30 April 2015

Street paper covers from around the world April - May 2015

From funky art nouvea designs to stunning portraits and eye-catching illustrations, street papers across the world have been wowing readers with their recent covers.

Here's a few of our favourites.


29 April 2015

Street Sense presents Cinema from the Street

A series of powerful documentaries filmed by Street Sense vendors in Washington D.C. will get their first screening tonight.

The biweekly street paper is sold across the city by homeless and formerly vendors, many of whom also write for the publication. Recently, they were given an opportunity to express their creativity in a different medium - film.

As part of the Cinema From the Street co-op project, ran by professional filmmaker Bryan Bello and Street Sense's Media Centre, a group of eight vendors were taught basic filmmaking techniques to help them write, direct and shoot short documentaries exploring homelessness in the U.S. capital.

Cinema From the Street - Official Trailer from Bryan Bello on Vimeo.

Tonight's screening will include three films made by Street Sense Filmmakers’ Co-op members  Robert Warren, Reginald Black, Levester Green and Morgan Jones. Each will give a unique insight into the struggles faced by the homeless, such as finding employment, reconnecting with family and trying to survive on the streets during a harsh winter.

Street Sense runs regular workshops to help empower vendors by teaching them how to tell their stories in creative ways - through writing, theatre, illustration and film - and practical skills to aid them with job applications, fiance management and accessing housing and health care. You can find out more about Street Sense and Cinema from the Street here.

Cinema From the Street debuts April 29, 6.30 - 8.30 at E Street Cinema in downtown Washington D.C. The event includes a Q&A with the filmmakers and cinematographers.

28 April 2015

Alex Ferguson tells street papers "I never pass a vendor on the street"

Alex Ferguson in Macedonian street paper Lice v lice.
The Big Issue's exclusive interview with Alex Ferguson has been a hit with street papers in Europe, Asia and the USA.

For more than a quarter of a century, Ferguson’s combustible presence and unique success made him the iconic face of English football.

The legendary manager opened up to The Big Issue's David McDonnell about his life post-Manchester United, revealing he is relishing retirement and the challenges beyond football management.

It turns out he’s also a big street paper fan: “I never pass a Big Issue vendor on the street, because these people aren’t begging - they’re trying to get back on their feet,” he revealed.

Alex Ferguson interview republished in Shedia, Greece.
"Sometimes, if they've only got one or two copies left, I just give them a tenner and say hello to them because they'll want to sell their last copies and get some more cash but I do like to read the articles.

"What is it they say ... 'A hand up, not a hand out?' Excellent!"

After being featured on INSP's News Service, the article was republished by Greek street paper Shedia, Ireland's Big Issue, Macedonian street paper Lice v lice, The Contributor, based in Nashville, USA, The Big Issue Japan, Hus Forbi in Denmark and German papers Die Strasse and Strassenfeger.

The article is still available for INSP street paper members to download and publish from the News Service here.

Alex Ferguson article republished by The Contributor in Nashville.

Ireland's Big Issue runs with The Big Issue's Alex Ferguson interview.

22 April 2015

The D.C. photo blog putting a face on homelessness

American street paper Street Sense recently reported on an engaging and empowering photo blog putting a name and face to the people experiencing homelessness in Washington D.C..

Street Sense vendor Robert.
"It saddens my heart too to see people passed by in the street. People won't even acknowledge a homeless individual or a homeless veteran - or even a veteran seeking assistance. Homeless people, and homeless veterans, are people too. They don't need a hand out, but a hand up."

Street Sense vendor and contributor Robert is now a recognisable face on the streets of Washington D.C. where he sells the street paper, but it wasn't always that way for the formerly homeless veteran.

He knows what it's like to be in need and to feel ignored and invisible, which is why he was happy to be featured on Person First Project, an engaging photo blog  that aims to break down barriers between people experiencing homelessness and those who pass by them every day.

Shiza Farid, Robyn Russell and Julie Schwartz created the Person First Project in December 2014 as a way of reminding people there is a person behind every unique experience of homelessness and poverty.

Chon: "If it weren’t for Street Sense, I'd probably be selling drugs."
The trio partnered up with the National Coalition for the Homeless to connect with people willing to share their own experiences of homelessness. The project highlights these stories via Facebook and Instagram, including a chat with Street Sense vendor Chon, who explains how selling a street paper is helping him build a better future.

"When you stop and talk to people who are experiencing homelessness, you hear that they're really just like everybody else. They are moms. They are dads. They are daughters. They are sons," said co-founder Robyn Russell. "If we could share this with other people, I think it could be really powerful because there are a lot of misconceptions around homelessness."

Russell says the positive comments left on each of their Facebook posts is testament to the power of storytelling as an advocacy tool, and that first-person stories can help change perceptions and open people eyes in a way that a fact sheet full of stats, facts and figures cannot.

Regarding the public who pass by people experiencing homelessness every day, she added: “It’s not that people don't care. I think they do care and I think they don't know what to do. That's how we felt.

"We hope our project can open their eyes and help them feel like maybe they can stop and talk to somebody."

This post is based on an article by Jennifer Ortiz originally published in Street Sense. It has been made available to other INSP members via our News Service here.

16 April 2015

Real Change launches cashless payment app with Google

By Laura Kelly

Seattle street paper Real Change has partnered with tech giant Google to launch an app that allows customers to pay for their paper digitally and have it delivered straight to their phones.

Vendors have had increasingly difficulties selling the paper, since fewer and fewer people carry cash with them, said Timothy Harris, founding director of Real Change.

“Cashlessness is a challenge our vendors face on a daily basis,” he added. “This app will help our paper survive in the digital age, when fewer people have ready access to cash and more people prefer to read news content on their mobile devices.”

From today, each of Real Change’s homeless and low-income vendors will each get a unique QR code on their vests to allow them to sell digital versions of the award-winning street paper, as well as the usual paper copies.

After downloading the free app to their iOS or Android phone, Seattleites will be able to scan their local vendor’s unique code to buy their digital paper for $2.99 (including a fee from digital content providers)

Vendors will make $1.49 every time someone buys a digital copy of Real Change, whilst they will still get $1.40 from every paper copy they sell. The paper copy will still cost $2.

“We designed this with our vendors and customers in mind,” said Harris. “This app will build on the strong relationships our vendors have with many of their customers, while helping customers benefit from an increasingly seamless buying experience. The paper is just a scan away.”

The project was started two years ago by a Google employee who volunteered at Real Change as part of Google’s annual week of service. 

Since then, eight Googlers have volunteered their time to develop the cross-platform app, the first of its kind for the paper.

The app in action.
“Being on the volunteer app development team has been a gratifying experience,” said Jill Woelfer, a Google User Experience Researcher who has been volunteering with Real Change since early 2014. 

“The whole team has worked very hard to create a technical solution to provide opportunities for those who are in need.”

“Street newspapers around the world are looking for a solution to how they can better adapt to the changing media landscape, while still staying true to the signature street paper model,” added Darcy Nothnagle, Public Affairs Manager for Google. 

“We hope that this app will be a model many street papers can use, globally.”

Real Change’s app is just one of the pioneering digital adaptations coming from INSP’s members. 

Others include Chicago-based StreetWise’s partnership with PayPal and The Big Issue South Africa’s SmartBibs, both of which also allow customers to pay online using their phones.

In Europe, Amsterdam’s Z! magazine and Scandinavian papers =Norge, Situation Sthlm and Faktum are working on pilot projects to provide vendors with card readers, so that customers can pay with debit or credit cards. 

In addition, some papers, including Situation Sthlm and Norway’s =Norge, use payments through text messages. 

“Many of INSP's 114 street papers, in 35 countries, are facing issues based on the continuing march of our cashless society,” said INSP chief executive Maree Aldam. 

“Innovative solutions such as Real Change’s app show how dynamic street paper organisations can continue to provide employment to some of the most vulnerable people in society, despite the new challenges they face.”