20 December 2012

An 'exciting year' for Apropos, Austria

So Many Roads 
created by Apropos's vendors
Our fellow paper Apropos in Salzburg, Austria has written to INSP to share their highlights of year 2012. 

Apropos is happy to say that re-lanuch of their paper has been a success and "only received positive feedback". The paper also celebrated its 15th anniversary this year and is now printed in full colour.

Their vendors have done some remarkable work too: a book "So Many Roads" written and photographed by 32 vendors of the paper has been published. It is the third literature book produced by Apropos. Most of the vendor authors recited their contribution to the book in front of 120 audiences at the Apropos's 15th birthday event.

Even more, Apropos's activities went beyond publication.  For migrant vendors, the paper started to run German language lessons twice a week.

However, they also had sad news. Apropos was overcome with grief when their three longstanding vendors, Ernst Wallner, John Scheirl and Hermann Pichler passed away in March.

Finally, the paper gives its wishes to every member of INSP.

"We wish all of you a merry Christmas and all the best for 2013. We will be looking foward to seeing see you at the conference in Munich." - Michaela Gründler, Anja Eichinger, Hans Steininger from Apropos

19 December 2012

Who supports street papers? Meet them here!

"When someone decides to become a street vendor, they are making conscious decision to not being invisible anymore." - Mellani, a supporter of Street Roots.
Check out why she supports the vendors of Street Roots, a street paper in Portland, Oregon, USA, and how she enjoys being part of the community.

Like Mellani, more people are giving their support to Street Roots to fight against homelessness. See more videos from Street Roots here.

17 December 2012

Reporters challenge 24-hour experience of homelessness and poverty

Last week, our member paper Street Roots in Portland, Oregon, USA carried out a 24-hour project to give an insight of homelessness through live feeds on twitter.
Eight reporters from Street Roots took on to the streets at 6 am on 13 December to experience a day in homelessness and poverty and share it with their audience live. The team visited local shelters, drop-in centres, tent cities and homeless camps, constantly delivering the voices of homeless and formally homeless people they met along the way.

As well as presenting the world through the eyes of people without a home, the project also invited others to join a live conversation and share their thoughts and experience on the issue.

Here are some of the tweets posted by Street Roots and their reporters while they spent a day and night on the street.

Street Roots reminded that the weather can be of dreadful experience without home:
"Rain is supposed to continue through 6 am. [Our] reporters are out in the elements so many homeless folks face on a daily and nightly basis."

Sarah Beecroft from the paper gave the feeling of sleeping on the streets: 
"Sleeping out isn't easy even if you have a good spot. Vulnerability makes an easy target; hyper vigilance necessary. It's exhausting."

Another reporter Israel Bayer posted his thoughts on homelessness:
"If we learned anything tonight it's that people find a way to persevere. The human spirit is strong. People depend on one another."
Want to know more about it? You can read their footage of the 24 hour project in the next edition of Street Roots, coming out on Friday, 21 December or find their stories on twitter at @StreetRoots hashtag #SR24

INSPire change through music

New Orleans born singer-songwriter Acantha Lang has released her first-ever single to raise money for INSP's work supporting homeless people around the world.

Inspired by a homeless man in her London neighbourhood Acantha wrote the bluesy and heartfelt  Know Your Name. With the song - and her self-produced music video - Acantha wants to raise awareness of homelessness and remind people that they can make a difference and inspire change.

Acantha Lang's 'Know Your Name'

Acantha has decided to partner with INSP and the New York based music video blog NYCROPHONE for the global release of Know Your Name

The song is now available for download for only $0.99 from iTunes, and 100% of all download proceeds will be donated to INSP, to support homeless people around the world. Help us to promote the song and raise money for INSP by sharing the story through social media!

16 December 2012

INSP in 2012

We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us over the past year! 2012 has been a big year for INSP, working to support 122 street papers and their 14,000 homeless vendors in the UK and around the world. Here are some of our highlights:


A Christmas song, a Christmas story & a Herald supplement

New Orleans born singer-songwriter Acantha Lang has released her first-ever single to raise money for INSP. INSP Ambassador and world-renowned Brazilian author Paulo Coelho has donated a Christmas story for street papers. Read more. This month also saw our first supplement collaboration with The Herald newspaper. Read more.


Two public events & a new video

In partnership with The Herald and Strathclyde University, we held a two-part conversation series with high-profile representatives from both sides of the Scottish independence debate. In the first event INSP Ambassador Jon Snow interviewed Alex Salmond; and in the second,Alan Taylor interviewed Alistair Darling. We also made a special promotional video for the events, with a voice-over from Jon Snow - you can watch it here


Two social enterprise awards 

INSP was named 'Social Enterprise Supporter of the Year' at both the Scottish and UK annual Social Enterprise Awards. Speaking of the two awards, INSP's Executive Director Lisa Maclean said: "This is a great recognition for the contribution of street papers to the social enterprise movement and we are proud to support such a dynamic network". Read more


A world first

We launched the world's first digital street paper in Manchester with The Big Issue in the North. Development of the pilot has been supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and through pro bono support from Grant Gibson of the Herald & Times Group and David Craik of Bright Signals, with digital design and development by the team at 999 Design Group. Read more.


Our feature in The Sunday Herald

A special report

Street papers have witnessed the consequences of the economic downturn since 2008 and help to give a voice to those caught up in the ravages of the recession. The Sunday Herald recognised this and decided to support the production of a special report. 'Faces of the Recession' is a collaboration between street paper editors and journalists across Europe, in which we highlight stories that reveal the human cost behind the endless statistics.Read more.


©Simon Murphy

A spiritual leader & £1.1 million

Homeless vendors made a combined profit of £1.1 million thanks to our exclusive Dalai Lama interview. Our interview and photo shoot were published by 72 street papers in 27 countries and led to sell-outs across the globe. The interview featured on the covers of street paper right throughout throughout the summer and a total of 1 million copies of the Dalai Lama editions were sold by over 10,000 vendors. Read more.


A new Ambassador

World-renowned Brazilian author (of The Alchemist) Paulo Coelho became our newest Ambassador, saying: "The INSP is a network of vibrant papers that publishes real, valuable and independent content which educates and empowers. I am proud to be associated with INSP, and look forward to supporting the organisation's work in whatever way I can." Read more.


A prestigious nomination

Our news service was nominated for the Online Media Awards 2012, 'Specialist Site for Journalism' category, alongside journalism heavyweights including Reuters (Breakingviews), Bloomberg, Financial Times, The Guardian (Datastore), the Economist and Wired. Read more.


A new concept for the future

We presented our digital street paper concept to Glasgow's business and media communities during an event at Glasgow's City Chambers, hosted by our Patron the then Lord Provost of Glasgow [pictured]. John Maxwell Hobbs, Head of Technology at BBC Scotland, and guest speaker at at the event, shared his view that the digital development would "increase the readership, aid consumer interaction with the media and will engage readers in a different way." Read more.


A new government fund

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond announced funding for INSP and our sister organisation the Homeless World Cup. Announcing the Scottish Government fund Mr Salmond said that the fund is "a demonstration of our strong support for the work that international social enterprises carry out, both in Scotland and around the world". Read more.


A brand new image

Our good friends at 999 Design redesigned us, creating a new logo and brand. The four bright colours represent the diversity of the street paper network and the bracket design symbolises journalism and the the power of the network to unite and support social enterprises in 40 countries. Read more.


A trip to India

©Simon Murphy
A lot has been said about development aid for India. Can a country with an economic growth of 8 per cent, a booming IT industry, nuclear powers and a space programme not look after its own citizens? Our editor Danielle Batist went to India (along with photographer Simon Murphy) to find out. They talked to economists and industry leaders but spent most of their time listening to the stories of some of the country's half a billion people who still live in poverty. Read more.

...and a partridge in a pear tree!

14 December 2012

Ambassador Paulo Coelho donates Christmas story to street papers

(Dortmund, Germany)
“I wrote 'Things are never what they seem' to make people think twice before judging others as things are often not what they seem. I donated this Christmas story to INSP street papers because I believe that people should support others, particularly those less fortunate than themselves. Street papers do just that, and by buying your regular copy from your local vendor, you do the same.”

(Köln, Germany)
These are the words world-renowned author and INSP ambassador Paulo Coelho wrote as an introduction to his Christmas story ‘Things are never what they seem’. The story, donated by Coelho, features in 47 different street papers this Christmas, and will help thousands of street paper vendors to sell an attractive product in the festive period.

The story is on sale in street papers in the UK, Norway, Germany, Austria, USA, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, Ireland, Canada, France, Slovakia, Ukraine, Switzerland, Italy, Malawi and Australia.

Straatjournaal (Haarlem, Netherlands)
The piece was translated into 11 languages, mostly by Coelho’s publishers’ professional translators, and all free of charge. INSP is hugely grateful to all pro bono translators: Margaret Jull Costa (English), Carlos Tatay (Spanish), Örjan Sjögren (Swedish), Maralde Meyer-Minnemann (German), Grete Skevik and Kari Bu (Norwegian), Teresa Tomczyńska (Polish), Jana Marcelliova (Slovak), Piet Janssen (Dutch), Patricia Thaine (French), Rita Desti/Bompiani (Italian).

Terre di Mezzo (Italy)
The famous British illustrator Dave McKean and Slovakian illustrator Andrea Šafaříková both created exclusive illustrations for the story pro bono. The powerful images help boost sales across the world.

The Big Issue Malawi
INSP Editor Danielle Batist said: "Featuring big names in street papers has proven to create a huge boost in sales for our homeless vendors. To have the support of a world-famous author like Paulo Coelho is fantastic for our street papers."

"The fact that thousands of vendors will directly benefit from high profile stories has help us secure them in the past years. Following Prince William and the Dalai Lama, we are proud to collaborate with Paulo Coelho this Christmas. I urge readers around the world to buy a copy from their local vendor today."

Die Jerusalemmer
(Neumünster, Germany)
Megaphone Magazine
(Vancouver, BC, Canada)
Strassenfeger (Berlin, Germany)
Asphalt (Hannover, Germany)

Die Strasse
(Schwerin, Germany)

The Big Issue in the North (UK)
Nota Bene (Bratislava, Slovakia)
=Oslo 'Julebok' 2012 (Oslo, Norway)
Denver Dialogue (USA)
Strassenkreuzer (Nürnberg, Germany)
Surprise (Switzerland)

INSP-Botschafter Paulo Coelho spendet Straßenzeitungen eine Weihnachtsgeschichte 

“Ich habe die Geschichte ,Nichts ist so, wie es scheint’ geschrieben, um die Leute zum Nachdenken zu bringen, bevor sie über andere urteilen – weil viele Dinge oft nicht das sind, was sie zu sein scheinen. Ich habe diese Weihnachtsgeschichte Straßenmagazinen, die Mitglied bei INSP sind, gespendet, weil ich denke, dass Menschen anderen helfen sollten, vor allem denen, die weniger Glück hatten als sie selbst. Straßenzeitungen tun genau das, und indem Sie regelmäßig ein Magazin beim Verkäufer um die Ecke kaufen, tun Sie dasselbe.“

Diese Worte schrieb der weltbekannte Auto und INSP-Botschafter Paulo Coelho als Einleitung zu seiner Weihnachtsgeschichte ,Nichts ist so, wie es scheint’. Die von Coelho gespendete Geschichte erscheint zu Weihnachten in 47 verschiedenen Straßenzeitungen und wird so Tausenden unserer Verkäufer helfen, an den Festtagen ein besonders attraktives Produkt anbieten zu können.

Die Geschichte erscheint in Straßenmagazinen in Großbritannien, Norwegen, Deutschland, Österreich, den USA, Portugal, den Niederlanden, Schweden, Polen, Irland, Kanada, Frankreich, der Slowakei, der Ukraine, der Schweiz, Italien, Malawi und Australien.

Die Geschichte wurde in elf Sprachen übersetzt – meistens von den professionellen Übersetzern, die für die Verlage arbeiten, in denen Coelhos Bücher erscheinen. Sie arbeiteten alle umsonst, und INSP dankt allen Übersetzern, die die Aufgabe ehrenamtlich erledigt haben: Margaret Jull Costa (Englisch), Carlos Tatay (Spanisch), Örjan Sjögren (Schwedisch), Maralde Meyer-Minnemann (Deutsch), Grete Skevik und Kari Bu (Norwegisch), Teresa Tomczyńska (Polnisch), Jana Marcelliova (Slowakisch), Piet Janssen (Holländisch), Patricia Thaine (Französisch), Rita Desti/Bompiani (Italienisch).

Der berühmte britische Illustrator Dave McKean und der slowakische Illustrator Andrea Šafaříková schufen beide exklusive Illustrationen für die Geschichte – ebenfalls ohne Honorar. Die kraftvollen Bilder helfen dabei, den Verkauf auf der ganzen Welt anzukurbeln.

INSP-Redakteurin Danielle Batist sagt: „Große Namen in unseren Straßenzeitungen zu präsentieren hat bis jetzt immer eine große Verkaufssteigerung für unsere obdachlosen Verkäufer bedeutet. Die Unterstützung eines weltberühmten Autors wie Paulo Coelho zu haben, ist für unsere Straßenmagazine einfach fantastisch.

Die Tatsache, dass Tausende Verkäufer direkt von den Geschichten und Artikeln, die berühmte Persönlichkeiten beisteuern, profitieren, hat uns dabei geholfen, solche Werke in den vergangenen Jahren zu bekommen. Nach Prinz William und dem Dalai Lama sind wir stolz, diese Weihnachten mit Paulo Coelho zusammenarbeiten zu dürfen. Ich fordere unsere Leser auf der ganzen Welt auf, sich noch heute ein Exemplar von ihrem örtlichen Verkäufer zu holen.“

13 December 2012

INSPire change supplement in The Herald newspaper

INSP collaborated with The Herald to produce the 16-page supplement 'INSPiring Change', which was distributed free inside The Herald newspaper on 12.12.12

The supplement featured our Ambassador Jon Snow, First Minister Alex Salmond, the Dalai Lama, our members The Big Issue, sister organisation Homeless World Cup and street paper vendors from Scotland to South Africa. [With pro bono photography from Simon Murphy].

You can now read a PDF version in full here.

It's Christmas in street paper land!

In the run up to Christmas, street papers around the world have been hard at work creating their final editions of 2012. To see what our colleagues have been getting up to, here's a selection of cracking Christmas covers featuring plenty of Santa hats, Christmas imagery and even Paulo Coelho, INSP ambassador and author of this year's INSP Christmas story! 

While they won't be getting much of a white Christmas, readers of The Big Issue Australia were celebrating 'Sunshine and Santa' with the paper's annual ‘Big Wish You’ issue. 

Vendors across Australia offered up reflections and words of wisdom on the year that was, and wishes for the celebrations ahead. The Big Issue Australia supports 400 vendors who sell a combined 33,000 copies per edition.
In true festive style, StreetWise designed their front cover as a present to illustrate their gift guide for the Christmas period which promotes locally crafted items. 200 vendors sell the weekly publication to around 8000 readers in Chicago.

Other papers like Dutch Straatjournaal and Novy Prostor in Czech Republic opted for traditional Christmas imagery including trees and angels. The Dutch paper enjoys a circulation of 1200 per edition, sold by its 70 vendors. Novy Prostor’s 187 vendors sell the fortnightly paper to around 16,000 readers. 

We were also happy to see a certain Paulo Coelho grace the Christmas editions of several papers – including our German colleagues Draussenseiter and Bodo – to celebrate the fantastic Christmas story he kindly donated to INSP members. Bodo’s 100 vendors sell around 1200 copies per edition while 30 Draussenseiter vendors sell 3000.

In Denmark, Hus Forbi’s edition features a vendor wearing a Santa hat and is sold by its 800 vendors who average a combined 75,000 copies per edition.

In the Netherlands the Straatnieuws cover aims this Christmas mas to help their vendors to make new friends on their pitch. Santa helps out and puts his (Facebook) thumb up for this. Friendship is the editorial focus of this issue.

The cover of Café Jerusalem (Neumünster, Germany) features Alfred, a homeless man in Paris dressed up as Santa Claus.

Strassenfeger (Berlin, Germany) ran two Christmas covers this year titled 'Rituale' and 'Wunderbar'.

In Canada Megaphone reflects on the true meaning of Christmas, with pieces from vendors about what the holidays means to them.

The Christmas edition of Surprise (Switzerland) features many short stories including the donated story by Paulo Coelho.

In France, the street paper Macadam featured popular French retro comedy duo Shirley and Dino on their front cover, while the cover of Ocas belongs to Denise Fraga, a Brazilian actress who is starring in a play about a homeless woman who befriends a housewife. Macadam’s 50 vendors sell 8000 copies of the magazine per edition and Ocas enjoys a circulation of 7500, sold by its 30-strong vendor team. 

But in many parts of the world, children won't be waking up to a mountain of presents. The Big Issue Malawi closed out the year by highlighting the plight of Malawi’s underprivileged children in a series of articles.

 46% of Malawi’s population is under the age of 15 and 13% (roughly 2 million) have lost one or both parents and are forced to live in poverty. Like some people who our street papers support, many of them will spend Christmas on the streets. Published every two months, The Big Issue Malawi is sold by 30 vendors with a circulation of 1000 per edition.

10 December 2012

Big Issue Japan helps spread news of forgotten war in rural eastern India

Material from INSP’s special report from India is still being republished by street papers. The Big Issue Japan ran a piece donated by The Herald newspaper, who accompanied INSP on the trip, organised by Scottish charity SCIAF.

The story, ‘The forgotten war of rural eastern India’, follows the plight villagers living in the isolated Indian state of Jharkhand; also the home of the Maoist movement, banned as a terrorist organisation by the government. 

This largely unreported conflict hinders crucial rural development, and while many local villagers have some sympathy with the Maoists viewpoint, they despise their methods: "Some of the ideology is good but I could never accept the violence." 

The article is illustrated with powerful photography by Simon Murphy. Both the article and photos remain available for members to download via the News Service

Material der INSP-Spezialreportage aus Indien wird immer noch von Straßenzeitungen gedruckt. The Big Issue Japan brachte einen Artikel, der von der Zeitung The Herald gespendet worden war, die INSP auf der Reise begleitet hatte. Organisiert hatte die Reise die schottische Wohltätigkeitsorganisation SCIAF.

Der Artikel „Dervergessene Krieg im ländlichen Ost-Indien“ beschäftigt sich mit der Misere von Dorfbewohnern im isolierten indischen Bundesstaat Jharkhand. Der Staat ist gleichzeitig der Ausgangspunkt einer maoistischen Bewegung, die von der Regierung als Terrororganisation verboten wurde. 

Dieser großteils von der Weltöffentlichkeit unbemerkte Konflikt behindert die ländliche Entwicklung, die dort so wichtig wäre. Und während einige Dorfbewohner durchaus Sympathien für den Standpunkt der Maoisten hegen, verachten sie doch ihre Methoden: „Einiges an der Ideologie ist gut, aber die Gewalt könnte ich nie akzeptieren.“

Der Artikel ist mit beeindruckenden Bildern des Fotografen Simon Murphy illustriert.

Sowohl der Artikel als auch die Fotos stehen für unsere Mitglieder durch den News Service immer noch zum Download zur Verfügung.

7 December 2012

Alistair Darling closes INSP conversation series

Alistair Darling supported INSP by taking part in a conversation series on Scottish independence in Glasgow's Barony Hall last night.

The 'Better Together' leader and former UK Chancellor was in conversation with Herald and Sunday Herald writer Alan Taylor. Many aspects of the independence debate were covered, followed by questions from the floor.

In an interview with INSP prior to the live Q&A he said: "You can't have too much information. The Big Issue has been phenomenally successful for years now. I think the more access people have to information, through different sources, the better it is."

He praised the street paper model, which gives homeless people the tools to help themselves: "That is very important, because the whole idea was that somebody had a job. They sell a street paper and in return for that, they get the profits. The whole philosophy is that you are doing something for something. And I think that is an important part of what happens."

Darling emphasized the significance of the street paper concept developing and expanding -  inspired by INSP, based in Scotland, and The Big Issue. "It shows that there are lots of good ideas in the UK that spread around the world, and that is something that I would like to see built on."

On the issue of homelessness, he said: "What actually makes a difference to whether or not you tackle homelessness is to a large extent decided by the political complexion of the government that you elect, and whether or not it is prepared to take the action necessary in relation to providing not just physical homes, but also the support that many homeless people need to enable them to look after themselves."

Speaking of the effectiveness of charities and the success of the social enterprise model street papers adopt, he said: " I think social enterprise is very, very important and ought to be supported. But also, a lot of charities do an awful lot of work, particularly helping people who've got absolutely  nothing else and nowhere else to go. So you need both- it's not an either/or."

The event was organised in partnership with The Herald newspaper as part of their involvement with the Fraser of Allander Lecture Series. Full coverage of the events is available on the Herald website.

The first part of the conversation series featured Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, interviewed by INSP Ambassador and Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow.

Tickets sale proceeds from both events go towards INSP’s work alleviating poverty and supporting street papers in Scotland and around the world.

INSP’s Executive Director Lisa Maclean said: “With the 2014 referendum coming closer, information provision is of crucial importance. As a Scottish-based international charity, we are proud to have contributed to the debate through our two-part conversation series with Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling.”

“We’d like to thank our partners and sponsors, The Herald, the University of Strathclyde and Strathclyde Business School, Tinopolis, 999 Design and CCB, for their support in making these events possible. ”

All photos by Marc Turner