Posted February 15th 2012 at 8:23 am by
in Paper Radio

Introducing Paper Radio, a Magazine

Issue No. 1: Says who?

Who gets to speak for whom, and how does the speaker impact the story we hear?

In so many arenas – city planning and journalism among them – the powerful speak for the powerless. CoLab Radio strives to be a place where all people, powerful and powerless, can speak for themselves – for the sweeping policies and systems that mark their lives. But often those whose stories say most about the state of humanity are least likely to speak on a far-reaching platform.

Journalist Katherine Boo has been an inspiration to this blog because her articles feel like vessels through which the underdogs can speak. To acknowledge the recent release of Boo’s first book, “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity,” CoLab Radio has assembled this first issue of Paper Radio.

In each article, the writer has a unique and personal relationship to her topic

• A public school teacher writes about the failure of standardized testing;

• An undocumented immigrant writes about living in a country that simultaneously accepts and denies him;

• An MIT student examines how it feels to be encouraged to speak for others;

• Two landscape architects propose a new design for Leprosy Colony in Bangalore, looking through the eyes of the landscape itself.


Finally, a native Mumbaikar and current city planning student reviews Boo’s book. Alpita Masurkar is a former Times of India journalist, fascinated by the relationship between storytelling and the future of her city.

This collection of articles comprise the first issue of Paper Radio, a periodic paper version of CoLab Radio posts that fit together around a theme. Says who? is the first theme.  Future issues may examine a single neighborhood or a concrete issue.

If you’d like a free subscription, email your name and address to If you’d like to assemble and publish an issue of Paper Radio on a specific topic, email the same address with your idea.

Issue No. 1 is available for download.

3 responses to “Introducing Paper Radio, a Magazine”

  1. Stefanie says:

    Wow, this looks great!! So excited to see the first issue!

  2. I love the idea of first person policy. I want to understand the human impact of policies and practices in cities, not just the various positions that advocates may take. I understand impact best through stories. I wonder if others are like me. Bravo, Alexa and Aditi; bravo Alpita and bravo Katherine Boo. I want a subscription!!

  3. Mandy says:

    Interesting – the name ‘Paper Radio’ is already so heavily used. Have you seen this website? It’s been around for a couple of years already =