I’m very pleased to be launching our new-look Third Force News. TFN began as a four page publication 22 years ago, back in 1996. It’s come a long way since then, moving with the times including developing a strong online presence as well as printing the weekly paper.
Recently, we’ve recognised that most of our readers now prefer to read news digitally so the last weekly TFN newspaper was published on Friday, 29 June 2018. We also realise that there is still a place for high quality printed magazines, so from August there will be a new monthly TFN magazine full of exclusive features and analysis of what’s going on in Scotland’s third sector and wider civil society.
I value TFN as an important part of SCVO’s work and we are proud to publish it. It’s a platform for organisations to share their news and find out about what’s going on across the sector. It offers a unique vehicle to explore in more depth what’s going on in Scotland through the particular lens of the voluntary sector. It’s also gained a reputation with politicians and others as a go-to source of information on the sector, the great people who work in it (paid or unpaid) and the valuable contribution the voluntary sector makes to society at a national and local level.
For around a decade, TFN has been published by SCVO but with an independent remit, rather than being firmly embedded within our organisation. It’s an approach that helped give TFN the freedom to challenge the sector to account rather than simply being a “cheerleader”. But that has caused friction at times, when TFN and SCVO have taken different lines and that’s been confusing. I am not averse to a bit of controversy and good journalism will always challenge the status quo. But the reality is that TFN is part of SCVO and we will be stronger when we own that and maximise the opportunities it offers. We can speak with one voice and be clear on our lines while still performing the role of critical friend.
The magazine provides an opportunity for us to do this better, and also to align TFN more closely with SCVO’s membership offer.
All the latest news and comment will continue to appear on the TFN website on a daily basis and you can still register for free news bulletins. But features and analysis produced for TFN magazine will be only be accessible on the website for SCVO members or TFN subscribers.
My colleagues and I are very excited about the changes and look forward to hearing what you think.