Alt-Weaklies

Alt-Weaklies

The Association of Alternative Media (formerly the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies) will meet in San Francisco January 23rd to 25th. AAM represents 117 publications, most of them owned by a few corporations.

“2013 has been a rough year for alt-weeklies. The Boston Phoenix, among the oldest and most storied, collapsed in March, putting about 50 employees out of work, just six months after an optimistic move to glossy stock; the paper was losing roughly $1 million a year. Susan Orlean, a New Yorker writer who, like Joe Klein, Janet Maslin and David Denby, worked for the Phoenix early on, compares it to the disappearance of her alma mater. ‘I am a child of the alt-weekly world,’ she says, ‘and I feel like it has played such an important role in journalism as we know it today.’ The New Haven Advocate was folded, along with two other weeklies, into The Hartford Courant this month after a year that saw heavy layoffs. In May, the two top editors of The Village Voice resigned rather than cut a quarter of the staff.

The troubles are not confined to the northeast: The LA Weekly, whose issues typically offer less than half the pages they did a decade ago, recently announced substantial cuts in its theater coverage, to which the paper had a three-decade commitment. Most places, page counts and staff sizes are way down.”

— “How the Village Voice and other alt-weeklies lost their voice in 2013,” Scott Timberg, Al Jazeera America

Related:

“The Alternative History of 2013: Alt-Weeklies Year in Review,” Jason Zaragoza, altweeklies.com

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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