26 July 2011

Over 400 conference pictures available online

Thanks to the efforts of our great Student Reporter Team and our INSP admin assistant David Rosie, over 400 conference images -including captions and credits- are now available for download in high resolution. Click here to see them all and relive the memories of a great week!

Joan (Big Issue Vendor),
©Megan Fitzsimons Photography

PS If you have taken any images yourself that you want to share with other delegates, please email sns@street-papers.org and we'll make sure to upload them too.

23 July 2011

'And the winners are....'

Award Winners - From front left: Yolander Yeo, Serge Lareault,
Joanne Zuhl (Accepting for Denver Voice), Thomas Anthun Nielsen,
From middle left: Laura Kelly, Vicky Davidson, Richard Turgeon,
From back left: Steven Mackenzie, Adam Forrest, Kevin Roberts,
Volker Macke, Heinz Zauner-Penninger, Michael Mooslechner,
Rosi Rico, Photo: Danielle Batist
By Sahil Jaidka, Peter McVitie and Stuart Martin

A glamorous awards ceremony took place at the Crowne Plaza on Friday evening - celebrating the fantastic work of various individuals and publications as part of the International Network of Street Papers(INSP) 16th annual conference.

The awards celebrate the substantial impact of street papers as quality, independent media. At the same time they promote the core values of the street paper movement to build a more equal and just world.

Street papers exist to tackle homelessness and poverty. Vendors buy their street paper or magazine at a marked down price before hitting the streets to sell the latest editions at the cover price - generating income for themselves.

INSP are a Glasgow-based charity that supports 112 street papers such as the Big Issue in 40 countries including the UK.

So far, 200,000 vendors around the world have earned a living and changed their lives through selling INSP street papers - and the night celebrated their achievements.

The ceremony was hosted by Dr. Eamonn O'Neill and other notable attendees were INSP Patron and The Rt Hon Lord Provost of Glasgow, Councillor Bob Winter; Executive Director of INSP, Lisa MacLean; Thomson Reuters General Manager for Editorial for UK, Ireland and Nordics, Sarah Edmonds; Herald & Times Group Managing Editor, Tom Thomson; award winning photographer, David Burnett and INSP Chairperson, Serge Lareault.

This years judging panel, chaired by INSP Honorary President and former Reuters editor-in-chief, David Schlesinger, praised the quality of the submissions and had an exceptionally tough time choosing the shortlist.

He said: "Reuters is a proud supporter of the INSP and we're delighted to assist such a dynamic and unique movement of independent media.

"Being one of the judges for the INSP awards gives me further insight into the important work of street papers as advocates for social change."

Eamonn O'Neill began the night by introducing special guest The Lord Provost, Councillor Bob Winter who expressed his delight in attending the ceremony of an 'exceptional charity'.

The Patron of INSP said: "It gives me great pleasure to be here with you all this evening to celebrate excellence in independent journalism.

"INSP is an exceptional charity and I am proud it is based here in Glasgow, supporting street papers in six continents."

Lisa MacLean spoke of the tremendous efforts and quality work the network has produced over the last 17 years and highlighted the challenges that lie ahead for the INSP.

She said: "There is immense energy on the street and it deserves to be channelled, it needs to be channelled.

"The need for challenging, progressive and independent media voices will be stronger and more relevant than ever and if anything, tonight's celebration demonstrates the strength and potential of global street papers to step up to the challenge. None of this comes easy."

Sarah Edmonds presented the first award for the 'Best Feature Story', which Eamonn described as one which "recognises bold feature-writing that not only sheds new light upon local and global inequality but also sends a message to readers as to the way forward".

The winner was Denver VOICE with "The Resolute Shepherd" written by Jacob Ripple-Carpenter and to collect the award on their behalf was a representative of the group who said: "The people who deserve to be on this stage are not here right now.

"This was the most original, most researched and most well reported story.

"We are very honoured to receive this award."

The second award - Best Cover - was presented by Anna Wang and Kupfermuckn with 'Social benefits body scanner' claimed the accolade.

Florian and Walter who designed the cover collected the award and spoke of their pride in the publication's achievement: "We didn't think we were going to win - so we don't have a speech. This award is in our 15th anniversary this year and it is an honour to receive this as a present."

Award three was the 'Best Interview' category and Tom Thomson was on hand to announce One Step Away's Jose Espinosa as the winner with his interview 'Fighting Back'. Kevin Roberts made his way to the stage to collect the award and spoke of his delight at clinching the award in such high-profile company: "It is amazing to just be standing here at our first INSP conference.

"All week we have walked around and slack-jawed all at the tireless work done by people done in this room."

David Burnett somewhat fittingly presented the fourth award for the 'Best Photograph' and Asphalt with 'Trapped Nations' by Andy Spyra. Volker Macke emotionally accepted the award and said: "Thanks to everyone in this room and the INSP. Andy has travelled the world and helps us by offering us pictures at a low cost. This is not the first time we have won this award - it is something we are very passionate about."

Head of Libraries at Glasgow Life, Karen Cunningham, presented the next award of the night - Best Vendor Essay - and Sebastião Nicomedes with 'Before the cold hurts...". Rose Rico collected the award on his behalf and read a message from Sebastião. It read: "He says to me if I win, can you tell everyone I love to write. The important thing was that my voice was heard by someone - it means a lot to me."

Richard Bissland, 999 Design Group owner, presented a double award in the 'Best Design' category with Megafon, from Norway, with their '2010 Year Book' by Juuni Elizabeth Wathne and The Big Issue in Scotland and Wales, with their Annie Lennox Issue by Mark Neil and his team sharing the award. Representatives from both publications collected their respective awards and together gave their vote of thanks at clinching the award: "Thank you very much for this award - the people now know what we stand for. Everyone is now listening to us and together we can change the world. It is important to make these voice heard - the people who sell the publications. This means a lot to us, thank you."

The penultimate award of the evening was presented by Councillor Alistair Watson from Glasgow City Council in the 'External Press' category was won by O Trecheiro, from Brazil, with 'Hiding from death' by Alderson Costa. The award was collected by Rosi Rico who introduced a short video message prepared by the editor of the publication who said: "We are very pleased to receive this award today. A hug to all in Glasgow and keep fighting on."

The final award for 'Outstanding Contribution' was presented by Christine Wilson and was given to Canadian publication L'Itinéraire, and the publisher for the street paper, Serge Lareault, alongside Richard Turgeon, Marketing and Communications Director, said: "Richard and I are workaholics. We would like to say thank you for this award. I am very emotional at receiving this award. I think that this is an important award and we can continue to make a positive impact into the world and change the world."

The night ended with a traditional Ceilidh, bringing an end to what proved to be a very successful and productive 16th Annual INSP conference in Glasgow.

We would like to pay a special tribute to those affected by Friday's blast in Oslo, Norway. Our thoughts are with all affected.

2011 INSP Awards Photos

2011 INSP Awards, Photo: Dimitri Koutsomytis
The 2011 INSP Awards have sadly come to a close. We've had a fantastic night and many thanks to all our presenters and congratulations to all the winners. Click here to see all the photographs from this evening.

22 July 2011

2011 International Street Paper Awards

Welcome to the 2011 INSP Street Paper Awards! From 7:30pm onwards we will be tweeting the event LIVE - so stay tuned and be the first to know who are the winners of the night.

We will also be tweeting the best quotes, gaffes, winning speeches and who has the best dance moves! Enjoy!

Tweets from @street_news:

Winner in category Best Feature: Dener Voice with The Resolute Shepherd at #insp2011 Awards!
#insp2011 and the winner for best cover is...kupfermuckn "social benefits body scanner"!
#insp2011 best interview, a very difficult choice, presented by Tom Thompson: One Step Away, "fighting back"
#insp2011 David Burnett presents the Best Photograph award."i'm so happy to be here tonight. It was a very difficult choice"
#insp2011 Best photograph: Asphalt "Trapped Nations". Magazine gives out the photographer's phone number - he is available for hiring!
#insp2011 Probably our most important award of the night, the Best Vendor Essay: Sebastiao Nicomedes, OCAS, Brazil."a clear winner"
#insp2011 Rosi from OCAS brings a message from Sebastiao, the street paper vendor
#insp2011 Best Design award goes to... The Big Issue in Scotland and Megafon!!! Joined prize!!
#insp2011 External Press Award goes to O Trecheiro (Brazil)!!
#insp2011 amazing video from O Trecheiro thanking the award!
#insp2011 outstanding contribution to the international street paper movement: L'itineraire!
#insp2011 family photo!!
Photos from the 2011 INSP awards are now online! http://t.co/XA6vUcz #insp2011
#insp2011 Conference has come to an end. Safe travels everyone and see you next year!

Distinguished panel discuss future of SNS

By Stuart Martin, Sahil Jaidka and Peter McVitie

The Street News Service was the focus of attention for this afternoon's proceedings.

The SNS was established in 2002 as a regional initiative by the North America Street Paper Association to share content between network affiliated papers. In 2005, it expanded into a global service as a core part of the INSP. Initially, a fortnightly email, it soon became a web based forum with weekly installments of international news. In May 2010, a new website was launched and it has since gone from strength to strength.

Tom Thomson, Managing Editor of the Herald & Times Group, chaired a panel discussion which invited delegates to rediscover the great value of the SNS and look at ways that the service could be improved.

Tom, SNS Honorary Editor, was joined at the table by Angela McCracken, Media lawyer, Levy and McRae; Mike Reilly, co-founder, Globalwriters; Melany Bendix, Editor, The Big Issue South Africa ; and Danielle Batist, SNS Editor. After a few technical difficulties, Douglas McCabe, Media analyst, Enders Analysis also joined the debate via a live telephone link.

Describing it as a “privilege” to be associated with the SNS, Tom outlined the panel's desire to take a realistic view of how the service could be developed and identified three area's that they wished to explore further; the SNS in its prime role, as a resource for street papers, as well as a resource for other interested parties, like the general public and other media (via the SNS website). 

In terms of the SNS as a tool for street publications, Melany Bendix highlighted the important role it plays to not just South Africa's Big Issue, but street papers all over the world. She believes the service not only supplies high-quality and varied content for the publications in both print and online format, but also helps ensure street papers can work within budget by using the free service.

"We find the SNS a very good source. We see a lot of the stories for the website so we have different stories online and in the magazine and that helps attract a different readership," she said.

"The big thing is also budget as we reach our budget cap very quickly. It is fantastic that we can get stories and pictures from SNS very quickly and it saves us all money."

Danielle Batist was quick to point out the growing popularity of the website, citing that 89% of INSP members use the service in a variety of ways.

She added, "One editor was up last night frantically typing away when they lost two stories for their paper. Someone said to them: just get a story off the SNS website. That's a great example of how you can make use of the material."

"It is a source for all papers, be it in an emergency or just another source to use. For many papers it is a vital resource."

The debate moved on to the issue of the SNS as a resource for public consumption via the website.

Melany spoke in favour of the SNS remaining free to the public as she strongly believes it allows street papers to reach an international audience, including people who don't normally read their publications. She feels that by the SNS staying public, perceptions of street newspapers being of low quality and “depressing” could be broken and the idea of international coverage helps them attract new writers.

She said, "Most of us don't mind the articles being read by the public because we want out stories read by as wide an audience as possible because our stories are really good.

"They carry social messages and raise awareness so it benefits us that they're read quite widely.

"It enables us to reach readers that we wouldn't normally reach. The idea that we have a global reach helps us attract new writers as they want their stories read and they want international coverage. I'm very much in favour of it staying open."

Concerns were raised by Tom of a public migration from print to online and that in doing so, this could threaten the existence of having vendors on the streets.

Douglas McCabe was quick to allay these fears of “cannibalising” sales of hard copies and stated that consumption patterns for this type of online content was relatively small.

Finally, the panel discussed the issue of SNS content being exploited by the mainstream media.

Danielle Batist stated that mainstream media has shown a growing interest  in street papers in the past year. "Whenever we send out our own press releases about various stories they often get picked up by the mainstream media."

She said, "Over the last year or so we have seen some interest from people who say they have found our website via Twitter or Facebook and they want to use some of our SNS in-house produced articles on their blog or website," she said.

"It does not happen very often yet, but it is good to discuss the implications of this and the possibilities we might have in terms of raising the street paper profile and possibly access funding."

Tom reinforced Danielle's views by confirming mainstream media can help the brand grow.

He said: "You can reach many people through mainstream media as many people are interested in these matters.

"Perhaps a way to go forward would be choose exceptional stories to send to the mainstream media, and attach the SNS and street paper brand to each story."

In his summary address, Tom insisted that despite learning that some avenues to gain revenue will not be applicable for SNS, the overall brand has enough clout to grow and improve in the future.

He said, "SNS, for street papers, is very good and is well respected, being used more and more. The service needs to be expanded and continuously developed.

Something we could perhaps improve on would be offering more translation, more story editing and improve distribution.

"We have heard it will not make big bucks in terms of paywalls or sales to media and it is not generating huge amounts of traffic - but it is a niche product."

A question and answer session followed the discussion in which Tom invited delegates to probe panel members further on any of the issues covered.

Final day of the conference: a round up

By Sarah Hayhurst and Nicole O'Neill

Delegates joined together in the morning of the final day of the INSP conference. Sarah Edmonds kicked off the day with her talk about “What Street Papers can tell the World”. Edmonds, General manager for Editorial UK, Ireland and Nordics, Thomson Reuters spoke about the inspiring work of the INSP and the SNS.

Edmonds stated she is a “Devoted fan of what they stand for”. The print industry has declined by 30% and as a result has made it difficult to work with even the basics. Despite this, the INSP work hard to continue to support what they stand for. The main point Edmonds made throughout her speech highlighted the INSP’s mission is not to secure profit for its self but to secure profits for the less fortunate. A mission many papers do not believe in. Another point to consider from this speech is ethical practices such as INSP’s should be part of the DNA of any organisation.

Continuing the morning session Danielle Batist gave a brief introduction to the work of the SNS, mainly for those who had not been properly introduced to the service. Batist encouraged delegates to start, and continue to post articles on the service. The whole idea of the SNS is to work as collective network so that stories can be collaborative and re-used globally, as well as increasing the coverage.

The morning sessions concluded with seven different workshops and feedback following these. All workshops covered different topics but all maintained the idea of expansion and further development of resources we already have.
David Burnett made a presentation regarding his career bringing a different aspect of journalism to the conference. It was a chance for delegates to see how photographers work and their thought process so as to strengthen ties between print and photo journalists a like.

The whole morning focused on globalization, collaboration and development of the INSP and SNS to make it and a more powerful force in the media.

Digital Street Paper - changing the world online

By Nicole O'Neill

The emergence of the new digital media has led to a dramatic change in consumption pattern and readership preferences.

As media trends are changing street papers across the globe are worried about how they will survive in the face of change. They cannot afford to keep up with changing technology. It is difficult for them to retain their business successfully without the hi-tech skills required for new technology.

Delegates were interested to hear new ways in which they can easily create a digital media site which will still generate income for themselves but most importantly their vendors.

Derek Craik, Bright Signals and Grant Gibson, digital innovation manager at the Herald and the Times took the workshop ‘The Digital Street Paper – changing the world online’. Craik and Gibson discussed the new ways of the digital media and described how the mobile is the most important digital channel at the present time.

They work alongside the INSP and have introduced a new innovation for street papers to keep up with the new digital age while still generating income.

Their proposal is to introduce a QR code system for the vendors to sell on the street. QR codes are already reaching out across the globe. They are a simple code that you take a picture of which will then take you to a particular destination. If this system is introduced for the vendors to sell it is an easy, cost effective way to maintain readership. Vendors can sell the code cards, which can be made personal to them and readers will have direct access to the street paper on their mobiles. It means the face to face transaction will be kept intact and could possibly attract a new readership.

The workshop received a lot of positive feedback and delegates were heavily interested in taking this proposal forward to colleagues. The reason it received such positive feedback is it will be a way to continue generating income for the vendors and can keep up or increase the readership for the papers.

"A student of life is the most difficult position to be in"

By Lucy Gordon and Nicole O'Neill

One individual that stood out amongst the delegates was Rose Henry. A street vendor for Victoria Street Newz, Canada, Rose’s story echoed throughout the duration of the conference.

Rose has come a long way in the last few years. After losing her job of eight years in a women’s homeless shelter Rose too became homeless. She began searching for another job but found that her age and lack of formal education hindered her in finding employment. It was during this difficult time that she came across Victoria Street Newz.

With them she began selling the street paper and developed her own passion for writing. From this she was introduced to Homeless Nation, an ogranisation which helps homeless people to share their stories through mediums such as blogs and video productions, created by themselves.

Rose would go to any lengths to write her stories. Frequently visiting the local library and often slipped into university and college classrooms. She said people used to ask “Are you not a student?” and would reply “I am a student, I am a student of life, which is one of the most difficult situations to be in”.

Acting both as a street vendor and representative for Victoria Street Newz, Rose fundraised for transport to and accommodation at the conference. Raising over 2000 Canadian dollars she explained her gratitude to the INSP who started the ball rolling with a small donation.

On the third day of the conference, during her presentation of Homeless Nation, Rose was presented with a brand new laptop from the Norwegian Journalists. They had seen Rose frantically writing notes by hand during the conference and after reading her blog decided her enthusiasm for writing should be awarded. Her biggest wish was to own her own laptop, so now Rose can leave the conference and continue to do what she does best.

On a final note, one main principle Rose has maintained throughout her life is you just have to go out there and achieve your own dreams, giving inspiration to all aspiring journalists regardless of their circumstances.

Global Story Production Workshop

By Sarah Hayhurst

DYNAMIC duo Sarah Edmonds; General Manager for Editorial UK, Ireland and Nordics, at Thomson Reuters and Mike Reilly; communications and marketing services provider from Hally Enterprises held the workshop on Global Story Production today.

A range of ideas were discussed on how to increase global reach and collaboration with stories. Basic story ideas were shared; both regional and international. Drug use in different countries, affordable housing, refugees and immigration were key themes.

The further development and sharing of these ideas can eventually create “something more powerful than what’s in our communities”, as Joanne Zuhl, INSP Vice chairperson/ Editor of Street Roots, USA pointed out.

To branch out globally would mean subjects often briefly pursued by the ‘mainstream’ media could reach a level of awareness where action will be taken.

An interesting idea which could be further explored is a story regarding street papers which hold tours of states or townships. Such tours already occur in Germany, Africa and Brazil. Not only is there room for a story to be collaborated, but also for similar projects to be taken up in different countries.

The more practical side of logistics was also discussed; of course there is no story unless you can make it work. The main points were simple yet vital to produce stories which can easily be collaborated on an international basis.

You must always have a planning mechanism where one person is a controller for refining the stories and keeping it on track.

There must still be flexibility for the contribution at different levels, and street papers must begin to share sources so as to increase the networks amongst our papers and reduce the resources which individuals must find, in turn reducing costs for stories.

Finally the discussion moved to promotion of street papers. Most collaborative pieces are written to win awards, which can be won if the stories written for street papers are submitted.

 It will not only show that street papers have both credible journalists and stories but also will provide PR coverage both locally and nationally.

This will eventually translate to sales, which go to vendors and overall raises awareness of the street papers’ work.

Globalisation of stories can only benefit INSP and further strengthen the aim to reach out to homeless people, whilst educating the readers on the needs and problems the homeless face.

Attracting 'big names' workshop

By Lucy Gordon

Delegates were reaching for the stars this afternoon in a workshop surrounding attracting 'big names'.

Nick Bevens, Journalism Lecturer and Angela McCracken, media lawyer from Levy & McRae led the workshop which evoked some interesting themes.

With a combined readership of 6 million per edition, street papers are an attractive outlet for those wanting to get their name out there to a huge audience. In addition it was discussed that the involvement of 'big names' can significantly boost sales and thus generate more revenue which obviously is vital. However, the theme which stood out the most this afternoon was the street papers major selling point in terms of ethics.

Much of the media world has come under scrutiny surrounding the recent phone hacking scandal. Whilst it cannot be denied that attracting 'big names' will help to boost sales and thus increase revenue, it was agreed within the group that street papers offer a fresh approach to journalism free from sensationalism and alterior motives sadly apparent in much modern media. Street papers can provide an attractive outlet for 'big names' to express themselves honestly, without the worry that what they say will be taken out of context.

The group considered the Christmas Edition of the Big Issue which featured Prince William. For the Prince the potential to have his story heard by 5 - 6 million was an attractive prospect. On top of this his reputation as a strong public figure and young icon made his involvement with the Big Issue extremely relevant. As a result of his feature the Christmas edition of the paper was republished in 43 street papers, translated into 12 languages, generated 70,000 extra income in the UK alone and over 150 mainstream media covered the story.

Evidently the involvement of 'big names' in street news can have a profound effect. The group unanimously agreed that whilst 'big names' are important, it is vital that street papers stay true to themselves, this means not losing sight of the powerful social message central to all street news. Tabloid news could not be in a worse position currently and it is the job of street news to remain truthful and honest in an increasingly blurred market.

Journalism and Human Rights workshop

By Emma Smith

Scottish award winning journalist Billy Briggs has worked freelance for the past five years, documenting human rights issues in the UK and abroad. He has travelled to over 15 countries to help expose the human right violations which are covered up by “corrupt regimes, companies and individuals”.

Billy spoke of his time reporting ‘femicide’ in Guatemala, investigating human rights violations by UN peacekeepers in Haiti and covering the rise of the neo-Nazi movement in Austria. His harrowing, and at times horrifying account of the time he spent working in these countries highlighted the human right violations and corruption around the world – which is at times ignored by the media.

Billy led a workshop which explored the importance of human rights reportage in the media and how it can enhance street magazines and improve the quality of publications.

During the workshop delegates discussed the decadence of Western media and the poor moral standards which have been adopted by some tabloids. Billy stressed the importance of the SNS and street papers to bring important issues to the attention of the public through “powerful images and words”.

Whilst most main stream media continues to focus on celebrity culture and lifestyle, street papers offer a unique and growing platform to bring important messages in to the public domain and make a real difference to human rights throughout the world.

What Street Papers Can Tell the World

By Sarah Hayhurst

THIS morning Sarah Edmonds, General Manager for Editorial UK, Ireland and Nordics, Thomson Reuters took to the floor to discuss editorial collaboration and global voices.

She stated how “proud and privileged “she felt to be there. Adding not only is she an “avid reader, but a devout fan” of the Big Issue UK.

After a brief introduction she led on to how leaner returns on the magazines due to the recession are decreasing advertising revenue. Since the peak in 2000 there has been a 30% fall, with global circulation falling for the first time last year.

This has led to papers finding it harder to cover the basics as they have little or no resources to spare. But, as Sarah said INSP must find these resources to “give a voice to the voiceless”.

INSP has a global reach and collaboration, with articles being translated into over 24 languages, which precious few media outlets can do.

INSP is in an enviable position, with its mission not to secure profit for its self but to secure profits for the less fortunate; it can make a change with its educated, socially aware and usually well off readers.

Sarah ended on the point: “ethical practices should be part of the DNA of any organisations”. As the media becomes more strictly regulated INSP has the make-up that can bring their “readers into the fight for change”.

This speech was followed by Danielle Batist, Street News Service Editor giving a short review on what the SNS has achieved in the past few years.

Carrying on from Sarah’s idea of the INSP being in an invaluable position, she said: “We are indeed powerful, with 5-7 million readers each publication and 100 million readers a year from so many different directions.”

Prince William, who in December wrote an opinion article for INSP, stated: “Street newspapers inspire me.” His article was the most republished in the story of SNS and the ultimate example of SNS can reach prominent people and organisations around the world.

Campaign Day, Advertising and Showcase: a roundup

Street Paper Showcase - Miku Sano (The Big Issue Japan),
Photo: Danielle Batist 
By Nicole O'Neill

The afternoon sessions of Campaign Day at the INSP Annual conference was focused on proposals for the next phase of the Global advertising project and a number of showcases from various street papers presenting success stories.

Richard Turgeon, Marketing and Communications Director, L’ltinéraire and co-founder of Urban Resillience, began the afternoon addressing the principles for the next phase of the development.

The development is proposed to be a simple eight page supplement to add to the regular content of the street papers. The street papers reach out to six million culturally engage readers and the objective is to generate more income for these papers.

The INSP is working with Mel Young co-founder of The Big Issue Scotland and the homeless world cup. Ahead of the sports event in Mexico the first supplement in September 2012 will be centered around this.

The supplement will be written, edited and published by the INSP. It will be formatted to suit the papers and magazines as they all vary in size and style. Turgeon hopes it will “Unite the circulation of papers together more to create a better and equal balance”.

Values are continuously important to the street papers as they strive to help those in need therefore promoting social image through the media is integral. The supplement will carry forth this image by using businesses that maintain these social values.

After the brief proposal of the project from Turgeon, the session carried on to small group discussions where delegates could discuss the project in more detail.

In four groups, the project was described in more depth and delegates were given a chance to decide whether to sign up.

Some issues brought up during these discussions included the increase in weight the vendors would endure due to the increase in pages and the maintaining of social values from paper to paper.

Lisa Maclean, Executive Director, INSP, said papers would have an advanced notice of the supplement content and could add their own twist in order to make it more localised to their readership. Maclean mentioned the supplement would have “Topics that relate to the main readership all round”.

The overall consensus from the discussions was positive. Most delegates agreed it was a great idea. Most mentioned they would have to bring the idea back to their own country and have discussions with colleagues before making a decision to sign up.

Finishing off the afternoon was a showcase of successful projects street papers have carried out in order display the talents and passion of some vendors who have not been able to exploit their talents due to their circumstances. Delegates from The Big Issue Japan explained how their vendors have worked hard over the past months to rebuild their cities after the earthquake that left over 15 thousand people dead.

Many showcases were media related, videos and CDs have been produced to show the world the stories behind those they help.

Street Papers across the world have introduced these extra projects in order to generate more income to help more people. The Global advertising project is essentially one project helping another.

Overall, each paper works to the maximize new ways to eradicate poverty. With larger a income and readership these individual projects will continue to further help those in need.

Street Paper Showcase

By Lucy Gordon

Fresh from roundtable discussion, the street paper delegates brought day three to a close with a series of pre-booked presentations of films and special projects by INSP members. 

The showcase allowed a number of the delegates to present the different projects, visions and passions at the heart of their paper. 

Big Issue UK's John Bird kicked off the proceedings. He maintained that there is division within poverty itself in the UK. Whilst the Big Issue deals with some of the most broken and desperate individuals, the UK is home to some of the most expensive poor in the world who go through various local authorities throughout their lifetime costing the UK economy millions, he said: "when you get a situation where the poor cost more than the upper and middle classes you are in an enormous crisis".

In an increasingly digital world Bird recognised that an alternative to "street existence" needs to be established. Working with new technologies and giving the vendors an opportunity to train up in skills such as editing and reporting may be a move in the right direction.

"Whenever there are homeless people there has to be something given to them that doesn't take something from them".

Tenidola Awoyemi from the Freedom Foundation Nigeria spoke about their programme of rehabilitation for vulnerable groups and how street papers can be used to allow individuals to change their own lives.  Awoyemi presented a video consisting of two case studies following the lives of two drug addicts undergoing a rehabilitation programme in Nigeria's most prosperous city of Lagos.

One of the former addicts "Sunday" spoke of being hooked to all ways of taking drugs, doing anything he could to get his fix and confessed to having "lost his dignity". The emotional film followed him through assisted detoxification, watched him reunite with his estranged mother and develop a passion for reading and writing, he exclaimed "I'm having a life again!" The Freedom Foundation is an example of the power of intervention in turning around the lives of vulnerable people.

Rose Henry form Victoria Street Newz, Canada, gave an inspirational account of her involvement with the social network Homeless Nation. The network provides recording equipment allowing many to showcase their stories and in addition encourages them to write on the website and blog which generates an estimated 10,000 hits a week. Homeless Nation shows how homelessness organisations can utilize new media and stay current in an ever changing society. 

These are just a few of the projects which are taking place throughout the INSP. A number interesting themes emerged from the delegates accounts but the general consensus is that street papers by and large have the ability to force change and empower the homeless to shape their own future.

Strengthening Street Papers Through Advertising

By Sarah Hayhurst

PHASE two of INSP’s Global Advertising Project was introduced and pitched yesterday by Richard Turgeon, Marketing and Communications Director of L’Itinéraire, Canada. This phase is set to build upon the previous success of the project in Quebec, Canada which raised over $30,000 CAD.

25 papers carried out phase one before the previous INSP conference in Australia.

Richard Turgeon said: “This latest phase aims to create a unique social publication in the form of supplements, with the participation of at least 30 INSP street papers that would generate a global circulation of at least 500,000 copies sold in major cities around the world.”

By the 30th of September it is aimed for all 30 participants to be signed in, there will then be 2 months to make the supplement, sending it to the complying Street Papers by July. The supplement should be launched formally at the next INSP conference. Plans are underway to host this event in London.

The INSP proposes for the first 8 page supplement to cover the 10th annual Homeless World Cup, to be held in Mexico of October 2012. The content will be mainly focused on sustainability, eco- citizenship and raising general awareness.

Production of the supplement will be by the INSP, in collaboration with HWC editorial team. It will be delivered in the participating street paper’s own language and format in a high quality PDF form and will be designed to slip transparently into their typical content.

When asked if the supplement will benefit the street papers Kayoko Yakuwa, Editor-in-Chief of The Big Issue Japan said: “I think so, because Japanese people really love football and that’s going to be a good eye catcher, maybe somebody who was never interested in our magazine will be interested because of that. The advertisement is not commercial, more social, related to homelessness so I think they will accept it.”

A general positive feedback was given on the proposed phase with Melany Bendix, Editor of the South African Big Issue relating it to their special edition collector papers, which at one point sold out in 2 weeks, out of the 6 week selling period.

As she pointed out football is a global sport, with the South African World Cup allowing vendors to “capitalise on the FIFA campaign”, in turn greatly benefiting them. They also included pieces on sports for social change, as she pointed out they are similar and beneficial to both the publications and also the readership.

Nothing is without some speculation though as Kevin Roberts, Editor of One Step Away USA pointed out when they increased their magazine from 12 to 24 pages the magazine was “too heavy” for the vendors to carry.

This is obviously a point to look at, but as Richard Turgeon pointed out, “people are becoming more concerned with the products they buy being more economically, socially and ecologically sustainable”, adding companies have to show “business social responsibility”.

With this supplement INSP will appeal to many more global enterprises which will be invaluable for INSP to further spread their credible and unique journalistic voice across the world.

21 July 2011

'Photography is a medium through which anyone can tell a story'

By Richard Flynn

INSP delegates and members of the media were treated to an unique perspective on Glasgow life on Thursday evening, as BBC Scotland HQ played host to the launch of the Eyes of the Street exhibition.

The exhibition is the result of a week-long photography workshop, which saw four homeless vendors of Scotland’s Big Issue street paper being coached on photography by world-renowned photojournalist David Burnett and his Photographers For Hope team.

The vendors, who had no prior experience using cameras, were encouraged to capture their lives through photography – an experience they recalled throughout the evening as “amazing,” “fantastic” and “very powerful”.

Pictures displayed in the exhibition include shots of homeless dwellings where they had previously spent the night, as well as self-portraits and photographs of friends. Despite being new to photography, the vendors’ work was challenging and evocative.

The show received a great response from delegates of the INSP conference. Richard Turgeon, from L’Itineraire in Canada, said: “This is impressive work, especially when you know that these photos were taken by people who had never touched a camera.

“It’s the best of two worlds – you have a really good piece of art, and the vendors are also very proud and are recognised for their work.”

Ash Croft, from The Big Issue in the North, added: “Photography is a medium through which anyone can produce something that tells a story.

“You can really see the benefit that this has had for the vendors. You get a really tangible sense of the confidence that’s been picked up; a real sense of pride in what they’ve produced.”

The exhibition not only gives the vendors a voice, but it is also ready to challenge preconceptions. Despite being a stark representation of homelessness in Glasgow, the resounding message of the vendors’ photography was one of hope.

When describing his visits to capture photos of troubled places from his past, vendor Daniel said: “I wouldn’t even say it was therapeutic. It was just rewarding to go there and say, ‘That’s not part of my life anymore.’

“It’s an amazing feeling, it was amazing working with them, and it’s just been one of the best experiences of my life.

“Coming here tonight has been really memorable, meeting so many people from so many places and countries. It’s been great.”

Perhaps more so than the pictures themselves, one of the most powerful aspects of the evening was the very clear friendships that have formed between the vendors and their Photographer For Hope coaches.

Vendor Malky, who described the overwhelming feeling of seeing his photography on display as he entered the exhibition, spoke fondly of his time working with David Burnett and admitted he was “a wee bit sad that the team are leaving.”

Anna Wang, one of the photographers who was involved in the project, said her time with the vendors was “a great opportunity and a great privilege.”

She said: “When we started this, we didn’t know what to expect: how the pictures would turn out, if people would like it… But this has far exceeded anybody’s expectations. Not so often do you get to connect with people on such a personal level.

“People like the vendors have often been ignored, and this workshop and exhibition has seen them being treated as human beings; they have something to say, and people are paying attention to them.

“I’m sure it’s very gratifying, and it’s been gratifying for us as well.”

The exhibition will now move to the Mitchell Library in Glasgow, where it will be on display until the end of August. 

Photographers For Hope is a group committed to using their medium to inspire positive social change, and collaborate with groups who work to improve the lives of poor and disenfranchised communities around the world. You can find out more by visiting www.photographersforhope.org

A blueprint for success that can change the world

By Sahil Jaidka

Canadian pair Richard Turgeon and Serge Lareault of street paper L'Itineraire, believe they have a blueprint that will allow vendors to not just earn money, but also reintegrate into society.

Together, they have over 30 years experience working for the International Network of Street Papers (INSP) and revealed their system - if replicated globally - can change the world.

L'Itineraire provide not just a street paper for vendors to sell, but also other support such as a room to live in, care for those who need it and assist with filling-out paperwork for claiming benefits amongst other services.

The street paper which has operated for 17 years works with around 2,000 people a year and have 150 regular vendors on their records - and help improve the life of every single person that walks through their doors.

The INSP Chairperson and Publisher of L'Itineraire, Serge Lareault, knows that those who knock on a street-papers door need to be given all the support they can get - not just a paper to sell.

He said, "There is a reason why people are on the street, it may be due to education, housing, mental disease, drink problems - anything.

"We should provide not just a paper but the other things that people need too.

"Be it a carer to ensure they are taking medication, someone to help fill-out forms for claiming benefits, providing education, housing - anything they need we should be trying to give.

"Our society is not fair - not everyone has the same chance - but we should all be able to survive.

"It is up to us to provide them the services to make sure they can survive.

"We don't just provide a paper for someone to make money from, we do more than that".

Marketing & Communications Director, Richard Turgeon, described how this type of service can create not just recognition for the vendors, but a sense of identity and makes them more independent people.

He added: "When a person comes here with a problem, we work with them to help solve it.

"We let them sell the paper and after around six months, they get a chance to move into a room.

"This gives them an address and makes them feel rewarded and important.

"They will also get support from various people and this can make them improve as people.

"It will make them more autonomous and help them develop as people and move on in life.

"Although some countries already offer many other services - especially in Europe - if this was stretched worldwide, it could change the world".

Collective campaigning: how to reach 6 million readers

Peter McVitie and Stuart Martin

Workshop round-up

Five workshops, centred on the INSP campaign, took place this morning. Delegates attended the workshop of their choice to discuss subjects such as; what the INSP is campaigning for, designing the 2011 campaign, deciding what makes the campaign successful and the idea of making poverty illegal worldwide. After a quick coffee break, the delegates gathered back and master of ceremonies, Nick Bevens, conducted a feedback session in which a member from each workshop presented a summary of the ideas and concepts discussed in their group.

John Watson, Amnesty International Scotland Programme Director, discussed the mechanisms of planning, executing and measuring an Amnesty International style strategy of trying to change the world’s view of the socially excluded people it represents and helps. The aim was to promote positive images of the socially excluded and to change the world’s perception of them. The group concluded that it was important for members of the INSP to publish the success stories of their work and their vendors in their publications and that members should share these with others in the global network. John said that the campaign must have specific aims, objectives, audiences to target and activities to execute its plan.

Sara Cowan, Campaigns co-ordinator for Oxfam Scotland, lead a productive session looking specifically at what the ISNP is campaigning for. Making reference to Oxfam's current project, the Grow Campaign (a global initiative with the primary goal of achieving equality through food justice), Sara encouraged delegates to discuss the key themes and concepts which they thought united ISPN members and which they thought should form the basis of INSP's future campaign focus. The group agreed that policy change, entrepreneurship, empowerment and vendor identity were the principal issues. However, they could not decide which theme carried the most importance and during the workshop feedback seminar, suggested that the decision be devolved to a global campaign committee.

All in all, the workshops proved a big success, providing delegates with a greater understanding of future INSP campaign strategies.

Snapshots from the conference

Left: Frank Dries (Straatnieuws), Centre: Hans van Dalfsen (Z! Magazine),
Lisa Maclean (INSP), Photo: Danielle Batist
Lots of pictures from the INSP conference are already online. Check them out here.

From The Civic Reception to Speed Networking and from Campaigning to the Summer BBQ at the social project Lambhill Stables- the pictures are all here (and more to follow!).

"Together we can change the world"

By Stuart Martin, Sahil Jaidka and Peter McVitie

With the conference in full swing, day three - Campaign Day - kicked off with John Watson, Programme Director for Amnesty International, Scotland, sharing his experiences of campaigning.

Comparing the mission statements of various charitable groups, John outlined these organisations universal desire to “change the world” by overcoming global poverty and suffering.

Labelling these agenda's as “ambitious”, John was quick to point out that this is what is required in order for these visions to become reality.

This year, Amnesty International celebrated their 50th year in operation. In that time, they have taken on over 50,000 cases, helping to pull thousands out of severe poverty, homelessness and social injustice.

John drew similarities between Amnesty International and the work of the INSP, describing the network as a “global engine” for poverty across the globe.

Praising the endeavours of the INSP, John said, “It is an ambitious and positive vision you have and it excites me when I see the power you have. The people in this room have a great opportunity to change the world.

“There are 112 street papers, six million culturally aware and socially responsible readers and one global campaign.

“If I have one thing to say to you all, it is 'you can do it'. Go for it and good luck”.

Street paper showcase at the 2011 conference

The Street Paper Showcase is an INSP conference favourite. It opens up the floor to delegates to present their own innovative street paper projects. Read more. This year's presentations included John Bird talking about the 20th anniversary of The Big Issue, a book from Austria, a music CD from Sweden, and films from South Africa and Slovenia). Frank Dries (Straatnieuws, Netherlands) presented ‘phase 3' of his bag project. Tenidola Awoyemi (Freedom Foundation, Nigeria) presented a short film on the work of her organisation in Nigeria, who are working closely with INSP to launch Nigeria's first street paper. Kayoko Yakuwa (The Big Issue Japan) showed a slideshow of photographs from her ‘international street paper sabbatical'. Her colleagues Yoko Mizukoshi and Miku Sano The Big Issue Japan) also thanked members for their support after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami this year, andtalked about vendor involvement in the cleanup operation. Rose Henry (Victoria Street Newz, Canada) talked about her involvement with the online forum Homeless Nation. Rose was the only vendor at this year's conference and was also interviewed during the conference. Click here to view the video and click here to read more.

Street Paper Showcase

As part of the conference, street paper delegates took part in a series of pre-booked presentations of films and special projects by INSP members. The showcase allowed a number of the delegates to present the different projects, visions and passions at the heart of their paper.

20 July 2011

Vendors are the lifeblood of INSP

By Sahil Jaidka, Stuart Martin and Emma Smith

Workshop round-up

Swiftly following on from this morning’s ice breaker sessions, delegates were given the opportunity to attend various workshops. Each workshop tackled a specific topic and encouraged attendees to learn from the experiences of their colleagues and to discuss solutions to the problems they face. Additionally, workshop leaders were on hand to chair proceedings and offer advice on planning for a more prosperous future.

Anne Mackenzie, Regional Distribution Manager for The Big Issue, Scotland and Derek Sharples, National Sales Administration Manager for The Big Issue, UK, conducted a fascinating session looking closely at the relationship between street vendors and the publications themselves. The two hour seminar sought to address a number of questions, from street paper distribution and pitch management to sales training, incentive schemes and other methods of support.

Alan Attwood, Editor of The Big Issue Australia and Mike Reilly, co-Founder of Global Writers discussed the importance of reaching a balance within the content of street papers. Whilst a main priority of street papers is to highlight social issues such as poverty and homelessness, they must also maintain their appeal to readers and offer something unique. Alan believes editors can work as activists through their publication but he stressed the importance of producing a street paper that will still sell as he believes the papers ultimately exist to provide vendors with an income.

Tim Blott and Tom Thomson, Managing Director and Group Managing Director, respectively of the Herald and Times Group hosted an engaging tutorial on creating a successful media-centred business. The pair who together boast many years of experience in the journalism industry described how a strong core business is essential to the existence and growth of street papers. There was a significant importance placed on the street vendors, something the duo know all about as they employ 52 who distribute the companies various title.

Altogether there were six workshops running simultaneously, each debating a broad spectrum of issues. As the sessions progressed, a common theme became apparent; the street vendors are the lifeblood of every paper. The INSP has assisted over 200,000 poor and homeless street paper vendors since its foundation in 1994 and it is imperative, for the success of each paper, that these relationships continue to grow.

Scottish welcome for street paper delegates

Left: Michael Mooslechner (Kupfermuckn),
Right: Kevin Roberts (One Step Away),
©Megan Fitzsimons Photography
By Stuart Martin & Sahil Jaidka

Proceedings are underway at the 16th annual International Network Street Papers (INSP) conference at Glasgow's Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Master of ceremonies for the three days, Nick Bevens, provided a typical Scottish welcome as he charismatically addressed over 80 delegates from 29 countries.

Nick, leader of the Multimedia Journalism degree at Glasgow Caledonian University, was in fine fettle as he outlined the schedule for the day whilst shamelessly promoting the Scottish 'delicacies' found in the official welcome pack – a can of Irn Bru and a Tunnocks wafer to name but a few.

The former business editor of the Scotsman said; “This is a great cause and I am happy to help whenever I can. There is a lot going on this week and I am sure it will be a successful three days”.

Serge Lareault, INSP Chairperson and Publisher of L'Itineraire, is hoping the conference will allow the delegates to share ideas and thoughts over the three days and help create a large worldwide street news service that can “change the world”.

He added: "We have around seven million readers all over the world and by sharing our experiences together we can create something much bigger that can change the world.

"We learned last year on how to work together and we will continue that this week and create a large worldwide street news service."

Guests will this morning take part in a street networking exercise – a grown-up version of speed dating - which will serve as an ice breaker and allow attendees to get to know each other.

Later in the day the Street Paper Exchange workshop will take place with the likes of Tim Blott, Managing Director of the Herald and Times and Anne Mackenzie the Regional Distribution Manager from The Big Issue in Scotland, conducting sessions across a range of practical topics.

After breaking for lunch, the day reconvenes with the network's AGM.

Street paper reunion in Glasgow City Chambers

By Emma Smith

Guests and delegates, Photo: Danielle Batist
Glasgow welcomed delegates from around the world yesterday evening as the International Network of Street Papers returned to the city for its 16th Annual Conference.

The grand surroundings of the Glasgow City Chambers – built in 1888 in the heart of the city and home to Scotland’s largest local authority – hosted a welcome reception for the event being held in the INSP’s home town for the first time.

More than 80 delegates have travelled from 29 countries to be part of the week’s events and they were welcomed to the City Chambers by city officials who have supported the work of INSP for a number of years.

The evening brought together local business figures, media professionals and charity representatives.

Amid the spectacular marble and wood surrounds of the Banquet Hall, Baillie Phil Green of the Council spoke on behalf of the Lord Provost to welcome the delegates to Glasgow and express his admiration and respect for the work the INSP do around the world.

Now in its 16th year the theme of this year’s conference is ‘The Street Paper Success Story: The Next Chapter’.

Over the next four days workshop leaders, guests from the UK and international media, as well as government and business, will attend the event which is held in the Grand Crowne Plaza overlooking the city’s famous River Clyde.

Not only is Glasgow home to the INSP headquarters but it is also considered the media centre of Scotland and is home to many national newspaper groups, major publishers, BBC Scotland and Scottish Television.

With a busy week ahead, INSP executive director Lisa MacLean kicked off proceedings and said:

Photo: Danielle Batist
“You can always feel the pulse of our network at this event. There is so much energy and enthusiasm at this event and many great ideas are produced for the year ahead. This year, we’ve brought the conference back to the headquarters of INSP and we’re really excited about that”.

The conference will offer training and networking opportunities to the delegates from street papers around the world, they will have the opportunity to get involved in INSP projects and build on ideas for future campaigns.

Kayoko Yakuwa from the Big Issue Japan is travelling around the world visiting different street papers.  After working as the editor for six and a half years she says sometime she feels burnt out but it’s inspiring for her to come here and meet other people who work in street papers and share her goal.

For Kayoko this week is about “Sharing wisdom, encouraging each other and working with the other cities and papers to fight poverty”.

With a combined readership per edition of around 6 million people, this year is also an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the success of the street papers. So how is it that street papers have been defying the slump in worldwide print sales and circulation has risen?

Koni Koo, Editor-in-Chief for the Big Issue Korea, thinks that people are interested in helping the homeless and that buying a copy of the paper is a good opportunity for people to do this.

She explained: “It’s a very easy way for them to help homeless people.  They can visit them, they can make a relationship with the vendors and they find some meaning in it at the same time”.

Tomas Havlin, Editor in Chief of Novy Prostor in the Czech Republic, thinks that some of the success of street papers is because they are not like other media and offer something different.

He added:  “In my experience we try to offer something which is not otherwise available in Czech Republic, people appreciate this”.

As well as offering training and support for Editors, this year the INSP hosted a photography workshop for street paper vendors which was led by world famous US photographer David Burnett.

Left: Ilse Weiss (Straßenkreuzer),
Centre: Michaela Gründler (Apropos),
Photo: Danielle Batist
The project aimed to help local Big Issue vendors capture their daily lives and explore the challenges faced by the growing number of homeless people.  The work will be displayed as part of the “Eyes of the Street” exhibition at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow.

After a busy week, the conference will be brought to a close on Friday night with the return International Street Paper awards when the winners from the seven award categories will be announced.

Rose Henry, vendor and writer of Victoria Street Newz in Canada, has been shortlisted for “Best Vendor Essay”.

She said: “For me it’s a big honour to be representing the city of Victoria as well as representing the Street Newz, this is our first time here and on a personal level it is a plateau that I never thought I would achieve”.

The International Network for Street Papers has come a long way since the last annual conference was held in Glasgow in 2008. Once again it brings together a diverse and inspiring group of people from all over the world but all representing and working for the same cause and this week looks set to be another success for the INSP.

19 July 2011

David Burnett: 'The most telling pictures are in the least likely places'

By Adam Forrest, The Big Issue in Scotland

David Burnett talks to the street paper
vendors. Photo: Sebastian Stange/
Photographers For Hope
Last week the legendary photographer David Burnett and his team worked with homeless vendors from The Big Issue in Scotland to help them capture their daily lives in photographs and film. This unique workshop will result in a photo exhibition to be launched on Thursday at the BBC Scotland headquarters in Glasgow.

"I was just a kid, wandering my way through, figuring things out," remembers David Burnett of his first job: an internship at Time magazine. "It was a hell of a lot of fun. I was not a great photographer, but I got a little better while I was there. You don't have to be the star the first week you're taking pictures. You just have to work hard and get to the point you're putting everything you've got into your pictures. It's not like a chemistry class where you can learn it; you just have to feel it. That takes a little while to get in touch with."

Burnett has been putting everything to his pictures for more than forty years. The world-renowned snapper has worked in more than 80 countries; captured revolutions in Iran and Chile; borne witness to famine in Ethiopia; covered every US presidential election since 1976 and every Olympic Games since 1984. Starting his own New York agency in the mid-seventies, Burnett has forged his own way of working on magazine assignments, keen to experiment wherever possible and unhampered by the demands of working for a wire service or daily newspapers.

Photographers for Hope

The American photographer's latest project sees him in Glasgow, working with Big Issue vendors to help them capture their daily experiences in photos and film. At workshop sessions in the city, Burnett and his team from the charity collective Photographers for Hope have been guiding six novices through the medium. Organised by Glasgow-based charity the International Network of Street Papers (INSP), an exhibition of the photographs by both street paper vendors and professional photographers will be launched at BBC Scotland's HQ this Thursday.

"We're working with the vendors so they can show what their lives are like, using photography as a tool to do that," explains Burnett. "It's exciting. It's about giving people who haven't had much experience of photography the chance to see if it's something that clicks a button for them. We're trying to open people up to photography. Some folks get it quickly; some can spend days and days and they don't. Some people are just born with a bit of an artistic sensibility. But even if you're not, that's OK. The great thing about photography is you don't need to be licensed to do it; you can just pick up the camera and go."

Street paper vendor Malky Dunn
shooting pictures off Buchanan street,
in Glasgow. Photo: David Burnett/
Photographers For Hope
Glasgow vendor Malcolm said working with Burnett had "put a spring in his step", taking more than 100 pictures in his first day with one of the project's cameras. "David's a very nice guy - a real diamond. It was inspired to see some of his pictures. I've taken pictures of the sky and the moon, of the greenery at the park near where I live now. I'd like to take some of all the places I've slept rough many moons ago. It'd be nice to look at how far I've come getting myself together."

Burnett can remember his own first "colour assignment" - shooting the history-making launch of Apollo XI in Florida for Time. His images of expected, hopeful crowds gazing skyward have become an indelible part of how America remembers its first moon shot. "I wouldn't say I was a great photographer then," he says modestly. "There were just cool things going on to capture. The Apollo launch was one of those things you look back and you think that's something I'm glad I was able to do. Every place I went to I learned something, whether it was photographic, or cultural. One of the great joys of being a photographer this long is having had so many adventures."


In 1971, aged just 24, Burnett was sent by the weekly news magazine to cover America's gruesome adventures in Vietnam. He returned with remarkable pictures. The photo of an exhausted young soldier reading a letter near the Laos border remains one of the war's most haunting images. "I learned quite a bit from Vietnam," he says. "There were a lot of people I learned from when I was there, including a Welsh photographer, Philip Jones Griffiths, and some of the most interesting reporters were from the UK. You watch others and you think, 'Well that's a little more interesting that what I'm doing'. There's something to be said for paying attention to your elders.

"But actually, I also love watching and learning from what the kids do these days, because they are not encumbered by the same obstacles. Someone of my generation might think 'you can't do this' or 'you can't do that'. I still want to figure out what these kids are doing, and put my own little twist on it. You can't ever stop learning. You have to keep your eyes open all the time."

Big Issue Vendor Joan taking pictures
during the workshop.Photo: Matteo Cardin/
Photographers for Hope
If Burnett seems a little too independent-minded for the rigid constraints of party politics, the frustration of covering US election campaigns have motivated some of his most interesting work. "Yeh, that stuff is getting a little old," he chuckles in concession. "I've been in hotel rooms during campaigns where I've thought, 'Honest to God, I wish I'd found a way of not doing this'. But every campaign, no matter how predicable it seems when you start out, has a way of surprising you. And sometimes it can make you reach down and find something special, something beyond the obvious.

"Sometimes the most telling pictures are in the least likely places. Maybe you find a guy in the street holding a sign rather than the politician. The guy in the street might tell you more of what's going on than the guy making the speeches and running for office."

"Eyes of the Street" is funded by The Big Lottery Awards for All Fund, the Scottish Community Foundation, Yorkshire and Clydesdale Bank Foundation and the Russell Trust. The cameras and memory cards used during the project were donated by Canon and ScanDisk.

The photography exhibition “Eyes of the Street” will be in the foyer of the Mitchell Library in Glasgow from July 23rd - August 31st.  Entry is free and the photographs will be sold via a silent auction. Money raised will help the Glasgow-based charity International Network of Street Papers to support street papers –like The Big Issue- in 40 countries. So far, 200,000 vendors around the world have earned a living and changed their lives through selling INSP street papers. 

18 July 2011

INSP conference kicks off tomorrow

Street paper delegates from around the world are on their way to Glasgow for the 16th INSP Conference. The event 'The Street Paper Success Story: The Next Chapter’ starts tomorrow and ends with the renowned International Street Paper Awards on Friday night.

Over 80 street paper delegates from 29 countries will attend the event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, along with high profile workshop leaders and guests from the UK and international media, government and business. This year's conference will include many special events, including the bi-annual International Street Paper Awards and a special photography project 'Eyes of the Street'.

Lisa Maclean, Executive Director of INSP welcomes all the delegates arriving in Glasgow, but also all of those who cannot be present but are following the conference online:  "On behalf of the INSP staff and board, I am delighted to welcome our members to INSP's 16th annual conference. We've come a long way since we held our last conference here in Glasgow in 2008, and this week we will begin to look to the next chapter of the street paper success story."

She continued: "This year we will have the opportunity to develop our potential for international campaigning and position INSP more strategically as a voice for global justice. We will also move forward our plans for international advertising and fundraising."

After the re-launch of Street News Service last year, the delegates will reflect on the work that has been done and look closer at ways of securing the future growth of the service as one of INSP's most unifying, global projects.

Following the success of last year's practical training day, a small group of street papers will again have the opportunity to take part in this additional workshop session on Tuesday, with support from the INSP board and local Big Issue staff. As always, there will also be plenty of time for members to showcase projects, build partnerships and network informally.

Delegates will also be treated to a range of exciting evening activities, including a welcome reception at Glasgow City Council and a BBQ at a local community enterprise. INSP will also launch its very special 'Eyes of the Street' vendor photography exhibition. All of last week, professional photographers have working alongside vendors of The Big Issue Scotland to document their daily lives. This special evening will give delegates a chance to meet vendors and see the results of their work. And finally, the International Street Paper awards are back this year - the perfect way to end the week.

International Street Paper Awards shortlist announced

INSP is proud to present the nominees for the 2011 International Street Paper Awards. The winners will be revealed this Friday during an award ceremony in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow as part of the INSP's 16th annual conference.

The event will celebrate the substantial impact of street papers as independent media and promote the core values of the street paper movement to build a more equal and just world.

This year's judging panel praised the quality of the submissions and had an exceptionally tough time choosing the shortlist. The panel is chaired by INSP Honorary President David Schlesinger (Chairman, Thomson Reuters China and Editor In Chief, Reuters News 2007-2011).

He said about the awards: "Reuters is a proud supporter of the INSP and we're delighted to assist such a dynamic and unique movement of independent media. Being one of the judges for the International Street Paper Awards gives me further insight into the important work of street papers as advocates for social change".

The 2011 shortlisted entries are:

Best Feature Story: Writing for social impact
Minority report (The Big Issue in the North, UK)
The Resolute Shepherd (Denver VOICE, USA)
City of Everyone (OCAS, Brazil)
The hens with the golden slaves (Hecho en Bs As, Argentina)
In the Shadow of the Games: Is Delhi Still Dreaming? (The Big Issue in Scotland)

Best Cover: Making a statement on the street
Social benefits body scanner (Kupfermuckn, Austria)
A Muzzled Media (The Big Issue South Africa)
Solutions to hunger (The Jeepney, Philippines)
Santa Claus in the recession (Liceulice, Serbia)
The Poor Poet (Straßenkreuzer, Germany)

Best Interview: A spotlight on the change-makers
'I still fight injustice' (BISS, Germany)
Living Social Responsibility (Die Jerusalëmmer, Germany)
The king and the orphan (=Oslo, Norway)
Fighting back (One Step Away, USA)
The Bravest Woman in Afghanistan (Megaphone, Canada)

Best Photograph: Evoking deeper perspectives on poverty
Karoo Gems (The Big Issue South Africa)
'Rugby' Boys (The Jeepney, Philippines)
Trapped Nations (Asphalt , Germany)
Art Ranger (=Fredrikstad, Norway)
The Baptism of Cherokeewolf (The Contributor, USA)

Best Vendor Essay: A fresh perspective from the street
Terracotta Angel (The Big Issue Australia)
Freedom for the white dove (Apropos, Austria)
Economic Violence (Victoria Street Newz, Canada)
Philly Homeless Help Haiti Homeless (One Step Away, USA)
Before the cold hurts… (OCAS, Brazil)

Best Design: Affecting change through visual content
Liceulice (Serbia)
Megafon (Norway)
OCAS (Brazil)
Denver VOICE (USA)
The Big Issue in Scotland / Wales

INSP Special Award for External Press: Advocating for the needs and rights of homeless people
Preparing for a flood (NEXT Newspapers, Lagos State, Nigeria)
Hiding from death (O Trecheiro, São Paulo, Brazil)
Homeless Crisis Grows in B.C.'s North (The Tyee.ca, Canada)
One man's uphill climb out of Tent City (The City Paper, Nashville, USA)
The plight of African refugees in Scotland (The Herald, Scotland)

A discretionary award will also be presented to one INSP member for an 'Outstanding Contribution to the International Street Paper Movement'

The 2011 Street Paper Awards Judging Panel:
David Schlesinger - Editor-in-Chief, Reuters (2007-2011)
David Burnett - Photojournalist
Ferial Haffajee - Editor-in-Chief, City Press, SA
Tom Thomson - Group Managing Editor, The Herald & Times Group
Sanjay Suri - Editor-in-Chief, Inter Press Service
Simon Esterson - Esterson Associates / Art Director, Eye Magazine

Official Awards Ambassador: Dr Federico Mayor, President, Culture for Peace Foundation & Former Director-General, UNESCO

13 July 2011

Live media coverage during the INSP Conference 2011

For the first time ever, the Street News Service will be covering the INSP Conference LIVE as it happens!

BLOG: In co-operation with a Student Reporter Team from Glasgow Caledonian University, we will run this special INSP Conference blog. To serve member street papers who are unable to attend this year's event, the blog will be updated throughout the conference (19th-22nd July) with daily roundups, pictures and videos. So, watch this space and share the link with your colleagues and friends.

TWITTER: SNS will also be tweeting daily updates via the SNS Twitter: @street_news. We're also encouraging the delegates to tweet during the conference to use the hash tag #insp2011. Tell the homefront to follow the tag for all the latest conference news.

2011 International Street Paper Awards

The 3rd bi-annual International Street Paper Awards will take place on the last day of the conference (Friday 22nd July). This year's call for entries received a record number of entries - over 190 from 49 street papers in 24 different countries! The shortlisting process and final judging have now taken place, supported by a high-profile judging panel chaired by INSP's Honorary President David Schlesinger. The shortlist will be announced soon.

'Eyes of the Street' Photography Project
As part of the conference, INSP is organising a special photography project - Eyes of the Street. INSP has arranged for four international photographers from the non-profit group Photographers for Hope to hold a special photography workshop and exhibition in Glasgow. Led by legendary US photographer David Burnett, these photographers will coach homeless vendors of Scotland’s only street paper, The Big Issue in Scotland, documenting their daily lives through photography and film. The outcome of this week-long collaboration will be exhibited at a public event during the conference (on Thursday 21st July), sponsored by BBC Scotland. The exhibition will continue to raise awareness in the local and national community through an extended exhibit at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow.

Funders and supporters
INSP is very grateful to various supporters and participants for helping to make the various conference events possible. Click here to read more about the event sponsors. To find out how you/your company can support the conference and benefit from a wide range of sponsorship benefits, click here.