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Street paper ‘quality mark’ makes first appearance in Holland

 Street News Service 24 October 2019

Street papers across the Netherlands have presented their quality mark to the public. The logo features on the cover of genuine street papers from this week onwards. It is intended to provide clarity to readers about what they buy. (351 Words) - By Staff writer

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The quality assurance mark features on the cover of Dutch street papers, like this one from Straatnieuws in Utrecht.

SNS_Street paper quality mark makes first appearance in Holland

The new quality assurance mark.


The street papers Straatjournaal (Haarlem), Straatnieuws (Utrecht), Z! (Amsterdam) and Haags Straatnieuws (The Hague) took the decision to create an official quality assurance mark following the recent development of 'fake' street papers operating in the country.

A television consumer programme discovered malpractice in street paper land, including scam papers, fake vendor IDs and a lack of support for vendors.

With many fakes operating throughout the country, consumers are confused about who and what they support when they buy a street paper. According to the consumer programme's survey some 70 per cent of Dutch street paper readers say they need more clarity about the product they buy. The quality mark is designed to provide this clarity to buyers.

To receive the quality mark, a street paper must adhere to six rules:

1. The street paper must be non-profit.

2. The street paper must not receive structural funds: the running costs of the paper must be covered by its turnover.

3. The street paper must be distributed locally and sold by registered vendors (buyers should ask for the official vendor badge).

4. The street paper must be a member of the INSP (International Network of Street Papers).

5. The street paper must produce original, quality journalism.

6. The street paper must not be a 'hidden begging project': vendors must work for their money.

The papers hope their move will end the confusion in the Dutch street paper market. At the same time they hope it will protect their genuine vendors on the streets.

In a collective statement, editors Frank Dries, Jessica Hoogenboom, Floor de Booys and Hans van Dalfsen said: "We are proud of our papers and the people who sell them, come rain or shine. We hope everyone will keep buying our papers and, by doing so, help homeless people to help themselves. Not by begging or stealing, but by earning a living."

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