Blog Post 1 Uncompressing the Topic of Homeless.

homeless-black-and-white-portraits-lee-jeffries-27
Detailed black and white Portraits of the Homeless by Lee Jeffries. (Jeffries 2010). These photographs show the unique and often unconsidered aspects of people, in this case the homeless. The photographer highlights the beauty and rugged nature of this marginalised group, shedding light and depth to their stories.

– Written By Maria Yanovsky 2016.

Journal and media articles are a good way of pin pointing the current aspects of a chosen aspect of research that are most relevant to the “at the present” context. The following articles are a broad exploration of the different standpoints of homelessness within Australian Journalism. This small spectrum analysis will aim to begin to pinpoint issues presented within the articles themselves and hopefully, a broader understanding of the constructs and flow of information filters.

ARTICLE ONE

 

 “They kick and punch us and spit on us when we’re asleep”: Inside the homeless ‘tent city’ where Australia’s downtrodden live amid squalor in the centre of a glittering metropolis.

Frank Coletta is the Author of ‘They kick and punch us and spit on us when we’re asleep’: Inside the homeless ‘tent city’ where Australia’s downtrodden live amid squalor in the centre of a glittering metropolis’ an article written for he Daily Mail Australia, a sub branch of the Daily Mail UK which is a tabloid Newspaper and online article based publication company.
It’s sister paper The Mail on Sunday. Mail Online is a division of DMG Media, part of Associated Newspapers Ltd. The company have had allegations against untrustworthy and false articles, but have since then tried to be rectify their bad reputation and only publishing thoroughly researched content.
     The article appears to have been written to help raise awareness for Homelessness Prevention Week which capitalised on a trusted and well respected media and journalistic figure to help advocate awareness for the cause. Frank Coletta is a regular contributor to the Daily Mail and often (within written and video media) runs stories on social issues within society, however  knowledgeable within the field, he is no expert as this issue is not his chosen filed of study or interest.
In fact, this is the first time Frank Coletta has written about this issue, he often writes more political based stories or headliner stories.
     This article can be classed as a well researched editorial. Written from the perspective of Homelessness Australia (an organisation advocating on behalf of the homeless), this article  co-insides with Homeless Prevention week and captures the views and beliefs of not only the organisation but homeless people of Sydney, who lend their stories to the article.
Coletta writes from the angle of Homeless Australia and Homeless residents in Sydney to break stigma and create a sense of empathy from the readers.
     This article (like most) is not heavy, and only gives a brisk understanding of the tumultuous lives of the homeless and the serious issues faced nightly. Coletta attempts to draw out compassion so that the general perception of homeless people is not polarised by negative stigma explaining that the residents themselves are not safe despite the city council hiring guards for the protection of both the homeless residents and passers by within Belmore Park Sydney. Residents don’t own much, so Coletta attempts to capture the anguish of the residents who lose their tents and or belongings via theft or confiscation. Coletta, however balances this by detailing that some of the residents do have drug problems and mental problems, yet attempts to remove an personal stigma on an already heavily stigmatised topic. This authors position is comparatively balanced in the scale of the issue being researched. The author writes from the perspective of the homeless, however is able to balance the bias to include the motivations and opinions from members of the other side of the argument. This article is a small snapshot on just one of the issues of homelessness demonstrating its weight for in socially excluding practices in modern societies.
 
Colette, F. 23:50 +10:00, 24 July 2015, ‘’They kick and punch us and spit on us when we’re asleep’: Inside the homeless ‘tent city’ where Australia’s downtrodden live amid squalor in the centre of a glittering metropolis‘, no. Daily Mail Australia, viewed July, <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3160130/They-kick-punch-spit-asleep-homeless-tent-city-Australia-s-downtrodden-live-amid-squalor-centre-Sydney.html>.

 

ARTICLE TWO

Housing policy is captive to property politics, so don’t expect politicians to tackle affordability.

Nicole Gurran and Peter Phibbs are the authors of ‘Housing policy is captive to property politics, so don’t expect politicians to tackle affordability’. Both, are Professor researches from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) linked with the University of Sydney generally writing for an online journal collective called “The Conversation” (journalism with academic rigour  where most articles are written by University academics. With University support, both authors earn credibility through their rigorous  and ethical research methods. Both authors are currently teaching and writing doctorates in this chosen field.
     From extensive research, it appears that when both the authors tackle this topic it is often approached with the hopefulness that Government bodies will implement an affordable housing strategy to help ease the rapidly increasing stress of high housing prices and the impenetrability for low income earners into this market. The intention is akin to that of a proposal, particularly written in response to the use of ‘policy capture’ by the ever determined government to void properly examining the issue.
     Nicole Gurran has written many articles that explore affordable housing, social housing (the main topic of interest) and about the Governments policy and policy makers and their implementation or more worryingly lack of implementation of effective strategy to reduce current social problems. It appears the Peter Phibbs has collaborated on some of the more recent articles that Nicole had published within the site. Both are very directionally against the Lack of Government intervention within the property market and both have analysed the effectiveness of social housing within other Countries and policies to create affordable housing such as  done (ironically) in China.
This article is a rigorously well researched, passionate article with plenty of anti government bias geared at attacking the current Governments stance on the issue at hand attempting to discredit policy makers and suggest alternative or from their belief ore effective methods to bridging the gap between housing inequality.
     Gurran and Phibbs explain the notion of policy capture and there is a heavy use of the word “avoiding” “…to understand why politicians and governments appear determined to avoid seemingly obvious solutions to housing problems”. The authors attempt to convince the reader through extensive research e.g. “to demonstrate that they have a seriously strong (and worrying) argument.” There is a strong essence that the authors are highlighting that policy makers and investors are hiding behind a charade and not working for the greater good of the society. This sentiment is common, with many authors criticising political and investment bodies for only thinking about their financial needs rather than the needs of the marginalised. As directional as this opinion is, the sentiment is shared amongst most authors writing about this issue who place high stress on the greed of investors and the lack of policy implementation and refinement to control the situation.
 
 
Gurran, Nicole and Phibbs, Peter March 10, 2016 2.07pm AED, ‘Housing policy is captive to property politics, so don’t expect politicians to tackle affordability’, no. The Conversation, viewed July, <http://theconversation.com/housing-policy-is-captive-to-property-politics-so-dont-expect-politicians-to-tackle-affordability-55384&gt;.

 

ARTICLE THREE

Mission Australia report finds one in seven young people at risk of homelessness.

The author is this article is Rachel Browne who is a Social Affairs Reporter for Fairfax Media linked with Sydney Morning Herald. She has an extensive article portfolio and not only writes for Sydney morning Herald, but for The Age, Vice Magazine and various other publications.
Browne may have been motivated to write the article as a pre-emptive reaction to a National report that was due to be released a week after this particular article was published. With an impressive amount of articles under her belt, this article reads as if Browne is an expert in (at the very least), the various social issues within Australia’s contemporary Urban scene, writing numerous articles about domestic abuse which is one of the key contributors to homelessness within Sydney.
Browne has written about domestic violence and abuse several times, delineating facts and figures in the hopes of raising awareness and breaking misconceptions. Touching on violence as one of the factors for youth Homelessness, this is Browne’s first attempt to communicate the gravity of the potential of youth homelessness within Sydney and its devastating impacts.
The article is a factual based editorial that combines findings from the Mission Australia report as well as primary research from a member of the subject matter being examined. The article is representative of the findings and passions of mission Australia, however the Author is attempting to create a positive, hopeful tone, to inspire change from the findings that are listed within the report thus the article has Mission Australia and humanitarian bias.
The author believes that young people are at more risk of entrenching themselves in homelessness, if they become homeless at a young age. She believes that (with research done with the Mission Australia report) that if young people are homeless early, this can disrupt their schooling which can entrench them within a bad position, “…with a leading welfare group calling on all governments to increase support for vulnerable teenagers before they spiral into entrenched homelessness.”. By identifying the risk factors, this issue can be stopped before it even starts isn the authors main message. From the report and Browne’s stance, the idea that there needs to be more services to help domestic violence and issues occurring within the home to help combat this problem, “… Ms. Yeomans said the report highlighted the need for improved early intervention services to support young people and their families.” Many authors share the same view, that policies need to be put in place to be preemptive to the issues at hand, whether it is housing afford ability or domestic violence or marginalisation, most authors already write with a convincing amount of data. Some authors have even pinpointed that certain groups of youth are even more susceptible than others such as the ones that are gender insecure, curious or experimental.
 
Browne, R. FEBRUARY 16 2016, ‘Mission Australia report finds one in seven young people at risk of homelessness’, Sydney Morning Herald, viewed July, <http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/one-in-seven-young-people-at-risk-of-homelessness-mission-australia-report-20160214-gmtokx.html&gt;.

 

ARTICLE FOUR

These brilliant individuals are tackling everyday issues faced by homeless folk.

Lisa Cugnetto  a Freelance writer and content Producer, wrote the article These brilliant individuals are tackling everyday issues faced by homeless folk. published on SBS. The article is a small explanation of six initiatives that charities and Non Government Organisations have started to try and help the homeless. Cugnetto initially wrote most of her articles on wordpress, however her writing has gained traction within larger professional bodies such as the SBS which feature her “social good” articles regularly.
     It is unclear to what  exactly motivated Cugnetto to write this article, however  it appears that the article is a positive demonstration of the goodwill of small businesses and individuals towards the isle of homelessness which may be a response to the Governments lack of initiative. All her articles on this topic have been featured on SBS because of the unique angle explored, one which many authors don’t explore. Within this context, the author is not an expert however demonstrates expert knowledge and research skills in her compilation of information.
      Cugnetto has written one other article that is along the same wavelength as this example. It examines at a charity group that give homeless woman sanitary products and health care supplies to try and lighten the mood and uplift their spirits. Cugnetto focuses her writing on social activist groups, charities and the goodwill of private organisations, often only writing  from a positive angle, deliniating undertones of hope.
The article can be described as a factual editorial. Comprising of short snippets on each of the organisations, the author explains some of the key services currently available for the homeless, started by people who were I totally homeless or people who are severely moved by the issue.
      Cugnetto takes a hopeful stance within this article. Her goal, to explore “…six initiatives that are taking a unique approach to helping those sleeping rough or at risk.”. Many authors of articles that talk about homelessness and social exclusion attempt to create empathetic resonance and thus, change by decisively making the reader aware of failure in politic, politicians and their policies and society by creating a sense of urgency through the use of well researched statistics. Cugnetto on the other had takes the second most common approach. Attempting to engender a sense of hope, a common theme found in writers discussing this issue, articles such as this may then be used to assist these charities and independent organisations through crowd funded hopefulness. Cugnetto not only explains what the organisations are, but the (often) inspired history. For example, she explains that The Streets Barber is giving back to the community after overcoming a drug addiction. Cugnetto has a marginal position, it has only become a recent trend to use writing to support crowd funding campaigns brought about from the perpetual lack of government intervention, most writers writing in this niche field, focus on the stories of the homeless, rarely the small organisations supporting them.
 
 

Cugnetto , L. 16 FEB 2016 – 9:19 AM, ‘These brilliant individuals are tackling everyday issues faced by homeless folk’, SBS, viewed July, <http://www.sbs.com


ARTICLE FIVE

Push to support homeless LGBTI youth after influx at crisis accommodation centres.

The author of this article is David Lewis,a journalist working with the investigative radio documentary program Background Briefing on RN who commonly writes for ABC news. Lewis has covered many exclusive articles on niche topics. However well informed,this article is, as a journalist, Lewis is not an expert sourcing his  factual  based writing from provided data from expert researchers.
     Lewis (not having written about this issue before) was motivated to write this article because of a lack of recognition of LGBTI as a serious cause and categorisation for the soaring number in homeless youth and the fragile nature in which these sorts of statistics are recorded as certain labels are damaging. Written as an introduction to an  ABC Background Briefing, there is an  understanding of an internal review that will consider widening the scope of the information provided to the database, known as the Specialist Homelessness Services collection.
           This editorial contains the bias of Professor Susan Oakley from the University of Adelaide who passionately argues that We need to have a better understanding of who is presenting to begin with, before we can start to to think about how we can tailor our support services,”. Included is also the bias’s of members of that particular community. An opinion from member of parliament Alex Greenwich is incorporated as well as the opinion of someone directly correlated with the group in discussion. 
         The article suggests how the data collected from support services is a treasure trove for policy makers if the initiatives are taken to use them for causal change especailly in a sensitive manner. However there is slight resistance from members of parliament such as Alex Greenwich who believe that this needs to be done in a sensitive way, as this group of people are in an anxious place and would optimally “come out” confident. Lewis, is the facilitator of this conversation, exploring the issue from several angles. His writing is confident in the fact there is a serious problem not categorising LGBTI youth however the author understands the complexities of label slapping. Lewis’s flexible point of view links well with other articles that explore the tentative nature of youth homelessness. Many authors write in a weary tone because of the entrenching nature of this issue especially with the increasing statistics from support services and Census data collections. As this is a rising issue of concern, Lewis’s stance is becoming more and more common as even policy makers are becoming weary of the growing issue and the socially exclusive issues around its resolution.
Lewis, d. Updated 31 Mar 2016, 11:46am, ‘Push to support homeless LGBTI youth after influx at crisis accommodation centres’, Background Briefing on Radio National this Sunday at 8:05am, viewed July, <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-31/push-to-support-growing-number-of-lgbti-homeless-youth/7286354>.
After reading the following articles it has become clear that the topic of homelessness has a broad reach within the discourse of journalism and media. The most interesting finding from this aspect of research is that the topic of homelessness is in some respect, an unfavourable topic of discussion. The sizes of the articles, the general topic of the articles as well as the identity of the authors of these articles suggest that professional researches aren’t contributing to the cotinual casual discourse of this issue. This is indicative that socially, there is a lack of interest and thus, understanding and empathy of the greater concepts being proposed in weakened by the overlapping impact of event activism, which as a promotional device, is kept short and sweet making it difficult to fully connect to an audience that is generally non-the wiser of the issue at hand, creating apathy.

 Image:-
Jeffries, L.  2010,Untitled, Flikr, viewed 13 August 2016,<https://www.flickr.com/photos/16536699@N07/5333840080/in/album-72157622905229717/>.