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The Big Issue in Scotland has launched a campaign to remind the public that its vendors are earning a living and not begging after negative media coverage of homelessness has led to falling sales.

The title’s “Working not Begging” campaign features interviews with vendors and beggars highlighting the misconceptions that exist.

Editor Claire Black said: “The Big Issue does not usually talk about itself in the pages of our magazine, but this has gone far enough. Anti-begging and anti-homelessness propaganda has led to falling sales in Aberdeen and to our vendors being verbally abused in the streets elsewhere.”

The weekly magazine has also contacted its supporters, asking them to take part in the campaign by writing letters to newspapers and local businesses.

Sold to the public for £1, vendors buy the magazine off The Big Issue in Scotland for 40p after they have proved that they are homeless and agreed to a code of conduct.

By Sarah Boden

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