Our story

Black and white photo of street paper staff gathered around a table at one of the first INSP meetings

One of the first international street paper meetings. London, 1997. Credit: INSP

Born out of the street paper movement in North America and Europe, the International Network of Street Papers was founded in 1994 by a group of pioneering social entrepreneurs who had helped to transform thousands of lives through street papers in their respective countries.

With record levels of people suffering from homelessness and poverty around the world at the time, the social entrepreneurs recognised the need to work as one unified force to tackle these global challenges.

And so the International Network of Street Papers was born, tasked with connecting staff at street papers around the world, sharing the unqiue street paper model and fighting poverty together.

Today, from our Glasgow headquarters, we continue to provide critical support and stories to street papers around the world.

Our activities now include:

  • Running an international news agency with translation service with content sourced from our members and other news agencies.
  • The creation of editorial content that focuses on poverty.
  • Business development support to our members.
  • Events and training sessions that bring members together.
  • Tailored guidance to social entrepreneurs looking to start street papers and create media that makes a difference in the world.

Many of our street papers members are grassroots social enterprises with small staff teams. Being part of the network provides them invaluable international peer-to-peer learning opportunities and access to stories from around the world enabling them to create original magazines that people in poverty can proudly sell and people interested in social justice can read.

“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." Editor, the Big Issue Japan.

Today, as global poverty is affected by numerous other crises – climate change, systemic racism and conflict – street papers are need more than ever. Find out more and get involved.