Every euro spent on producing the Greek street magazine “Shedia” creates 5.3 euros in value for the Greek economy, according to a Deloitte survey commissioned by the magazine investigating its impact on the sellers, readers and the economy. The findings of the first part of the survey are due to be unveiled in detail in the February issue of the magazine, published on January 25, and subsequent issues.
Talking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency about the survey “Social and Economic Repercussions from the Circulation of the Street Paper ‘Shedia’,” people working at the magazine revealed some of the findings concerning Greece’s only street paper, sold exclusively on the street by homeless, unemployed and vulnerable people provenly living below the poverty line.
Based on their responses to the survey, 74.8 pct of sellers consider that “Shedia” has helped their integration in society, either greatly (38.9 pct) or “to some extent” (25.9 pct), and 75.9 pct consider that their involvement with the magazine has improved their psychological state, enhanced their confidence and helped them view the future more positively. A great majority (87.1 pct) also reported having gained greater understanding and love for people, while 90.7 pct said they were very or quite satisfied with the public’s response.
Out of the sellers, 68.5 pct said that it had helped them earn a basic income and over half (53.7 pct) that it improved their financial situation and helped them cover some outstanding debts. As a result of the income from selling the magazine, 34 of the sellers reported that they were able to find a home and a significant number avoided eviction, over the period of the survey. More than 70 stopped selling the magazine because they found jobs.
In addition to assisting the sellers, the survey found that the magazine had a positive net impact on the economy, either directly or indirectly. In addition to those employed directly by the non-governmental organisation “Diogenes” that publishes the magazine, the publication keeps 199 people in work – of which 178 are the sellers – and generates 369,000 euros in revenue for the state.
The sales of the magazine generated an available income of 394,000 euros for the sellers, which through the money cycle in the economy multiplied into a generated “product” of 692,000 euros, while the costs to suppliers and the NGOs employees generated an additional 396,000 euros.
Those working as sellers of the magazine for even one day totaled 346 people – 231 in Athens and 115 in Thessaloniki – between March 2013 and December 31, 2015. The average time that sellers remained in the network was 5.6 months, with older individuals usually staying longer. The average time spent selling the magazine for those over 65, for example, was 19 months whereas the average for those under 25 was 4.2 months.
“Shedia” is the only Greek publication that is a member of the International Network of Street Papers (INSP), which includes 122 street papers in 41 countries, with 14,000 sellers and six million readers. It is not sold at the usual sales points for the press but only by accredited sales people on the street. Half of the sales price of the magazine (3.0 euros) goes directly to the seller (1.5 euros) and helps them to generate an income and to escape social exclusion and isolation.