INSP Awards: meet the contenders for best street paper breakthrough

Every year, the INSP Awards celebrate the strength and innovation of our network. Our Best Breakthrough category is always one of the most exciting, as it reflects the extraordinary achievements of street papers worldwide.

From an exclusive Papal audience to a vendor-led edition and expanding their reach with new regional and special editions, street papers world wide have been coming up with fresh ideas to boost their profile, sales and ultimately, better serve their vendors.

Our international judging panel has whittled down the entries to the five stand-out contenders below.

The winner will be announced next week at the Global Street Paper Summit and, of course, right here. Keep an eye on #INSPAwards and #INSP2016 for more updates.

Check out our other INSP Awards finalists here.

Apropos, Austria

‘Vendor meets writer’ magazine saves Apropos budget

Faced by challenges from other street papers in their area, and a sales decrease, Apropos faced a budget deficit in 2015. In response, they produced a low-cost, high-impact special edition of the magazine, bringing together their ‘Vendor meets writer’ profiles which have seen 41 vendors profiled by well-known writers since 2012. Through sponsorship and sales, the edition turned around their deficit. It also brought readers closer to the magazine, to feel part of the Apropos community.

Asphalt, Germany

Asphalt starts regional issues

“Greater proximity, additional content, more people helped!” was the motto of the project to regionalise Asphalt. There are now two different editions of the paper, Asphalt (in the Hanover area) and Asphalt Nordwest (in the region around Oldenburg). 20% of the content of Asphalt Nordwest is specific to the north-west region. After raising awareness for the project with Asphalt information stands and interviews in the local mainstream media, sales are growing.

Faktum, Sweden

The Faktum Gala 2016

The Faktum gala recognises the people who are fighting homelessness and other social issues in Sweden. The 2016 edition was the biggest triumph so far. The sold-out show took place at the 600-seater Stora Teatern, in Gothenburg. Most of the winners are chosen by a jury of politicians, artists and journalists – chaired by the street paper’s editor, but vendors decide on the winner of the Faktum Award recognising the person or organisation that has helped them most during the year.


Megaphone, Canada

Megaphone expands to take on Hope in Shadows calendar

Last May, Megaphone undertook a huge expansion, to take on the Hope in Shadows (HiS) calendar project. HiS allows residents of Vancouver’s stigmatised Downtown Eastside to tell their own stories through a photography competition. The winning photos are made into a calendar which is sold by Megaphone vendors. The project more than doubles the number of vendors Megaphone works with, and has a huge impact on vendors’ incomes – giving them an important income boost.

Straatnieuws, The Netherlands

With a little help from a friend

Through a partnership with Dutch journalist JW Wits, Straatnieuws obtained an interview with the Pope on behalf of the INSP network. The street paper worked on a media strategy, putting a team in place to cope with the expected attention and breaking the news on 6 November in collaboration with national paper TROUW, local television RTV Utrecht and INSP. Straatnieuws sales tripled, vendors had a confidence boost and the free publicity was estimated to be worth €850.000.