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Life Media is a Canadian multimedia company with an audience in over 20 countries. Our roots reach back to 1976 when Rolf and Wendy Priesnitz (pictured left) were searching for an environmentally-friendly home-based business that would allow them both to work from home in order to help their two daughters learn without schooling (then called "homeschooling," but now more specifically referred to as "unschooling" or, as we prefer, "life learning"). So they launched The Alternate Press to publish Natural Life Magazine – one of the original green family living magazines – and a book of Wendy's poetry called Summer Love, Winter Fires. Those were followed by other books, newsletters, newspapers, magazines, and websites.
Another early publishing effort was the Canadian Homeschooler newsletter, launched in 1979; in 1985 it became Child's Play Magazine, which continued until 1993 when it was merged into Natural Life Magazine. It has once again become a separate entity. In 1985, The Home Business Advocate – an international home business newspaper – was launched. It also became a part of Natural Life Magazine in 1993.
Along the way, the company name was updated to Life Media, with The Alternate Press continuing as the book publishing imprint.
Over the years, the company has purchased magazines like Seriatim from San Francisco, California; Positive Vibrations from Victoria, British Columbia; Earthkeeper from Guelph, Ontario; and Growth Spurts from Toronto, Ontario; their content was merged into Natural Life Magazine. (An agreement was also made to purchase Mothering Magazine from its founder in 1979, but negotiations fell through; in 2011, when Mothering ceased publication, we offered our magazines to its former subscribers on a complimentary basis to fulfill their subscriptions.) A trade magazine for the then-nascent natural and whole foods industry was published in the early 1980s, under the banner Natural Foods in Canada.
In the mid 1980s, Wendy Priesnitz began to share her hands-on small business and unschooling experience beyond the print medium by presenting keynote speeches and workshops at conferences across North America. From 1996 to 2006, she wrote a weekly small business newspaper column, and in the late 1980s, she wrote and hosted a business television show. She continues to share her small business expertise.
One of the hallmarks of Life Media and of the work of Wendy and Rolf Priesnitz is anticipation of and leadership in pioneering new trends. So In 1994, the company put Natural Life Magazine on the web (although it had been available to libraries over the Internet by data pack for many years prior to that) and a major commitment was made to electronic publishing.
In 2002, Life Media embraced its readers emerging interests by once again spinning off separate magazines. The first of these, Life Learning Magazine, was launched in March of 2002. Natural Child Magazine was launched in 2008, and Child's Play Magazine in 2015.
And so Life Media continues to provide information about natural family living to people around the world. New initiatives are in the works, including one to support and promote apprenticeship. The company has won a number of awards, including an Outstanding Media Contribution Award for Natural Life Magazine's balanced environmental reporting. And Wendy continues to write articles and is the author of twelve books, with another one in process.
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