BREAKING: Transition Free Press goes out of print

1467299_627314473976940_658843296_nDear Readers and Supporters of Transition Free Press,

I am sorry to inform you that our innovative grassroots newspaper will not be published this year. We were hoping to relaunch this Spring with a bright new expanded edition but have been unable to raise sufficient funds to pay for our core costs.

For the past three years we have produced seven issues, all of which have documented the actions, skills and intelligence of Transition and affiliated progressive movements. Our purpose was to reflect the cultural shift many of us are involved in and to act as a communications tool for Initiatives and groups. Thanks to over 150 contributors, over 100 distributors, 50 advertisers and a collective editorial team, over 70,000 papers have appeared all over the UK – in shops, in cafes, universities and libraries, waiting rooms and market stalls. At public events and in private moments.

We have never been at a loss for material.

TFP_Advert_STIR_FinalRunning newspapers is hard work and it was always our intention that TFP should be a co-operative social enterprise that paid people for their skills and dedication. Backing from a crowdfunding campaign and grants from Network for Social Change and Transition Network has given us time to build up a social infrastructure, with the aim of eventually becoming a self-sustaining enterprise.

However to become a sustainable business involves a paradox. Even though our editorial might challenge a ‘growth-at-all costs’ culture, we ourselves needed to grow massively to keep going. We needed to sell tens of thousands more papers, charge much more for them, dedicate more of our pages to advertising and find hundreds more subscribers. And fast.

Image1507At the end of last year we did (finally and happily) succeed in finding funds for two of our proposed 2015 issues, but not for the whole year. To fulfil our obligations to become  ‘financially sustainable’ meant we could not remain a ‘steady state’ enterprise: we would have needed to make at least £20,000 pa profit to pay our core costs, and if we wanted to pay ourselves the minimum wage, over £30,000.

This was beyond our capabilities. We have always covered our production costs, but have never made the kinds of sums that make business sense. So even though the big picture public debates, from the May elections to COP16 in December, probably need the presence of a free press more than ever before, TFP will not be there to discuss them. Nor will we be there to record and celebrate the small events, actions, gatherings, projects, productions and conversations that make up the grassroots culture of a world-in-flux.

P2100023 MW & TFP LondonAs the paper’s editor and co-founder, I had hoped we could make a livelihood from our professional work within Transition. However, I now realise that for that to be the case independent journalism needs to be held in far greater esteem than it does at present. It has to matter there is a free press, that what we write matters, that our voices be heard. Because until our words are given space and attention the new story of community and collaboration everyone is waiting for will not be told.

I hope that new alliances, such as Real Media (see Amy Hall’s post below) will demonstrate why the future needs a people-friendly, Earth-friendly media and that TFP’s contributions and insights will have helped make that happen.

Meanwhile, dear readers, thank you for supporting us during these years. Thank you especially to our contributors, subscribers (whom we will be refunding) and also our loyal distributors who, sometimes against the odds, have kept selling the paper to their communities. Thank you to my fellow writers, editors, designers and managers at TFP. Thank you all for your generosity, creativity and for giving it a go.

With best wishes,

484997_460945680613821_965150950_aCharlotte Du Cann

Images: Charlotte Du Cann (Editor) reading TFP3; Trucie Mitchell (Designer) reading TFP2; our first reader on the train, reading the preview issue: Mark Watson (Distribution Manager) reading TFP4

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40 Responses to BREAKING: Transition Free Press goes out of print

  1. Di Gilpin says:

    I am sorry. We are made stronger by trying, and your collective experiences will be prove invaluable and fruitful soon. Thank you for all you have done.

  2. Ach – what a shame Charlotte, not least for you who have invested so much personal energy into the project.

    Congratulations on what you achieved – it’s important to celebrate nonetheless – don’t be disheartened and, as you say, the Real Media conference is an interesting initiative that could lead to more fruitful ground.

    I started paying for Stir (, Positive News ( and contributed to Democracy Now ( this year, realising that to benefit from these alternative voices that I should pay for them, even as a journalist myself. I should have reached into my pocket for TFP too, though I realise my subscription would not have turned any tides.

    We must all pay for the media we want to read, watch and hear – there is no other way.

    Good luck for the future.

  3. biffvernon says:

    Thanks for all the hard work from Transition Louth. We move on.

  4. David Garlick says:

    Having just started to set up Transition Town N’pton I found TFP and it was immensely informative and very valuable. Sad to lose you and I can only echo the’Well Done for your achievements’ comments and your own thoughts on how much we need a TFP and others like it. David Garlick TT Northampton

  5. I’m so sorry to hear this confirmed. I both loved TFP and saw its importance.

    As Patrick says, I also send a huge thank you and well done for making it happen.

    And we all look forward to seeing what wonders the amazing team go on to create in future, together or separately. I hope the fallout of TFP going out of print is not too hard for you.

    May great things come out of the Real Media event, and from a slightly different angle, the ‘Rewilding Journalism’ section at the end of this piece ( seems an interesting potential avenue for further exploration.

    Much love and gratitude,

    ps No need to refund my subscription money, unless not doing so is more complicated than it’s worth!

    • Dear Shaun, Thanks so much for you generous reponse and for being such a great supporter, particularly at the beginning when we were setting up. Will look into Rewilding Journalism meanwhile! All the best, Charlotte

  6. kay verdi wyld says:

    We are so sorry to hear the news. It was beautifully word crafted, thought provoking, inspiring and encouraging. You have achieved a lot and have left something life enhancing that will continue to ripple out at such pivotal times. Thank you

  7. Extremely sad to hear this news. I think it is a great loss to the Transition Movement, and particularly to small local initiatives for whom it was a great resource for communicating ideas in their locales.

    On the other hand, you guys are awesome, what you attempted was courageous and inspirational, what you achieved was brilliant. I hope amid any sadness and disappointment you can find the mood to celebrate. In many ways it was actually a great success, despite this, I imagine, probably feeling like failure. And as a wise friend once said to me, ‘there is no such thing as failure, and no effort is ever wasted.’

    With immense gratitude…. Long live the TFP!

    • Thanks so much Martin. Those are heartening words on a tough day! It is a very hard thing to close a paper which has taken a huge amount of time and effort to create and maintain and in which so many people have been involved and given their best. Thank you for all your contributions in these years and for being such a great steer in our meetings. Lots of love, Charlotte

  8. Thomas Kirchmayer says:

    Sad greetings from Ingolstadt/Bavaria. I’m ever so grateful for all the inspiration and support we could draw from every TFP issue. Still on our homepage you may find an image of our local TT group reading TFP (
    TRANSITION-TOWN truly is an international project beyond borderlines and in addition to every personal link TFP has been the spark to pass on the fire, spirit and creativity of TT/UK to Europe.
    I completely understand your decision but… I dare say… hopefully there is a re-launch of TFP in the near future provided circumstances would change. Why not considering a new fund rising campaign among TT Europe? I gladly would offer my support as far as Germany is concerned. Thank you so much! You’ve done such a great job.

    • Thanks so much Thomas and for your article in TFP5. We love that picture! Thanks for the suggestions too. Hope all is going well in Germany, All the best from the UK, Charlotte

    • casdeiro says:

      I’d like to join Thomas’ idea. If a re-launch / re-funding of a second age of TPF is to be done, please let us know also here in Spain and Portugal. We’ll be very happy to help!🙂

  9. jillbrowne says:

    THANK YOU for trying so hard.

    Jill Browne Calgary, Canada

    On Wed, Feb 4, 2015 at 3:36 AM, Transition Free Press wrote:

    > Transition Free Press posted: “Dear Readers and Supporters of > Transition Free Press, I am sorry to inform you that our innovative > grassroots newspaper will not be published this year. We were hoping to > relaunch this Spring with a bright new expanded edition but have been > unable to r”

  10. Rob Hopkins says:

    I wanted to add my own condolences. The fantastic service that you have provided the wider movement has been deeply appreciated. TFP’s professionalism, the high quality of the paper, and the breadth of things covered were remarkable. It’s such a shame it couldn’t gain an economic foothold. Tragic that we live in a world where TFP, as a tight bundle of optimism, story and action, struggled to create an economic foundation for itself, while OK Magazine flourishes. Go figure. Anyway, I just wanted to salute what you have all created, what it meant to the rest of us, how treasured our back issues will be, and to wish you all the best for whatever you do next.


    • Thanks very much Rob and for your support and contributions to several of our issues. It is a big shame indeed we were not able to continue. It was not for lack of material. We were looking forward to conjuring up a lively Spring edition with all the ‘beautiful solutions’ and smart thinking that flourish beyond the illusions of a fossil fuelled consumer world. Reality is just very hard to sell.

      All the best, Charlotte

    • rosemary says:

      Thanks a lot for all your excellent articles. I remember happy afternoons by the fire reading Transition Free Press, looking for inspiration, feeling so much happier and more hopeful after reading it- not something that would happen from reading OK or Hello with all their gloss and advertising.

  11. Patricia Knox says:

    Thanks for adding a “good news” page in our evolving story. When a form ends or shifts it simply means (in my experience) that a new form is waiting in the wings. Transition Free Press shined and that can only mean that its effects were/are positive. Onward and upward! Thank you! On Feb 4, 2015 2:36 AM, “Transition Free Press” wrote:

    > Transition Free Press posted: “Dear Readers and Supporters of > Transition Free Press, I am sorry to inform you that our innovative > grassroots newspaper will not be published this year. We were hoping to > relaunch this Spring with a bright new expanded edition but have been > unable to r”

  12. Helen says:

    I am so sorry to hear this. I was in the process of asking our local Waitrose if they would buy a bunch of papers from us (Transition Stroud) to either sell or give away to customers. If it was successful I was going to ask other supermarkets. I would also have recommended it to other areas. If this is an idea, maybe we could ad it to ideas for future funding. Maybe businesses could buy them for their work place and give the additional amount to their local Transition group?
    As far as the paper is concerned I find myself still influenced by what I have read – the scientist who had to change his life style because of what he was learning….. the person who walked through a lane of wild flowers and was reminded of the true value of things….. TFP is too important to stop. I hope you find a way forward.

    • Thanks a lot Helen. It’s great to hear TFP stories have had a lasting influence. Sorry your distribution plans weren’t able to be realised. We did sell to quite a few businesses (shops, cafes, veg box schemes), as well as groups. All the best to everyone in Transition Stround, Charlotte

  13. annikelsey says:

    I can only echo what everyone else has already said above. TFP was a remarkable read, positive, heart warming and life affirming. I am sure you will continue to make a big impression whatever comes next. All the best for whatever that will be and like Shaun, if I am due anything back, please keep it / donate to something else.

  14. Jane says:

    Really sorry to hear this – your paper was so positive – I always felt more optimistic after reading it.

  15. Pingback: Sad news about Transition Free Press | Amy Hall

  16. kamsandhu says:

    Reblogged this on REALFARE and commented:
    Some sad news from Transition Free Press, but important messages about the media we want. Best of luck to the brilliant people at TFP. Am sure we’ll see them throughout the Real Media project.

  17. Liz Rolfs says:

    What a shame! I have only just been introduced to it as a member of New Forest Transition and am using some of the articles as evidence of good work when challenging prospective parliamentary candidates. Did the Transition movement help with funding? Could they still?

  18. Pingback: Flat Earth News |

  19. Pingback: Flat Earth News: TFP at Real Media Gathering, Manchester | Transition Free Press

  20. casdeiro says:

    So sorry to read this, really! TFP was a main reference for me and the people we helped launched the new webzine (with printed compilations) “15/15\15 – Magazine for a new civilization” for Spanish and Portuguese audiences:

    I’ve just sent you a message just in case we could do something together. I don’t know if we could lend you a hand from here to help continue, somehow, this necessary media activity. Transition does need to be told in order to be spreaded… So projects like TFP and 15/15\15 magazine will still be so needed!

  21. Liz Batten says:

    Reminded by New Forest Transition’s post today that TFP inspired the creation of Southampton Repair Cafe. The chair of Transition Southampton, Clare Diaper, has been a staunch supporter of TFP and has sold it here in Southampton since its beginning. One issue featured the Malvern Repair Cafe and a couple of us went along to learn how it worked. Then last autumn, the Southampton Repair Cafe was launched and is doing very well. I’m sure there are many other stories of good things that have come from TFP that could be used to help fundraise? Thanks for all your hard work.

  22. Shawn Chomsky says:

    We need to do something to get this paper back in print or at least online. It can’t go out like this. A ‘re branding’ (I hate that word so sorry for even using it) is in order. We can do this. There is definitely a group of people out there that never got to read this fine paper that would absolutely love it if they’d known it existed.

    I’m only sorry I stumbled across it too late.


    • lro2Liz says:

      I will mention this at our next Lymington Transition meeting on 29 April. Maybe each Transition group could pledge an annual sum? or maybe there are other ideas.

    • Many thanks Shawn for your comment. Sorry you didn’t come across us earlier! Just to say though that to put a paper online requires just as much work as publishing it in print. The reason TFP was printed was so that more people would come across it and it could be used as a communications tool for Transition and community groups.

      Very few people like to pay for online journalism, but will sometimes pay for print. The cost of printing TFP was covered by the groups that bought it and the contributors by advertising. The cost we could not find enough funds for was for paying the people who created, edited and distributed the paper i.e. journalists and admin staff.

      Hope that is useful.

      Best wishes,


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