INSP Awards: 2018 Winners Announced!

The winners of the 2018 INSP Awards have been revealed at the official Awards Ceremony, as part of the Global Street Paper Summit in Glasgow.

Eleven awards were presented, celebrating the best of street paper innovation and excellence around the world.

The 2018 Awards trophies. Photo: Euan Ramsay.

Sweden’s Faktum, Switzerland’s Surprise and Mexico’s Mi Valedor were big winners on the night, each taking home two awards apiece.

Faktum’s interview with Me Too founder Tarana Burke, which we revealed last week had scooped this year’s INSP Special News Service Award as the most downloaded article from the News Service, also took home the award for Best News Feature.

Surprise followed up their 2017 Best News Feature win with the 2018 awards for Best Cultural Feature and Best Photograph.

And it was another successful year for Mi Valedor, scooping Best Online Presence for the second year running, as well as the Best Cover award for their front page homage to the golden age of Mexican cinema.

The Awards were hosted by BBC Scotland’s Rebecca Curran, and attended by a jovial audience of Summit delegates and Awards judges.

Congratulations to all of our winners!

Full List of Winners:

INSP Special News Service Award

WINNER: Faktum, Sweden

Me Too Founder Tarana Burke: “This is a battle we can win and the achievement will be for the good of mankind”

By Sandra Pandevski

The most published story from the INSP News Service in 2017-18 was Faktum’s interview with Me Too founder Tarana Burke. 16 street papers across 11 countries printed the piece, following a year in which #MeToo became a social media phenomenon and global movement against sexual harassment and assault.

Best News Feature

WINNER: Faktum, Sweden

Me Too Founder Tarana Burke: “This is a battle we can win and the achievement will be for the good of mankind”

By Sandra Pandevski

Ten years ago, Tarana Burke founded Me Too in order to support young black girls and, in 2017, the hashtag #MeToo became a buzzword around the world. She sat down with Faktum to reflect on the movement and what it means for today’s society. The panel praised the strong news value of the piece, feeling it was well structured and incisive, and allowed Tarana’s personality to come through.

Best Cultural Feature

WINNER: Surprise, Switzerland

An odyssey with a dog and a cat

By Gisela Feuz

Artist Slavcho Slavov – together with his dog, Lourd, and cat, Matz – has spent a decade travelling around Europe, homeless. Surprise spoke to him about his time on the streets, and finding a place to live in Switzerland. The judging panel commended the storytelling of the piece, noting its pacy flow and positive observations.

Best Vendor Contribution


One Week on the Streets

By Vince Shumate

In February 2018, Speak Up vendor Vince Shumate took daily notes and photographs for one week, which were then published in their entirety as a single issue of the magazine. Vince shared deeply about his battles with homelessness and addiction, which judges praised for being engagingly compiled, insightful and honest.

Best Cover

WINNER: Mi Valedor, Mexico

Mi Valedor

An homage to the golden age of Mexican cinema (1936-1959), the colours, fonts and design elements of this cover hark back to these years of elegance, prosperity and artistic care. This cover helped to make it the best-selling issue of Mi Valedor to date, and judges described it as ‘beautiful’ and ‘one of a kind’.

Best Design

WINNER: The Big Issue Taiwan, Taiwan

The Big Issue Taiwan

Graphic Designer Aaron Nieh oversees the design and layout of each issue of The Big Issue Taiwan, and tries to produce clean layouts, corresponding visuals, and impressive covers. The panel enjoyed the use of photography and structure of the minimalist design.

Best Photograph

WINNER: Surprise, Switzerland


The Post-Soviet Cowboy

By Mario Heller

Mario Heller’s image of Bobur was warmly received by the judging panel. Bobur lives in Murghab, a small city in the Pamir mountains of Tajikistan. Since the breakdown of the USSR, the area has become desolate and deprived. But Bobur won’t leave; he loves Murghab just as he loves his well-kept, but non-running, motorcycle.

Best Online Presence

WINNER: Mi Valedor, Mexico

Mi Valedor’s online content playfully addresses the issue of life on the streets, using art and humour to build their following through online radio shows, videos, illustrations, photos and GIFs. Mi Valedor encourages supporters to become ambassadors for the street paper by sharing their content. They share vendors’ stories and experiences to allow readers to become familiar with vendors before meeting them, and remove the associated stigma.


Twitter: @MiValedorMX

Facebook: @mivaledor

Instagram: @mivaledor

Best Breakthrough

WINNER: Street Sense, USA

How Street Sense Media became #MoreThanANewspaper

After identifying that customers of their newspaper were largely unaware of their wider multimedia presence, Street Sense officially rebranded as Street Sense Media. The new name was part of an ambitious overhaul that included a new colour scheme, a new mission statement, new vendor vests, and redesigns of the website and newspaper layouts, designed to show that they are more than a newspaper.

Best Project

WINNER: Big Issue North, UK

Street Noise 2017

Street Noise was Big Issue North’s first major fundraising concert, held as part of the 2017 INSP Summit. Singer-songwriter Frank Turner was secured as the headline act. All 1,500 tickets to the gig were sold within a week, and 100% of the ticket sales were retained, raising a total of £35,000. Additional fundraising from merchandise sales and ‘text to donate’ flyers added another £3,000 to the total. Following the inaugural event’s success, Big Issue North plan to turn Street Noise into an ongoing series of concerts.

Best Campaign

WINNER: Kupfermuckn, Austria

“You’re banned!”

Kupfermuckn’s campaign focused on the issues around public spaces and exclusion of the homeless. They ran writing workshops with vendors to collectively explore the issue, and led several events to reclaim public space. They also organised a Poetry-Slam involving other German-language street papers on the theme of exclusion in public spaces, to share the experiences they had had in their home cities.

You can join the discussion on social media using #INSPAwards to see reactions to the winners.