One of the key services the International Network of Street Papers delivers to its members is curated and bespoke editorial support to ensure the betterment and sustainability of street papers as a journalistic product.
The INSP News Service is the umbrella term for INSP’s editorial support mechanisms. Its main outlet is a global news wire serving member street papers worldwide. The news wire provides a platform to collect editorial content created by individual street papers – and sourced from editorial partners – and share them with the entire network. INSP itself also works to create original content to provide increased editorial support to member street papers worldwide.
By providing investigative journalism, commentary and storytelling, INSP and street papers are working to inform the public on a range of important social justice issues affecting society's most vulnerable groups and impacting the world we live in. INSP also works to highlight and publish the voices of marginalised communities around the world, helping to change public opinion, create a fairer more diverse media ecosystem, and form a better understanding of the topics that are close to the hearts of the people street papers exist to serve.
Currently, INSP employs an editor to oversee its editorial operations, curating and running the news wire, and liaising with street paper editorial staff and fellow INSP colleagues to manage content from various sources, including volunteers and freelancers. INSP has formed multiple lasting and valuable editorial partnerships with external agencies, such as Reuters, Inter Press Service, The Conversation, Next City, Homeless World Cup, Amplifier, Nia Tero, the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Community Change, and more. INSP’s ongoing Housing for the People project seeks to create a pathway into published writing for writers from marginalised backgrounds, providing mentorship, a platform for their voice, and renumeration for their work.
In 2022, at least 520 stories were made available to street papers via the News Service.
77% of INSP’s street papers used nearly 2.5 million words from the News Service.
Our volunteer translators – of which 131 were utilised in 2022 – translated 184 articles in 19 languages for street papers.
INSP supports 239 staff, freelance and volunteer journalists in our network via the News Service to reach 3.2 million readers worldwide.
Support the News Service
The INSP News Service works with and supports journalists and independent media outlets across the world to advance freedom of expression, and support investigative journalism, commentary, and storytelling, that informs the public on a range of important social justice issues affecting the communities and world we live in.
We believe journalism can change lives, perceptions, and society - underpinning democracy for a more equitable world.
The News Service needs your support to continue and expand its work. Join our growing community of donors by making a one-off or regular donation and help us continue to make the change we all want to see in the world. We also welcome enquiries from organisations who are interested in partnering with us.
Read stories from our News Service here.
For INSP members
The INSP News Service in action
Micaela Ortelli, editor, Hecho en Bs. As.
The INSP News Service provides us with material we wouldn’t be able to produce ourselves, thus allowing Hecho en Bs. As. to still have an international imprint. Republishing the network’s articles not only makes us a more powerful voice in our city, it proves we are part of something bigger. We are so thankful for having access to this content and being part of this unique community.
Sayuri Kusama, editor, The Big Issue Japan
Thanks to the INSP News Service, we are able to republish articles from other street papers in every issue. This makes our magazine unique, rich and reliable, and able to convey vulnerable people’s voice and profound perspectives on common social issues from around the world. I think INSP has established not only a valuable network for street papers, but also an important global journalism network.
Steven MacKenzie, deputy editor, The Big Issue UK
The International Network of Street Paper’s News Service is a great way for different titles from all over the world to collaborate and share. Each street paper has its own editorial concerns and specialities and having a forum to connect to them all is really useful. Having editorial contacts and resources in different parts of the world means we can take advantage of frontline reporting being carried out by members. In the last few months this has been especially useful when reporting on the Ukraine conflict. Street papers based in neighbouring countries have been directly impacted by the movement of refugees, and being able to get that insight provides a unique and personal way to cover big stories, making our coverage stand out.
K. Rambo, editor-in-chief, Street Roots
As some of the few true community newspapers left, street papers provide a crucial connection between readers and the areas in which they live by holding powerful people accountable and telling stories often excluded from traditional coverage. Street papers also empower people marginalized by systemic inequity by providing employment, education and services. At a time when newspapers and the communities they serve are under constant threat from unaccountable power structures, street papers hold the line.
Katharina Hiller, a reader of Swiss street paper Surprise
I buy Surprise because I simply like the magazine, the quality of the journalistic work, and the choice of topics. Social problems don’t get solved by staying silent about them. They have to be given voice. As a pastor, I know about the concerns, needs, and fears of the socially disadvantaged. Of course, I also buy Surprise to support sellers. This is how they earn a living.
Paula Carlson, managing editor, Megaphone
The INSP News Service is an invaluable resource for us at Megaphone. The depth and breadth of stories and images posted on the INSP "hub" for members' use is simply outstanding.
As managing editor, my background is rooted in 23 years spent working in traditional print journalism, where sharing local and regional stories with sister newspapers — as well as having access to national and global stories via a news wire service — was integral to covering the issues.
The INSP News Service acts in this way. It provides important on-the-ground reportage from around the world, acting as a "news bureau" of sorts for its member newspapers. And it amplifies the voices and views of marginalized populations impacted by the challenges of our times: climate change, war, economic disruption, police violence, overdose crises, housing and more.
International content from the INSP News Service pairs so nicely with any local reporting we have, providing a larger perspective on the topics that matter to our readers and vendors. For example, when protests broke out in Vancouver and our sister city Victoria in the wake of George Floyd's murder by US police in 2020, we were able to enhance our coverage with the incredible work from folks on the ground [at other street papers].
From breaking news, to in-depth investigative journalism, to photo essays, to entertainment and celebrity interviews, to first-person accounts from people living in poverty around the globe — INSP has it all.
On the flip side, it is extremely gratifying for our vendor-writers with lived experience of poverty and other stigmatizing barriers, as well as the freelance journalists we hire, to see their work published in national and international papers. Just the other day, an excited Megaphone vendor approached me to let me know how thrilled he was to see his writing appear in an INSP member newspaper.