Nicola Barry, the newly appointed editor of The Big Issue in Scotland, has revealed her plans for the magazine – they include more humour and raising the profile of the elderly.
Barry, who is due to take over from Ken Laird next month, said she planned to focus on features and human interest stories. She said: "I feel the media in general is a bit trivia obsessed. They have been for the past decade. The Big Issue is out there on its own and can say things other people are not prepared to say."
Barry, who joins from the Press and Journal, Aberdeen, said: "I feel I’ve been preparing for this job all my career. I have always concentrated on social injustice. It is the only job in journalism I would have left the Press and Journal for." Barry said there would be "a few surprises" in terms of interviews and she plans to raise the profile of mental health and the elderly. "I’d say that 90 per cent of the people who become homeless experience mental health problems. Mental ill health is often mistaken for aggression. It is a very neglected area," she said.
Barry is also hoping to recruit an extra sports writer and a vet to offer vendors advice on how to look after their pets. One of her main priorities she said, will be to remind people what The Big Issue is all about – helping people to move off the streets and into accommodation.
She said she had no plans to make any changes to the staff. "The people there are excellent. We haven’t discussed a relaunch yet but I am hoping to do one eventually," she added.
By Ruth Addicott