The Big Issue in the North wins Best Feature Story

Recognition at the International Street Paper Awards

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The Big Issue in the North story, ‘Storm about the Shelters’ by Ryan Gallagher, was awarded Best Feature Story at the 2013 International Street Paper Awards in Munich last week.

The awards are part of the International Network of Street Papers Annual conference and highlight outstanding editorial and social enterprise achievements by street papers.

Ryan is a freelance reporter who regularly writes for The Big Issue in the North. ‘Storm about the Shelters’ is his in-depth investigation into privately run homeless hostels which revealed shocking complaints and a failure by local authorities to act.

“This is genuine investigative reporting” said The Big Issue in the North editor, Kevin Gopal, “acting on a tip-off about poor conditions and exploitation in privately-run homeless hostels we commissioned journalist Ryan Gallagher, who doggedly pursued the story.

“He interviewed vulnerable hostel residents sensitively, and greedy hostel owners more robustly, and secured the support of housing officials and politicians who were concerned about our findings. Many drafts of the piece went back and forth between journalist, editor and legal expert to ensure the story was watertight.

“The resulting article highlighted the way some of the most vulnerable people in society suffer at the hands of rogue landlords who are able to evade inspection and regulation”.

Fay Selvan, CEO of The Big Life group, of which The Big Issue in the North is a part, said: “I’m thrilled that The Big Issue in the North has won Best Feature Story. At The Big Issue in the North our editorial team work hard to ensure that we create a brilliant magazine week after week which vendors buy from us and sell at a profit to earn an income.

“Winning this award is testimony to that hard work and we’re proud of our magazine and the quality of the reporting that it contains.”

Amidst a record number of entries from street papers across the world, The Big Issue in the North was also nominated for Best Cover and the Social Enterprise Award.

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