Why Print a Newspaper? – A Carbon Conversation

Image3489 low res“Why another newspaper; and why not online?”‏  This question, or a version of it, is sometimes asked of the Transition Free Press crew and distributors, mostly within the context of carbon and energy use.

So when an email came through today from carbon coach, Dave Hampton, addressing this very issue (sic), we immediately wanted to share it with all our distributors and subscribers.

It consists of a short interchange between TFP business manager, Jay Tompt, who distributes the paper in and around Totnes, and Dave himself, who organises the distribution hub for Marlow, Maidenhead, Amersham, Chesham and High Wycombe.

Jay says:
“From my point of view, the importance of a physical newspaper is that it reaches people who are not online; it’s public and shareable in a way online content can never be; newspapers as a form are bound up with ideas of liberty, justice, and change, (as well as propaganda and commercial excess, I grant you); it’s a form that also signifies legitimacy and credibility for many; it’s an enduring medium for conveying the “slow news” that mainstream media has no time for. Hope that helps!”

Dave (the carbon coach) says:
“From a carbon “maths” point of view the impact of a newspaper that lasts 3 months is (comparatively) microscopic.

It’s more visible and tangible, sure, but we are talking visible grams- a millionth of the invisible intangible lifestyle tons.

Hopefully it also plants the seed of the idea that a “newspaper” could be a thing of value – for slow enjoyment – that lasts – something that can be kept and passed around – for months!

I can evidence this – I have managed to “train” the team at Marlow FM – NOT to throw away the one (well-thumbed) copy of Transition Free Press that still sits on our reception desk 3 months on! Marlow FM gets a big stack of nearly all the daily papers delivered daily – (I know, I know – I am working on it) – all of which go into the bin at the end of the day. But not the TFP!

Transition Free Press is printed on 100% recycled, non-chlorine bleached paper using non-toxic inks.

Image: Summer bundles arrive and distribution manager Mark Watson  takes them through the door, April 2013, Suffolk

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