28 January 2013

"Radioman" made cover of fiftyfifty in Germany

A remarkable story of a homeless man with a Hollywood ending made street paper covers in Germany. The story ‘Radioman: Ex-homeless drifter who's now part of Hollywood's A-list’ was originally produced by The Big Issue UK. German street paper fiftyfifty decided to feature Radioman on its latest cover.

In America the story also got picked up by Denver Voice, Denver Dialogue, Street Zine, Article 25 and Toledo Streets. The Big Issue South Africa featured it too, as did Gazeta Ulicna in Poland, Ireland’s Big Issue, and Hinz&Kunzt in Hamburg, Germany.

In 1990, Radioman was shuffling his way around the World Trade Center when he saw another homeless guy swigging from a bottle in a brown paper bag. “I went over to him and I had my boombox with me and I was blasting it, when from somewhere this guy said, ‘Can you shut that off please, we’re rolling here!’” The homeless guy turned out to be Bruce Willis.


Die außergewöhnliche Geschichte eines obdachlosen Mannes, deren Ende aus einem Hollywood-Film stammen könnte, schaffte es in Deutschland auf die Titelblätter mehrerer Straßenzeitungen. Der Artikel mit dem Titel „Radioman: Vom Landstreicher in die A-Liste Hollywoods“ war im Original vom „Big Issue UK“ produziert worden. Die deutsche Straßenzeitung „fiftyfifty“ entschloss sich dazu, Radioman auf ihrem neuesten Titelbild zu bringen.

In Amerika wurde die Story von der „Denver Voice“, „Denver Dialogue“, „Street Zine“, „Article 25“ und „Toledo Streets“ aufgenommen. „The Big Issue South Africa“ brachte sie ebenfalls, wie auch „Gazeta Ulicna“ aus Polen, „Ireland’s Big Issue“ und „Hinz&Kunzt“ aus Hamburg.

1990 hing Radioman in der Nähe des World Trade Centers herum, als er einen anderen Obdachlosen sah, der gierig aus einer Flasche in einer braunen Papiertüte trank. „Ich ging zu ihm rüber. Ich hatte meinen Ghettoblaster dabei und drehte ihn laut auf, als plötzlich ein Typ von irgendwoher sagte ,Kannst du das bitte abstellen, wir drehen hier!’“ Der andere Obdachlose war Bruce Willis.

25 January 2013

Portuguese street paper wins European Union prize

The CAIS Association, the organisation behind Portuguese street paper CAIS, won the second place in the Civil Society Prize 2012 for their work to help the unemployed, homeless and people in extreme poverty in Portugal at financially challenging times.

Mr Pinto (above) says: "The best solidarity is the creation of real sustainable solutions that include training and work."
Under the 2012’s theme “Innovate for a sustainable Europe”, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) called for original initiatives that specially promote sustainable lifestyles or generate green jobs in Europe. CAIS has been awarded for five projects that provided self-sustainable solutions to socially marginalised people by offering them training and work that is environmentally friendly.

Have a peek at CAIS's award-winning initiatives:  
CAIS is a monthly street magazine sold by homeless or jobless people on the street, creating an immediate and legitimate income to the vendors through face-to-face transaction.  
Recycling workshop in Porto turns industrial residue or waste into useful products. Homeless people or long-unemployed people gain an income from the sales of recycled products.
Dry car washing has lifted 27 people from homelessness or extreme poverty by training them to carry out an environmentally friendly car washing service with soft cloth, wax products and a vacuum cleaner and no even a splash of water.

Traditional shoe polishing/waxing aims to bring back the dignity to the traditional profession by refreshing its image and give old and new shoe polishers a way to speak with one voice.
The CAIS Buy@Work scheme targets large company offices such as Merck in Lisbon. Office workers can get small endless daily tasks - like dropping off a jacket at the dry cleaner's- done by simply calling up a member employed by the scheme stationed within the company. CAIS is encouraging other companies join the scheme to increase the demand for service and get more employees on the scheme.
CAIS Executive Director Henrique Pinto commented: “We are very proud and excited about this award. European recognition of what we manage to achieve, quite often with very meagre resources, is undoubtedly a very important boost to our way of thinking and operating.”

The award money will be used to set up new programmes and support the existing ones.

Vendor Week 2013

At any one time - across 40 countries - there are more than 14,000 vendors, selling 120 different street papers. They are inspiring people. International Street Paper Vendor Week (4th - 10th February 2013) is a programme of events and activities celebrating street paper vendors, championing their entrepreneurial spirit and challenging perceptions of poverty and homelessness. This is what's happening where you are:

View Vendor Week participants in a larger map

21 January 2013

Islam tackling youth culture in Britain - republished on three continents

A story on how Islam is tackling youth culture in Britain was republished on three continents.

Originally published by The Big Issue in the UK, the story was taken up in French by L’Itineraire, Canada, in German by Surprise, Switzerland and in Japanese by Big Issue Japan.

The article highlighted how the growing culture of rebelliousness following the UK riots in 2011 needs “an alternative way of dealing with it.”

Street papers can still access the full article for republication here.

Ein Artikel über den Einfluss des Islam auf die Jugendkultur in Großbritannien ist auf drei Kontinenten erschienen. 

Im Original erschien die Story im Obdachlosenmagazin „The Big Issue in the UK“. Danach wurde sie auf Französisch in „L’Itineraire“ aus Kanada, auf Deutsch von „Surprise“ aus der Schweiz und auf Japanisch im „Big Issue Japan“ gedruckt.
Der Artikel unterstreicht, wie die wachsende Kultur der Rebellion, die auf die Randale im Jahr 2011 folgte, „nach einem alternativen Weg verlangt, um damit umzugehen“. 

Straßenzeitungen können den kompletten Artikel hier herunterladen:

18 January 2013

Vendor’s escape from homelessness appears in Japanese daily

“40years old, sell paper and crawl the way up”
A former vendor of The Big Issue Japan was featured in Japanese major daily newspaper Asahi Shinbun on 18 January. The headline read “A challenge from the street” and sub-headline “Lost home and job simultaneously – but one’s spirit for life”.

At the time of the interview, Hisao, as he is known, saved proceeds he earned through selling the title and managed to move into a flat. Later on, he “graduated” from the paper when he found a job where he currently works.

The Big Issue Japan said that Hisao was amongst the top vendors despite the injury that lost him his fingers.

“He is missing three fingers in his left hand becuase of the accident at a metal pressing factory he used to work and he said pain comes back in the cold,” one staff member said.

“I vividly remember that during the winter, he was covering the wounds with bandages to ease the pain and kept standing outside to sell the paper. Except for heavy rainy days, he worked everyday from half past 7 until half past 6 with 10 minute break every two hours.

“It seemed as though he was finding a hope of the day in meeting with his customers.”

Taken from The Big Issue Japan Facebook

17 January 2013

Ad campaign offers homeless sleeping spots as hotel rooms

Have you seen that new hotel advert? Not yet? Then we’ve posted it here for you.

This is a new campaign launched by Swedish street paper Faktum in collaboration with ad agency Forsman & Bodenfors. Thanks to them, you can now “book” ten sites where homeless people might sleep in Gothenburg, Sweden for $10 a night just like any other hotel room. The booking fees will go towards the work of the paper that helps homeless and marginalised people.

Looking at these dilapidated, wet and cold spots as hotel rooms, you realise this is nonsense: why would you want to stay in a “room” – it’s merely an old, smudged and bare mattress- right under the football stadium benches? No one does, you might say and so do the rest of us.

Book it for yourself or as a gift. It’s up to you. Support the campaign and help people get out of these places. You can make booking via their website in Swedish or English.

15 January 2013

Big Issue Japan's football coach awarded for empowering young people

Big Issue Japan’s football team volunteer coach Yoshiki Hiruma (29) has been awarded the Youth Empowerment Award by the Development Association for Youthleaders (DAY) in Japan.

The award is presented to 20-30 year olds who raised ambition and inspiration among young generations and those who contributed in discovering such young leading figures. Mr Hiruma is one of the seven winners of this year’s award.

Whilst working at the Development Bank of Japan, the 29 year-old is involved in various movements in social issues such as emergency and risk management, homelessness and education as well as coaching Nobushi, a football team comprised of vendors of The Big Issue Japan and a Japan's national team for the Homeless World Cup.

Mr Hiruma is specialised in finance and urban disaster mitigation engineering.

The ceremony will be held in Tokyo, Japan on 24 January 2013. The Big Issue Japan said that players of the Nobushi team will join the ceremony.

Nobushi first particpated in the Homeless World Cup in 2004

14 January 2013

INSP condemns violence against homeless people following UK vendor murders

The International Network of Street Papers (INSP) has warned that violence against homeless people is a global problem which too often results in death.

The charity issued the statement in response to the murders of two Big Issue vendors in the city centre of Birmingham [England] on Friday. Wayne Lee Busst (32) and Ian Watson-Gladwish (31) were selling The Big Issue in a busy shopping street when, just before 6pm, they were both stabbed to death.

INSP strongly condemns these tragic, senseless murders and, on behalf of street paper colleagues worldwide, sends out its condolences to the families and friends of the victims. The Big Issue is one of 122 street papers in 40 countries that make up the INSP network.

The Big Issue's founder John Bird expressed his grief in a statement on the street paper's website: "This awful crime, perpetrated against two hard working, mild mannered men, only serves to illustrate the extreme vulnerability of people who live and work on the streets."

Unfortunately, these tragic murders are not isolated cases. With 14,000 vendors on the streets of 600 cities at any one time, INSP street papers report violent incidents on a regular basis. Serious assaults -sometimes resulting in death- are a real risk for too many vendors.

In the US, the National Coalition for the Homeless has been campaigning on the issue of violence against homeless citizens for years. In 2009 and 2010, over a dozen INSP street papers in the US ran reports on hate crimes against homeless people. They found that between 1999 and 2010 over 1,000 'bias-motivated' attacks were committed against the homeless in the US; 291 of these attacks were homicides.

In Brazil, INSP street paper Aurora de Rua reported that 62 homeless people were murdered in various states in just one year. According to the paper, little progress has been made in the police investigations for most of these cases.

INSP's Executive Director Lisa Maclean said: "We condemn every form of violence against homeless people in the strongest possible way. These recent murders, and all the ones before, remind us again just how dangerous life on the streets can be."

"Street papers are a stepping stone to a life away from homelessness. Our vendors have chosen to help themselves through dignified employment. They deserve to work without abuse, the risk of assault or even death, like everyone else."

During the upcoming International Street Paper Vendor Week (4-10 February), INSP will celebrate the achievements of its vendors and remember Wayne and Ian and all street paper vendors who have lost their lives on the job.

Mariane Pearl interview travels from USA to Japan

StreetWise (Chicago, IL, USA)
An exclusive interview with journalist Mariane Pearl was republished by street papers from the US to Japan.

Having faced one of the most unimaginable challenges in her life, Mariane Pearl has come to symbolise hope and courage for humankind across the world. Her life was thrust into the limelight from behind the keys of her computer when her husband, Daniel Pearl and father-to-be of their unborn child was kidnapped and killed by a Pakistan militant Islamic fundamentalist group in 2002.

Street Roots in Portland made the interview its first cover story of the new year. Street papers StreetWise in Chicago, Real Change in Seattle and Toledo Streets in Ohio also published the interview in their latest editions. The Big Issue Japan will feature it in its next magazine.

Street Roots (Portland, OR, USA)
Straßenzeitungen aus Amerika und Japan druckten ein Exklusiv-Interview mit der Journalistin Mariane Pearl. 

Mariane Pearl symbolisiert für Menschen auf der ganzen Welt Hoffnung und Mut, nachdem sie fast unvorstellbaren Herausforderungen gegenüberstand. Sie wurde ins Licht der Öffentlichkeit geworfen als Daniel Pearl, ihr Ehemann und Vater ihres ungeborenen Kindes, 2002 von einer militanten Gruppe islamischer Fundamentalisten aus Pakistan entführt und ermordet wurde.

„Street Roots“ aus Portland machte das Interview zur ersten Titelgeschichte des neuen Jahres. Auch die Straßenmagazine „Real Change“ aus Seattle, Toledo Streets aus Ohio und „The Big Issue Japan“ brachten das Interview in ihren neuesten Ausgaben.

7 January 2013

How to exercise true ‘street‘ journalism

“For all of the 14 years we’ve been covering the streets, we’ve never broadcast for a solid 24 hours.”
Street Roots cover featuringt the 24 hour project

So they did. In a 24 hour live coverage of homelessness in their town, reporters at Street Roots in Portland, the US, tweeted what they saw, heard and felt while they were out on the streets on one winter day without any waterproof or coldproof so to be in the same condition as those experiencing homelessness.

Their report on the 24 hour project was published in Street Roots 21 December 2012 edition. Comments are still welcome at #SR24, where you can read the complete feed on Twitter.

What the eight reporters did was simple. Yet its impact was compelling: through a total of over 1,700 tweets, Street Roots invited followers to virtually go under the skin of homelessness.

Each account of street life in less than 140 characters provides you with an insight to variety of situations where 'any normalcy is stripped away' and often open your eyes to obivous needs of people in the streets, like in this  tweet: “Sometimes, and right now, I wish we had a dryer @streetroots. So many people simply wet all the time. So many frail canvas shoes.”

Street Roots’s project can be recommended to other papers around the world. What issues does your street life have in common with or different from Portland? What does an ordinary day of your vendor look like? What is the news in the 24 hour project that you would not otherwise have found? Keep us updated with your street investigation!