Tonight we’ll be launching our new national paper the Transition Free Press at the Transition Network UK Conference. We published our preview edition in June and since then have been distributing our 2000 print run in different regions of the UK and at summer gatherings from Permaculture convergences to Sunrise and Unciviliation festivals. There will be a copy for everyone at the Conference, so if you are coming and haven’t already seen a copy do take one home. It is our intention to publish four editions over one year, beginning this winter, and in order to fund this venture – including printing and payment for editors and contributors – we need your help and contributions. And most of all your loyal readership.
Becoming the Media is one of the principle tools in the Connecting chapter in The Transition Companion. This includes YouTubes, social media, blogs and Twitter feeds. But nothing has the impact like the printed page. Newspapers publish many stories on line but only certain ones make it into the paper “proper”. Physical print, like everything else, that is built in material form has a strength and a baraka like nothing else. We are aware as communicators that the printed page goes places that computers can never go – no matter how swanky the tech.
Moreover the discipline of writing news stories requires a totally different attention than writing blogs or emails. It demands far more work and time and dedication. It requires skilled designers and editors. For us, the paper is a bridge that crosses boundaries, it connects all the different strands that make up an alternative vision for the planet from anti-fracking campaigns to land rights movements to food co-ops, it connects initiatives around the country and around the world, communicates and celebrates what we do. It is a tool that is integral to the core we are holding and lets people who might never have heard about Transition know that it is not all business-as-usual out there.
At the conference we are looking for 35 initiatives to sign up as distributors for our paper – that’s all of us in the room and in Transition. Having dedicated people around the country is what will make this enterprise possible. We will have a map of Britain up behind our stall in the Octagonal Hall and distribution forms. so do come up and talk with us and ask questions about what this will entail. We will also have a flat plan for future issues and we’re looking for contributors and any stories or ideas you might have for the different sections fo the paper. On Saturday we will be running an open editorial meeting during the Open Space session (4.15-6pm). Everyone is welcome.
The TFP crew will all be at the launch party: that’s me (ed), Alexis Rowell (news ed), Mike Grenville (distribution), Tamzin Pinkerton (Food); Mark Watson (subeditor); Trucie Mitchell and Mihnea Damian (designers), as well as many of our wonderful contributors. We’re really looking forward to meeting you and declaring this paper an “official” voice of Transition. We starting at 7pm for 7.15 and will be toasting and launching our vessel at 7.30pm in the Main Hall. See you there!