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The Big Issue appoints Alastair Reid and Laura Kelly

The Big Issue is expanding its reporting team with the appointment of a new Digital Editor and the newly created role of Digital Producer.

The Big Issue appoints Alastair Reid and Laura Kelly
Alastair Reid and Laura Kelly.

Alastair Reid joins as Digital Editor while Laura Kelly will be Digital Producer. They both take up their new roles on September 21st.

Reid will oversee growth plans across The Big Issue’s digital output. Kelly will focus on app development and will look to create new podcasts and other audio and visual content for The Big Issue.

Reid joins from First Draft News, the online organisation established to counter fake news and misinformation. He was Managing Editor, overseeing First Draft News editorial strategy, supporting journalists and newsrooms globally.

He was previously a social media journalist at the Press Association, focusing on a string of exclusive investigations on UK social and political issues using digital techniques.

“I am looking forward to bringing my experience to the new role, where I hope to build on The Big Issue's quality digital output and brand at a crucial time for the organisation's vendors and readers,” he said.

Laura Kelly joins the magazine from her role as manager of the Professional Publishers Association Scotland, where she launched the world’s first week-long festival dedicated to magazines – the Edinburgh International Magazine Festival.

Laura is already a regular contributor and former Arts and Features Editor for The Big Issue. As the Editorial Manager for the International Network of Street Papers she built strong links with the global campaign to end homelessness. She has also written for The Herald, Sunday Herald and The Skinny, and has appeared on BBC Northern Ireland as a commentator on political and cultural issues.

“I love what The Big Issue does and it stands for and I can’t wait to get stuck into this incredible new role,” said Kelly.

We saw that we had to build better digitally and be ready for all the future might bring.

Paul McNamee

“This is a really significant move by The Big Issue,” said Editor Paul McNamee. “We had to take a very deep look at ourselves as our vendors were forced off the streets for several months during the lockdown. We saw that we had to build better digitally and be ready for all the future might bring. We rapidly innovated and launched an online subscription business, an app and secured listings in major retailers. With our vendors back selling, at least for now, we are fixed on ensuring our digital offer works the hardest it can for our readers and vendors alike.

“I’m delighted to have two smart, brilliant journalists in Alastair and Laura join the team at this pivotal time in our history. Their energy, know-how and creativity will lead to an even better Big Issue for our readers and vendors, and those who are yet to enjoy The Big Issue.”