Publishing for social good in The New Issue

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by Steve Watson in February 2020
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Current affairs

George Wright is one of the team behind The New Issue, a new print magazine published here in the UK by Big Issue North. The Big Issue helps homeless people by recruiting street vendors to sell copies at a profit, which the vendor then keeps, and The New Issue is dedicated to helping the same people but via a different route.

It’s intended as a slower, longer read; it’s more expensive with higher production values; and its quarterly publishing schedule allows the team more time to find and develop the stories they want to tell. Importantly, this magazine isn’t sold on the street, and instead George is working to sell it through organisations that will buy via subscription, as well as selling directly to individuals in shops.

As you’ll hear, it costs around £25 to take somebody from begging in the street to working as a Big Issue vendor, and buying a subscription to The New Issue generates roughly enough profit to take one person through that process. I love the way the two magazines are intended to work together in this virtuous circle, and if you want to support the new venture you can sign up for a year’s subscription via the Big Issue shop. (Use the code STACK when you do that and you’ll get five magazines for the price of four, starting with issues one and two arriving as a double delivery.)

If you enjoy this conversation, remember we have lots more magazine makers speaking about the trials and tribulations of publishing – just check our archives on Soundcloud or iTunes or wherever else you get your podcasts, and please follow us while you’re there so we can keep on delivering our episodes as soon as they’re ready.

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