Scotland hears some ‘barrie’ news about Travellers
MECOPP (Minority Ethnic Carers of People Project) has just published the ‘The Barrie News’ – a newspaper dedicated to printing positive news stories about Gypsy/Travellers in Scotland.
Tired of all the negative and sensational headlines about Gypsy/Travellers in the mainstream press, the Gypsy/Traveller team at MECOPP took matters into their own hands and came up with ‘The Barrie News’, drawing on the Cant word for ‘great’. Working closely with Gypsy/Travellers from across Scotland, they pulled together positive news stories from the past year, including a front-page story about Travellers taking part in the Edinburgh Festival!
Susan Townsley, a Gypsy/Traveller from Perth who features in the paper, said, “It’s great to finally see some good news stories about Travellers in a newspaper. It’s a shame we had to print our own paper but hopefully this will show people that there is another side to all the negative stuff that’s usually printed. It’s also good for other Gypsy/Travellers to see this – it’s something that we can be really proud of”.
Speaking about the paper, Michelle Lloyd from MECOPP, added “We hear about lots of good work happening in the community all the time, but despite everyone’s best efforts, those stories never seem to make it into the newspapers. It wasn’t hard to find good news stories”, said Michelle, “in fact, there were many more we just couldn’t fit in – we said this was going to be a one-off but who knows maybe there’ll be another edition next year?”
Contributors have been sending the newspaper to friends and relatives far and wide - “I’m a Scottish Gypsy/Traveller but I now live in Canada, it was brilliant when I got my copy of The Barrie News through the post, I loved it! I knew lots of the people in the paper so great to read what’s been happening to them and it looked like a ‘real newspaper’ too”, emailed Jamie Lee Hilton from Canada.
Along with all the other good work going on, let’s just hope that ‘The Barrie News’ can play a small part in changing negative attitudes towards Gypsy/Travellers. Copies have also been sent to key policy makers in Scotland and the newspaper is already being used in awareness-raising training sessions.
Download a copy of The Barrie News from MECOPP’s website – www.mecopp.org.uk or let us know if you’d like a copy posted to you (firstname.lastname@example.org) – and have yourself a barrie day!