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Big outcry over the Welsh Big Issue’s move to … Scotland

October 3rd, 2008Posted by in Magazines

The NUJ have got some celebrity backing to help the protest against the Big Issue Cymru’s move up north.

The opera singer Katherine Jenkins, Radio One DJ Bethan Elfyn and award winning author Rachel Trezise have all voiced their support for an NUJ campaign to keep the The Big Issue Cymru in Wales, after it was recently announced that production would move to Glasgow and leave just one member of staff in Wales. The editor and designer are both facing redundancy.

Jenkins sung said in a release issued today: “I don’t understand how this could continue to work being edited from Scotland? My fingers are crossed, as it would be a very sad day for Wales to see the editorial being written in Glasgow, hundreds of miles away from where it’s all happening.”

And Bethan Elfyn is concerned that only one member of staff only representing Wales will be a ‘token gesture’.

“[It] will not be a good reflection of the world, the people and the activities here in Wales. I hope the sales and the good works that BI does for the homeless won’t suffer as a by-product of these cuts and changes,” Elfyn said in the release. “The staff in Cardiff worked damn hard and will be sorely missed.”

Meanwhile Trezise, author of ‘Fresh Apples’ (which was derived from an entry for the Big Issue Cymru’s short story competition) said that the magazine is “a vital source of income for the homeless in Wales”.

“It is also a very culturally significant publication; one of few independent Welsh media voices that supports native arts,” Trezise said.

The NUJ is also concerned that the move and cutbacks could mean an end to the Welsh speaking content in the magazine.

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  • I was formerly a freelance contributor to The Big Issue Cymru and wrote a fortnightly column for the last three and a half years.
    I believe the move by Big Issue is a betrayal of Wales. The Big Issue Cymru explored issues sometimes ignored by the mainstream media – including job losses at Welsh newspapers. That is one issue BI won’t cover again.
    I know the move to Scotland has caused some political concern.
    It is clear that it is only a matter of time before readers realise that this organisation has effectively turned its back on Wales.

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