of a single person, it will be a success. It will energize those involved and demonstrate the willingness of online media--and those who care about the news--to seek new readers and discussion outside of the Internet.