THE BIG ISSUE
Inspired by New York homeless people’s Street News, The Big Issue was founded in 1991 (John Bird and Gordon Roddick) in reaction against UK's growing numbers of homeless people, and is now the world’s most widely circulated street newspaper. The Body Shop offered $50,000 as start-up capital; initially published monthly, the magazine went weekly in June 1993 ; it has regional editions now (Northern England, England's South West Region, Scotland, Wales, and overseas : Australia, Japan, Namibia etc.).
Since 1995, The Big Issue (from the phrase “Now, what’s the big issue ?”, in French “c’est quoi le problème?”) has also been known as a foundation offering support to vendors (housing, health, personal finance and addiction).
In 2001, the magazine sold nearly 300,000 copies, then declined from 167,000 to less than 125,000. between 2007 and 2011. Vendors have to prove they are homeless and jobless, and have to buy each copy (£1.25 ; it is then sold £ 2.50).
There has been controversy over the new format (January 2012; the magazine focused more on political journalism), the new price, the strong proportion of Romani vendors (40 %), its part in enabling migrants to access the benefit-system in this way. Prime Minister David Cameron spoke in defence of the Foundation. New columnists were added, including the Premier League footballer Joey Barton, Rachel Johnson and Samira Ahmed.
See : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Issue
and : http://www.bigissuenorth.com/
especially the music pages : http://www.bigissuenorth.com/2015/10/music-qa-editors/14827
Tags: homeless, Joey Barton, David Cameron
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