Transition Free Press (TFP) was a 24-page quarterly newspaper which grew out of the Transition movement. We published seven issues and reported on anyone helping to build a more sustainable, relocalised and fairer society.
TFP was launched in 2013 and was run as a non-for-profit co-operative. The 24-page newspaper contained a mix of news, reviews and features, as well as dedicated pages to energy, the land, people, economy, food, well-being, the arts and sport.
Our Spring 2014 issue for example included articles on: the perils and joys of water; the new faces of the Totnes Pound; the German end of the Oil Road from Central Asia; a food waste cafe in Wales; Frome-style flatpack democracy; the Restart Project, who organise parties where people repair broken electrical goods; climate change and the reversal of the five stages of grief; rewilding the arts; the Natural Veg Men of Cheshire; walking in deep time; and coastal foraging.
In our Winter 2013 issue you could find articles on: joining up widespread fracking, political and economic protests into a solutions-based coalition; growing quinoa in the UK; life at the Grow Heathrow activist community; the smallholding vision of the Ecological Land Co-operative; music as an instrument of social change; the value of pop-up shops as environmental and social educational tools, the joy of foraging for acorns; combatting activist burnout; and dancing through winter’s depths.
Our focus was on context and solutions. Alongside the basic facts of traditional reporting, we aimed to give context, the ability to place the story in a wider perspective, and, uniquely, an understanding of how readers could get involved in the solution.
At the heart of the TFP model was the circulation of good practice and solutions that help to mitigate climate change. We reported on projects that are changing communities and our pages contained many new ideas and new ways of being and doing, directed at facilitating, inspiring and reflecting change. By spreading the word, we aimed to change behaviour and influence policy.
The paper was editorially independent and ‘worked with’ rather than ‘worked for’ the Transition Network.
Our final issue, no 7, was published in September 2014.
Who we were
The 2014 team behind the publication were all involved in communications and the Transition movement:
- Charlotte Du Cann was Editor-in-Chief. An ex-mainstream journalist (Vogue, the Independent, New Statesman) she is now a writer and community activist, involved with Sustainable Bungay and Playing for Time – Making Art as if the World Mattered, a recently published book about the arts and social change.
- Alexis Rowell was Managing Editor. He was a BBC journalist in a previous life and has written “Communities, councils and carbon – what we can do if governments won’t”. A founder member of Transition Belsize in north London, Alexis has spent the last two years working with Transition Town Lewes in East Sussex.
- Amy Hall was News Editor. Based in Brighton, Amy is a freelance journalist and has worked for a number of publications, including New Internationalist and The Ecologist.
- Chris Wells was Design Director, runs the web and software company Folk Labs and is a founder member of Transition Kensal to Kilburn.
- Michaela Woollatt was Assistant Features Editor and is a founder member of Transition Nayland (Suffolk)
- Mike Grenville looked after subscriptions. He is the Editor of the monthly Transition Network newsletter and founded Transition Forest Row five years ago.
- Tess Riley and Eva Schonveld were our Food and Drink Editors. Tess worked for Street Bank and is affiliated with Transition Ealing. Eva works for The Fife Diet and is a mover and shaker behind Transition Scotland.
- Mark Watson was Distribution Manager. A writer and plant medicine communicator he is the chair of Sustainable Bungay in Suffolk.
We were not afraid to go deep, ask awkward questions, laugh or explore paths other papers don’t go down to find a sustainable future. We wanted to capture the real-life experiences of people who are discussing and doing Transition, looking at the small details in the big picture. We were optimistic in the face of tough times. But we were also real. We were real about the awesome challenges of peak oil and climate change and the recession. We were also real about the hard work the projects featured in those pages take (including this paper!)
We folded at the end of 2014 because we were unable to find enough funding to pay ourselves and to eventually become a self-sustaining enterprise.
A big thank you to all our readers and supporters during these years.