Vale the Village Voice: New York bible axes print edition

  • 22 August 2017
  • From the section Business

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The Village Voice, for 62 years the poster child of American alternative journalism, is set to end its print edition.

Although the title is to disappear from news stands, it will live on digitally.

Peter Barbey, who bought the New York weekly in 2015, said the “business has moved online – and so has the Voice’s audience”.

A Voice spokesman said it had not yet been decided when the title would stop being printed.

The Voice was co-founded in 1955 by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Norman Mailer, who came up with the title, and his friends Daniel Wolf and Edwin Fancher in New York’s Greenwich Village.

Mailer left after four months, attributing his departure, reportedly, to a typographical error in his column that turned ”nuances” to ”nuisances”.

The spirit of the paper in the Sixties might best be summed up by journalist Mark Jacobson: “Simply to be seen with the Voice set you apart: You were one of those people — hair too long, mouth too smart, not likely to go to the prom. Growing up in Flushing, the dream felt good.”

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Image caption

Norman Mailer pictured in 1970

In its time the paper has published investigations into both New York City and national politics, as well as reporting on arts, culture, music, dance, film and theatre, and supporting gay rights.

The Voice also published the works of writers such as Ezra Pound, James Baldwin, Lester Bangs and Allen Ginsberg.

The paper went free in 1996 but has struggled, like other print titles, to win enough revenue from its classified ads.

In May the Voice relaunched its online edition, which Mr Barbey said would allow “us to do what we do not just once a week, but every day, across a range of media, from words and pictures to podcasts, video and even other forms of print publishing”.

In March 2016 the Independent became the first UK national daily to axe its print edition, with the title living on online.

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