Big Issue marks 25 years and 200 million sales

The Big Issue, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, is hoping its politically neutral stance on big issues such as Brexit will help it attract new readers.

The magazine, which is sold on the streets of Britain by homeless people, is also celebrating passing 200 million sales

Editor Paul McNamee believes that the title’s politically neutral stance on Brexit could be a positive for it in the coming months.

He said: “We don’t have an editorial line on Brexit.  Because the continual voice on Brexit is that people don’t have enough information. We are inviting readers to send questions and we will put them to proper experts and not people with a political axe to grind.

“We will just ask for dispassionate responses. That is how we like to deal with these particular issues because we are not politically aligned, not partisan. We look at a way to represent the readers and also a way to speak for those that don’t necessarily have a voice otherwise."

The Big Issue is hosting its first ever conference in October this year, which will be focused on preventative care.

McNamee said: “[founder and editor in chief]John Bird is very keen on this. He wants to look at social change, prevention rather than cure, so it’s how you get in early.

“Quite a lot of money is spent on emergency care while smaller amounts could be spent more wisely on preventative care.”

According to audited figures, the Big Issue,  which is bought by vendors at £1.25 and sold for £2.50, has an average weekly circulation of 78,201 across the UK, down from over 250,000 around the turn of the century.

McNamee added: “We put up sales last year in an increasingly difficult market and we are doing alright this year.”


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