31 December 2010

A new home for Boca de Rua

Boca de Rua in Porto Alegre, Brazil, now has new office space to work in. Their umbrella organisation ALICE will work from the new base to run various projects, including the street paper and the children's street newspaper 'La Boquinha'. ALICE is also soon to launch a new website - watch this space!

Learn more about The Oregon Vagabond

One of INSP's newest members, The Orgegon Vagabond, has recently produced a video about their work in Euguene, Oregon. The street newspaper is locally produced and written by the homeless and homeless supporters, to give readers people an insight on street life. Watch the video here.

A funding boost for The Big Issue in Sydney

The Big Issue Australia recently received $1.25 million in funding from the New South Wales Government. In NSW, The Big Issue currently supports more than 100 people through their various programs, and over the 14 years since launching in Sydney has worked with almost 1000 homeless and marginalised people. The $1.25 million funding will support The Big Issue's three social enterprises: the street paper, the 'Big Issue Classroom' and the 'Women's Subscription Enterprise'. The NSW Government will also provide free office space for The Big Issue. Chairman of The Big Issue, Sonya Clancy said it was a great honour to be accepting the cheque of $1.25 million from the NSW State Government. "Since The Big Issue launched in Sydney in 1997 we have provided opportunities for up to 1,000 of the city's homeless and disadvantaged people and I am pleased to say that from today our ability to help more people earn an income and be actively connected back into the community will increase significantly."

Arkady's amazing stunts to raise money for vendors

On 23 February 2011, Arkady Tyurin, the editor and director of the street paper Put Domoi (Russia) jumped through a flaming hoop to raise money to pay for medical treatment for Anatoly Baranov, a disabled vendor. View the amazing video here. In 2007 Arkady did a similar stunt to raise money to buy a hearing aid for Put Domoi vendor Nina Stepanovna Maurina. Watch the video here.

Reality of World Aids Day for Malawian vendors

To mark World Aids Day on the 1st December, the Big Issue Malawi invited HIV/Aids councellors from an organisation called Malawi Aids Counselling and Resource Organisation (MACRO) to carry out voluntary testing and counselling at the Big Issue premises all day long. 27 people were tested out of which 4 were found to be positive. They were offered follow up appointments at MACRO head offices and are now being given regular support.

Collector's edition a record sell out in South Africa

The Big Issue South Africa's 2010 Collector's Edition enjoyed a landslide of sales for the 68-page bumper edition at the end of 2010. The special edition showcased 33 of South Africa's top writers, thought leaders, photographers, poets and cartoonists, all under the theme of "My Big Issue", with a foreword by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. "The overriding reason for bringing out Collector's Edition a record sell-out The Big Issue's first ever Collector's Edition was to give our 400-plus vendors an exceptional product to sell over the festive season, to enable them to earn their own Christmas bonus," explains Melany Bendix, editor. "The 2010 Collector's Edition exceeded all expectations, selling out within record time. We definitely achieved the objective of helping vendors boost their income, and we now plan to produce a Collector's Edition every year."

Faktum Calendar

Swedish street paper Faktum has published a 2011 calendar for vendors to sell over the Christmas period. The calendar features black-and-white photos of 12 homeless people, shown dreaming of the jobs they would like to have. The series of photographs, entitled ‘När jag blir stor' (‘When I grow up') was the work of well known Gothenburg photographer Patrik Andersson. Read more.

Street Roots celebrates 12th birthday

At the start of December, Oregon street paper Street Roots celebrated its 12th birthday. Since it's launch, it has published 244 editions and has not been closed for a single day (Street Roots is open 7 days a week for homeless people). In the New Year, they will launch a brand new website, which will act as a hub for an online community and be interactive in a way that people will feel more connected to the streets of Portland. Read more.

Straatnieuws video

An information video about Utrecht street paper Straatnieuws recently featured on the respected Dutch radio broadcaster ‘Radio Nederland Wereldomroep'. The video is in Dutch and is available either with English or Spanish subtitles.

Regional Development in Latin America

The first meeting of Brazilian street papers took place on 6th and 7th November 2010 at OCAS headquarters in Sao Paulo. Delegates from the 3 Brazilian street papers attended to discuss plans for regional development and how street papers in the region can work more effectively together. The meeting was an important opportunity to exchange ideas and information.

‘Art made in Buenos Aires'

In November, Hecho en Buenos Aires held an art exhibition featuring painting, sculpture, writing, music and experimental art from local artists. The exhibition ‘Arte Hecho en Bs As' (‘Art made in Bs As') was a play on words of the name of the Argentinean street paper and aimed to raise awareness of poverty and social exclusion.

I think of home...

Apropos (Satzburg, Austria) recently published a book and an audio book for vendors to sell over the Christmas period. The book, 'I think of home...' was compiled from texts by 15 vendors, with the help of Salzburg writer Walter Müller. The book will sell for 12 € and the audiobook for 8€, with half of the cost going to the vendors.

Spare Change News branches out

Through a collaboration with the Worcester Homeless Action Committee, Spare Change News recently branched out in the state of Massachusetts, with an edition distributed in the city of Worcester. The edition features regular content of Spare Change News plus four pages of stories and photos specific to the Worcester area. The initial plan is for the Worcester Edition to be printed bi-monthly, with the possibility of going monthly by the beginning of 2011.

The Big Issue Malawi's Omega is the latest 'Red Petal'

The Big Issue Malawi's Omega Chanje-Mulwafu is the latest 'Red Petal' to be interviewed for Eleonora Terrile and Sylvie Garrone's project aimed at highlighting the role of women in promoting human rights. Read the interview here. Omega is the sixth 'street paper' woman to be interviewed for the Petali Rossi website, joining Samba Yonga (The Big issue Zambia), Lisa Maclean (INSP Executive Director) and Maree Aldam (INSP Network Services Manager), and Sabina Eleonori and Elena Parasiliti (Terre di Mezzo, Italy).

HEMPELS' Jo Tein is honoured by German Government

Jo Tein, the founder of HEMPELS street paper in Keil, Germany, is to be awarded the 'Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany', the highest tribute that can be paid to individuals for services to the nation.

The award is to recognise achevements including the founding and developing of HEMPELS, the organization of the 1st German street soccer championships, the co-founding of "Anstoss - German association for social integration through sports" as well as the co-founding of other social initiatives, and the successful installation of day shelters for street-people with alcohol problems in Kiel (this concept is new in Germany - accepting alcohol abuse, offering help only on request and employing poor and homeless people as experts in the field - and a lot of media coverage and nationwide debate is currently going on. The UK's Independent recently ran a feature which can be read here).

Jo will travel to Berlin on the 14th December to receive the order in an official ceremony.

The Big Issue Zambia website

The Big Issue Zambia has recently launched its website www.thebigissuezambia.org which includes information about the latest issue, all the latest news, and several vendor profiles, click here for a photo gallery of vendors on Flickr.

The Women's Subscription Enterprise

The Women's Subscription Enterprise is The Big Issue Australia's new social enterprise that provides employment, training and pathways opportunities for disadvantaged women.

Through the sale of subscriptions to The Big Issue magazine homeless and disadvantaged women are employed to work as Dispatch Assistants, sorting, collating and inserting magazines for distribution to subscribers every fortnight. As well as paid employment, the women will also receive ongoing training and pathways opportunities, and the chance to develop their skills in a safe, secure and rewarding environment. Read more.

The Big Issue Malawi as a Scottish Government case study

The Big Issue Malawi is currently featured as a case study on the Scottish Government website.The project is funded through the Scottish Government's International Development fund, which helps to support the street paper running costs, including vendor workshops and the printing of the magazine.

Thanks to Scottish Government support, around 500 people living in poverty have received training and employment opportunities, with 51 men and women vending regularly for the Big Issue Malawi. 255 family members (dependants of vendors) have also benefitted from access to a regular household income. Read more.

Tourists in their own city

Celebrating their win, four of the six
top sellers: (from left) Alice Pina Ncata,
Ntombikhaya Phandle, Lizo Qatase
and Prisca Munhenga
In celebration of World Tourism Month in September, Cape Town Tourism ran the My Cape Town Weekend campaign, which encouraged Capetonians to experience their own city from a tourist's perspective. Cape Town Tourism and its partners handed out thousands of vouchers for the city's top tourist attractions, and The Big Issue vendors also got a piece of the action with the 25 top-selling vendors of the magazine carrying details of the My Cape Town Weekend being awarded with vouchers for Table Mountain cable car, the Two Oceans Aquarium and Kirstenbosch Gardens. The top six sellers got doubly lucky; they were each awarded tickets for two people to the Two Oceans Aquarium and a Table Mountain cable car trip for two.

Journey Home's 16th Anniversary

Journey Home's Director Arkady Tyurin
In September Journey Home street paper celebrated its 16th anniversary. Journey Home vendors, staff and volunteers celebrated with a small party held in Journey Home's distribution office with cake, coffee and a shared cigar.

The Big Issue Kenya needs IT equipment

The Big Issue Kenya have asked the membership for support to purchase IT equipment. They require the following items, with a total cost of £2,600. If you can help, please contact Maree.
  • Apple Macintosh Computer (iMac)
  • Canon Digital Camera (10 Megapixels)
  • HP 4-in-1 Laser printer J3680 (With black & white printing, scanner, fax machine & photocopier)
  • HP Laser CP1518n Colour Printer
  • Office Laptop (HP CQ61 415E1, Duo core 2.2 Ghz)

Changes at Factor S

INSP's Uruguayan street paper has recently changed its name from 'Factor S' to 'La Callejera'. The paper has been running for 9 years and has published 91 issues. According to the project's Gonzalo Gutierrez, the new magazine will be on the streets of Montevideo in October, "with a new name but with the same spirit..."

10th anniversary for Buenos Aires street paper

Hecho en Buenos Aires recently celebrated their 10th anniversary with a special event. The anniversary celebrations included a press conference, discussion forum, photography exhibition and writing workshops. For more information, click here.

Happy birthday to The Big Issue

The Big Issue (London) celebrated 19 years in business this month. The magazine currently circulates over 146,000 copies every week, and since its inception in September 1991, has helped thousands of people to take control of their lives.

Strassenfeger's 15th anniversary

Strassenfeger are celebrating their 15th birthday on the 4th September in Berlin. INSP would like to pass on best wishes for the event and is proud to have such a rich and well established network of street papers in Germany.

English classes for Warsaw vendors

Seven vendors of the Warsaw based WSPAK street paper are currently taking English classes. They sell the paper at the city's main railway station, where they often come across foreigners who are familiar with street papers from their home countries. These meetings are usually short and sweet because of the language barrier. But now, in exchange for half a page advertisement, a leading language school has agreed to run a crash course in conversational English for the vendors. The vendors involved are enjoying the course and the confidence boost of conversing with their customers in English.

Streetvibes boycotts its own award

The Cincinnati Human Relations Commission announced it would present an award to Streetvibes on July 26 for giving job opportunities to people who have disabilities. But Streetvibes declined to attend the award presentation because it was on Fountain Square, where vendors are prohibited from distributing the newspaper. Read more.

Blankets donated to Malawian vendors

The Big Issue Malawi recently established partnership with Gift of the Givers Foundation which saw vendors receive blanket donations in a Winter Warmth Promotion. Malawi experiences winter from June to July hence this was very timely and appreciated. The event was covered by television media in Malawi as well mainstream radio stations.

Bébé signs for Manchester United

Manchester United have signed an ex street soccer player from Portugal. Bébé used to play for a team organised by INSP's street paper CAIS, who also manage Portugal's Homeless World Cup team. Read more.

Arsene Wenger is confirmed as the President of the Paris 2011 Homeless World Cup, which takes place August 2011 at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Read more.

22 November 2010

PRESS RELEASE: ‘Street' paper sales surge 10%

A GLOBAL network of papers and magazines aimed at lifting homeless people out of poverty is bucking the overall slump in worldwide print sales, with a collective 10 per cent rise in circulation over the past year.

Titles within the International Network of Street Papers (INSP), in some countries sold under the ‘Big Issue' brand, are all sold by homeless vendors. In September this year they had combined sales of 1.51 million, compared to 1.37m a year earlier.

Readership of the 115 titles within the group, spread across 40 countries, has now hit 5.27 million against 4.79m a year ago.

The best results were recorded in North America (+36 per cent) and Europe (+6.4 per cent).

19 November 2010

INSP's annual strategy meeting

All INSP staff and board members (pictured below) took part in a dynamic, annual strategy meeting in Glasgow, 15th - 18th November. The INSP board meets each month by telephone conference with the Executive Director Lisa Maclean and twice each year for a face-to-face meeting in Glasgow, or as part of the annual conference. The five board members from Canada, USA, South Africa, Austria and Russia joined the staff team to review the work and finances for 2009 - 2010; evaluate projects, partnerships and strategies; and set INSP's priorities for 2011.

The board were also introduced to a variety of INSP partners, including BBC Scotland, Herald & Times Group, Press Association and the Radisson Hotel. INSP Chairperson, Serge Lareault joined staff for an additional 2 days, along with Richard Turgeon, L'Itineraire's Marketing and Communications Director, to discuss the next phase of INSP's exciting Global Advertising Project. Thanks to Glasgow's Mint Hotel (formerly ‘City Inn') for sponsoring Serge and Richard's visit.

13 October 2010

PRESS RELEASE: 200,000 helped out of homelessness by global street paper network

Latest figures released to mark UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty (17th October):

  • Over 200,000 vendors earned a living through street paper sales since 1994
  • 71 per cent of papers helped vendors get out of homelessness
  • 84 per cent say selling the papers improved vendors' wellbeing
  • A quarter of papers are involved in creating policy change on housing and homelessness in their home city or region
  • 114 street papers and magazines now spread across 40 countries

"The street papers have been such a vital route to a more positive existence for so many of those 200,000 sellers, and we will continue to build on that progress." - Lisa Maclean, executive director, INSP

8 October 2010

German street paper 'ideas day'

Pictured: Michaela Gründler, Apropos,
Austria; Frank Dries, Straatnieuws, Netherlands
Following on from the successful German street paper conference in April this year (read more), German language street paper representatives once again gathered, this time for an 'Ideas Day', on the 8th October, as part of the 2010 European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion.

The event was organised by Beatrice Gerst (Trott-War), Director of the German-Speaking platform of street papers; Gaby Sohl - Member of the 'Die Tageszeitung' chief editorial team (Daily newspaper); and Dr Lutz Meyer - Managing Director of Scholz & Friends (PR company).

5 October 2010

Helen's marathon

INSP's Fundraising Officer Helen Harvey recently ran the Loch Ness Marathon with her father Alan, to raise money for INSP. Helen and Alan [pictured at the finish line with 'Nessie', the Loch Ness Monster] trained hard for 4 months in preparation for the challenge. Talking about completing the marathon, Helen said "With support from mum, mates and a vuvuzuela we made it to the finish line with a smile."

Recognised as one of the UK's leading marathons, the Loch Ness Marathon follows a spectacular route through stunning Highland scenery, along the south-eastern shores of Loch Ness, and then crosses the River Ness to finish beside the river at Bught Park, Inverness.

Helen and Alan have so far raised over £1,200 for INSP. You can still donate here.

INSP would like to say a huge congratulations to Helen and Alan for this amazing achievement. We are also truly grateful that they chose to raise money for INSP, and for the generous donations from people over the past few weeks.

27 August 2010

World’s most streetwise news agency launches to public

Pictured: INSP's Executive Director
Lisa Maclean with SNS Honorary Editor
Tom Thomson, Group Managing Editor,
The Herald & Times Group
[Click here for picture gallery]

The Street News Service (SNS) was launched to the public last night in Glasgow's beautiful Mitchell Library. INSP's alternative online news agency is an important news source for street papers as well as media outlets and readers around the world.

SNS brings together the best content from 110 INSP street papers on all continents. Its multilingual website features stories written by street paper journalists in 40 countries. The SNS also produces quality in-house material.

Channel 4's Jon Snow is the Patron of the Street News Service

INSP is delighted to announce that Jon Snow of Channel 4 News is to be the Street News Service Patron.

Jon Snow is the main presenter of Channel 4 News and has been its face since 1989. He has an interest in homelessness dating back to the 1970s when he worked for the New Horizon Youth Centre, a day centre for young drug addicts in central London. He is now Chair of that organisation.

8 July 2010

Volunteer graphic designer needed to work on international campaign

INSP is looking for a volunteer graphic designer to assist with an international campaign. This year, for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (17th October), INSP is running a global campaign to raise awareness of the work of street papers. The campaign will take the form of a visual design (full magazine page) and an accompanying written feature.

7 May 2010

Second Civic Reception at Glasgow City Chambers

INSP's Patron, the Lord Provost of Glasgow Bob Winter, hosted a second networking reception for INSP in Glasgow's City Chambers on Wednesday 5th May. Around 70 guests attended, including key members of Scotland's business, media, charity and government communities. Guests had the opportunity to meet likeminded individuals and learn more about the work of INSP. A keynote speech was be given by Charles Fletcher MBE (see videos below), Training Editor at the Herald & Times Group and Chief Executive of Caledonia Media. Charles Fletcher is a journalist and broadcaster with 20 years experience of local, national and international newspaper, television and radio production and management. He manages the Herald & Times Group's unique Editorial Training Scheme, which offers paid work placements incorporating real experience with bespoke training workshops.

4 May 2010

INSP's 2009 Annual Report is now available

INSP's 2009 Annual Report is now available to read online. For further information about INSP's accountability, or to read Annual Reports from previous years, click here.

28 April 2010

SNS Editor appointed

INSP recently appointed Danielle Batist as Street News Service Editor. Danielle holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Utrecht School of Journalism (The Netherlands) and a Master's degree in Journalism and Media within Globalisation (with Distinction) from Swansea University (UK).

Her passion for street papers was ignited whilst working in the editorial department of The Big Issue Namibia. She is already known to many INSP members, from 7-month internship with INSP in 2008/2009, when she worked as the co-ordinator of the Street News Service.

Danielle was appointed following a high number of applications and a scrutinous interview process with help from former Big Issue in Scotland Editor Clare Harris, and Tom Thomson, Group Managing Editor of the Herald and Times Group. Danielle will commence her employment in Melbourne during the conference, adding to the excitement of the launch of the new SNS web platform.

27 April 2010

Civic Reception at Glasgow City Chambers

INSP's Patron, the Lord Provost of Glasgow Bob Winter, will host a networking reception for INSP in Glasgow's City Chambers on Wednesday 5th May. So far, over 60 guest have been confirmed, including key members of Scotland's business, media, charity and government communities. Guests will have the opportunity to meet likeminded individuals and learn more about the work of INSP.

A keynote speech will be given by Charles Fletcher MBE, Training Editor at the Herald & Times Group and Chief Executive of Caledonia Media. Charles Fletcher is a journalist and broadcaster with 20 years experience of local, national and international newspaper, television and radio production and management. He manages the Herald & Times Group's unique Editorial Training Scheme, which offers paid work placements incorporating real experience with bespoke training workshops.

He was awarded the MBE in HM The Queen's Birthday Honours List for his contribution to extending democracy through the development of the media. He is a regular guest on radio programmes discussing media and politics; and is also an after-dinner speaker.

26 April 2010

German Street Paper Conference 2010

On the 10th and 11th of April 2010, representatives from German language street papers met up in Berlin for a 2 day conference - ‘With a little help from our friends'. More than 50 delegates from Germany, Austria and Switzerland attended the conference which was hosted by Berlin newspaper, Tageszeitung. During the conference, delegates participated in workshops and discussions on research, reporting, sales and marketing. The conference was also attended by street paper vendors, who participated in peer workshops.

The conference was supported by the Federal Ministry for Work and Social Affairs (BMAS), in order to raise awareness of poverty and social exclusion as part of the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. The event was co-ordinated by INSP street paper Trott-war from Stuttgart. Beatrice Gerst (pictured) of Trott-war also co-ordinates INSP's German-speaking platform.

The conference was attended by representatives from Die Zeit (national weekly newspaper), Berliner Zeitung (Berlin daily newspaper), the Evangelist News Service and the Scholz and Friends agency (a leading marketing and communication agency in Berlin). Several street papers are now exploring partnerships with some of these mainstream media organisations.

Click here to read more.

Click here to view a picture gallery.

2 March 2010

Two new full-time positions available at INSP

Please click here for job descriptions and application details for two new full-time roles at INSP:
  • Street News Service Editor
  • Business Development and Marketing Manager

19 February 2010

Scottish Minister for External Affairs visits The Big Issue Malawi

Pictured: Fiona Hyslop buying magazine
from vendor Kaliza Chunga.
Photo courtesy of The Big Issue Malawi
The Scottish Government's External Affairs Minister Fiona Hyslop recently met staff and homeless vendors from The Big Issue Malawi in Blantyre.

As well as being interviewed for the publication, the Minister also gained an understanding of the challenges the street-vendors face and heard the impact Scottish Government support is having on their lives.

28 January 2010

Development work in Africa

'Strengthening Civil Society & Developing Independent Media in Africa' - This project, in partnership with the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF), is now underway. This project will strengthen the capacity of the six existing street papers in Africa to forge a stronger independent media presence in Africa and to increase the content from Africa distributed regionally and internationally. African Regional Co-ordinator, Samba Yonga (Big Issue Zambia) has kick started communication between the 6 African street papers and is having a logo designed for the network. Interviews are currently taking place for the African Regional Training and Development Manger who will start in March or April this year.

19 January 2010

Mayor of Bergen is INSP's newest Patron

Mayor Gunnar-Bakke.
Photo: Hans Jrgen Brun
INSP has been honoured by the public support of Mayor Gunnar Bakke (pictured) of Bergen, Norway as he becomes the latest Patron. He joins the Lord Provost of Glasgow (Patron) and Reuters' Editor-in-Chief, David Schlesinger (Honorary President) as the INSP's esteemed figureheads.

The appointment of Mayor Bakke sees the development of INSP's Patron scheme, involving Mayors and civic leaders worldwide who are committed to INSP's mission to support street papers and homeless people. Read more.