Editor quits Big Issue in Scotland after 'worthy' row

Barry: "staff had own agenda"

Nicola Barry has quit suddenly as editor of the The Big Issue in Scotland after staff refused to accept her ideas and drop the "worthy" coverage.

Barry, who joined the magazine last summer from the Aberdeen Press and Journal, said: "It was the most difficult eight months of my life but if you can’t take the people with you, if you can’t get the staff on your side, to keep going is utterly pointless."

Sources say there was a personality clash with certain staff members and disagreements over what was "funny". Barry said she was "bitterly disappointed" to be leaving.

"I’m not the sort of person who turns their back on something that is going well but I am not going to bash my head against a brick wall," she said.

"Staff had their own agenda and it wasn’t mine. They wanted the magazine to be worthy. I’d say it is a great pity for The Big Issue because circulation had gone up for the first time in five years, so I was doing something right." She added: "I went in there with the intention of being a nice editor who didn’t sack people and that is my big regret now."

At the time of her appointment, Barry said she wanted to introduce more humour, less froth, boost the investigative coverage and raise the profile of the elderly.

She praised the team and said she had no plans to make staff changes. She told Press Gazette in July: "I feel I’ve been preparing for this job all my career. I have always concentrated on social injustice." A Big Issue spokeswoman said: "Nicola has resigned and we wish her well in the future. She is extremely talented, it just didn’t work out."

By Ruth Addicott

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