The Village Voice

The Village Voice

:"This article is about a New York newspaper. For the Ottawa Hills, Ohio magazine, see The Village Voice of Ottawa Hills."Infobox Newspaper
name = The Village Voice

caption = October 1955 cover
type = Newspaper
format = Tabloid / Alternative weekly
foundation = 1955
owners = Village Voice Media
publisher = Michael Cohen
chiefeditor = Tony Ortega
circulation = 247,417cite web |url= |title=The Village Voice |accessdate=2007-02-23 |publisher=Association of Alternative Newsweeklies ]
headquarters = 36 Cooper Square
New York, NY 10003
website = []

"The Village Voice" is a free weekly newspaper in New York City, United States featuring investigative articles, analysis of current affairs and culture, arts reviews and events listings for New York City. It is also distributed throughout the United States on a pay basis.

It was the first and is arguably the best known of the arts-oriented tabloids that have come to be known as "alternative weeklies", though its reputation has been unstable since a recent buyout by publishing conglomerate New Times Media. The turbulent times its writers have covered has often been matched by the intrigue in its own offices, most recently including the firing of several high-profile contributors and a scandal over a forged story in 2005, the year the paper turned 50. The "Voice"'s spirit can be captured in its 1980s advertising slogan: "Some people swear by us...other people swear AT us."Fact|date=June 2008


The "Voice" was launched by Ed Fancher, Dan Wolf, and Norman MailerLawrence van Gelder, [ Dan Wolf, 80, a Village Voice Founder, Dies] , "The New York Times", April 12, 1996. Accessed online 2 June 2008.] on October 26, 1955, from a two-bedroom apartment in Greenwich Village, its initial coverage area, expanding to other parts of the city by the 1960s. The offices in the 1960s were located at Sheridan Square; they are now at Cooper Square in the East Village.

Early in its history the newspaper had a reputation as having an anti-homosexual slant. When reporting on the Stonewall riots of 1968, the newspaper referred to the riots as "The Great Faggot Rebellion". Two reporters, Smith and Truscott, both used the words 'faggot' and 'dyke' in their articles about the riots. (These words were not commonly used by homosexuals to refer to each other at this time) After the riot the Gay Liberation Front attempted to promote dances for gays and lesbians and were not allowed to use the words "gay" or "homosexual" which the newspaper considered derogatory. The newspaper changed their policy after the GLF petitioned the "Voice" to change its policy. [Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked The Gay Revolution. Carter, David. pg. 226]

The "Voice" has published groundbreaking investigations of New York City politics, as well as reporting on local and national politics, with arts, culture, music, dance, film, and theater reviews. The "Voice" has received three Pulitzer Prizes, in 1981 (Teresa Carpenter), [ [,27 The Pulitzer Prize Winners, 1981] , official Pulitzer Prize site. Accessed online 5 June 2008.] 1986 (Jules Feiffer) [ [,31 The Pulitzer Prize Winners, 1986] , official Pulitzer Prize site. Accessed online 5 June 2008.] and 2000 (Mark Schoofs). [ [,28 The Pulitzer Prize Winners, 2000] , official Pulitzer Prize site. Accessed online 5 June 2008.] Almost since its inception the paper has recognized alternative theater in New York through its Obie Awards. [ [ About the OBIES] , official Obies site (part of "Village Voice" site). Accessed online 5 June 2008.] From the early 1970s to 2005 music critic Robert Christgau ran a highly influential music poll known as "Pazz & Jop" every February from the "top ten" lists submitted by music critics from around the country. In 1999, film critic J. Hoberman and film section editor Dennis Lim began a similar Village Voice Film Poll for the year's movies. In 2001 the paper sponsored its first Siren Festival indie rock festival, a free annual event every summer held at Coney Island.

The "Voice" has published many well-known writers, including Ezra Pound, Henry Miller, Barbara Garson, Katherine Anne Porter, M.S.Cone, staff writer and author, James Baldwin, E.E. Cummings, Nat Hentoff, Ted Hoagland, Tom Stoppard, Lorraine Hansberry, Allen Ginsberg and Joshua Clover. Former editors have included Clay Felker and Tom Morgan.

Early columnists of the 1950s and 1960s included Jonas Mekas, who explored the underground film movement in his "Film Journal" column; Linda Solomon, who reviewed the Village club scene in the "Riffs" column; and Sam Julty, who wrote a popular column on car ownership and maintenance. Another regular from that period was the cartoonist Kin Platt, who did weekly theatrical caricatures. Other prominent regulars have included Peter Schjeldahl, Ellen Willis, Tom Carson and Wayne Barrett.

The newspaper has also been a host to promising underground cartoonists. In addition to mainstay Jules Feiffer, whose cartoon ran for decades in the paper until its cancellation in 1996, well-known cartoonists featured in the paper have included Matt Groening, Lynda Barry, Stan Mack, Mark Alan Stamaty, Ted Rall, Tom Tomorrow, Ward Sutton, Ruben Bolling and currently M. Wartella.

The "Voice" is also known for containing adult content, including sex advice columns and many pages of advertising for "adult services" (escorts, prostitutes, etc.). This content is located at the back of the newspaper.

The Voice is also locally known for being the place where most Hard Rock or Jazz concerts are announced, sometimes with full page paid ads. Most groups visiting New York advertise in the Voice for publicity. Most venues in NYC advertise their concerts in The Village Voice.

The "Voice's" competitors in New York City include the "New York Press", "New York Observer" and "Time Out New York". After decades of carrying a cover price, the "Voice" responded to competition from the free "New York Press" by itself becoming free of charge on newsstands in the five boroughs -- in 1996. (It still carries a charge for home/mail delivery and for newsstands outside the city limits, such as on Long Island.) Its circulation as of June 2006 was 247,417.

The "Voice’s" web site is a past winner of both the National Press Foundation’s Online Journalism Award (2001) [ [ Excellence in Online Journalism Award: Past Winners 2000-2006] , NPF Awards, National Press Foundation. Accessed online 2 June 2008.] and the "Editor & Publisher" EPpy Award for Best Overall U.S. Newspaper Online Service – Weekly, Community, Alternative & Free (2003). [ [ Winners - 2003] , EPpy Awards. Accessed online 2 June 2008.]

The "Voice" was the second organization in the US known to have extended domestic partner benefits, in July 1982. Jeff Weinstein, an employee of the paper and shop steward for the publishing local of District 65 UAW, negotiated and won agreement in the union contract to extend health, life insurance, and disability benefits to the "spouse equivalents" of its union members. [ [ DomesticPartners ] ]

Seventeen alternative weeklies around the United States are owned by the "Voice's" parent company Village Voice Media. In 2005, the Phoenix alternative weekly chain New Times Media purchased the company and took the Village Voice Media name. Previous owners of the "Village Voice" or of Village Voice Media have included co-founders Fancher and Wolf, New York City Councilman Carter Burden, "New York Magazine" founder Clay Felker, Rupert Murdoch, and Leonard Stern of the Hartz Mountain empire.

Changes after 2005 New Times Media buyout

Since the buyout, the paper has made a number of broad-sweeping changes, becoming an increasingly mainstream publication. The "Village Voice" is now managed by two journalists from Phoenix, Arizona, and some New York media critics perceive a loss of the paper's original iconoclastic, bohemian spirit. [Jonathan Mandell, [ Bigger Media, Less Local Democracy] , Gotham Gazette, February 2007. Accessed 8 June 2008.] [Adam Reilly, [ Culture war] , "The Phoenix" (Boston), 2 March 2007. Accessed 8 June 2008.]

In April 2006, the "Voice" dismissed music editor Chuck Eddy. [Ben Sisario, [ Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bloggy: An Online Poll Covets the Territory Once Owned by Pazz & Jop] , "The New York Times", November 30 2006. Accessed 8 June 2008.] Four months later the newspaper fired longtime music critic Robert Christgau. In January 2007, the newspaper fired sex columnist and erotica author Rachel Kramer Bussel.

The paper has experienced high turnover among its editorial leadership since 2005. Editor-in-chief Don Forst resigned in December 2005. Doug Simmons, his replacement, was fired in March 2006 after it was discovered a reporter had fabricated portions of an article. Simmons' successor, Erik Wemple, resigned after two weeks. His replacement, David Blum, was fired in March 2007. As of April 2007, Tony Ortega, former editor of the Broward-Palm Beach "New Times", is editor.

Awards and honors

*2003 - Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, Local Circulation Weekly Category, series "Lush Life of Rudy Appointee" by Tom Robbins [cite web|url=|title=Alternative Newsweekly Award Winners Announced|work=The Write News|date=June 20, 2003|publisher=Writers Write, Inc|accessdate=2008-06-01]
*2003 - American Society of Journalists and Authors Donald Robinson Award for Investigative Journalism, for "Final Solutions: How IBM Helped Automate the Nazi Death Machine in Poland" by Edwin Black [cite web|url=| Awards History - Donald Robinson Memorial Award for Investigative Journalism||accessdate=2008-06-01|last=American Society of Journalists and Authors]
*2003 - New York Press Club and New York State Bar Association Crystal Gavel Award, for "Why the NYPD Is Fighting for the Right to Spy on You" by Chisun Lee [cite web|url=
title=New York State Bar Association and New York Press Club to Honor News Media Reporting About Law, Legal System - Village Voice and ABC News receive top honors|work=New York State Bar Association||accessdate=2008-06-01|last=Carr|first=Brad
*2002 - Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Mike Berger Award for "Crossing to the Other Side" by Michael Kambercite web|url=|title=Village Voice Wins Berger Award||accessdate=2008-06-01|date=2002-05-13|last=Association of Alternative Newsweeklies]
*2002 - Association of Alternative Newsweeklies Award for Feature Writing, for "Crossing to the Other Side" by Michael Kambercite web|url=|title=Alternative Newsweekly Award Winners Announced - Two Sept. 11 Pieces Take First Place, Gambit Weekly Wins Four Firsts||accessdate=2008-06-01|last=Association of Alternative Newsweeklies]
*2002 - Association of Alternative Newsweeklies Award for Photography, for photograph of downtown Manhattan by Andre Souroujon
*2002 - Association of Alternative Newsweeklies Award for Photography for Arts Criticism, work by Greg Tate
*2002 - Association of Alternative Newsweeklies Award for Photography for Cartoon, "Tom the Dancing Bug" by Ken Fisher (Ruben Bolling)
*2001 - Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Mike Berger Award for "Life on the Outside" by Jennifer Gonnerman
*2001 - National Press Foundation Excellence in Online Journalism Award for [cite web|url=|title=The National Press Foundation - NPF Awards - 2001 Award Winner,||accessdate=2008-06-01|last=National Press Foundation]
*2000 - Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, for "AIDS: The Agony of Africa" by Mark Schoofs [cite web|url=|title=2000 Pulitzer Prize Winners - INTERNATIONAL REPORTING|last=The Pulitzer Board||accessdate=2008-06-01]
*1986 - Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning, Jules Feiffer [cite news | last =Shaw | first =David | title =Denver Post Wins Pulitzer Three Other Newspapers Get Two Prizes Apiece | work =Los Angeles Times | page =1 | date = April 18, 1986 ]
*1981 - Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing, Teresa Carpenter [cite web|url=|title=The Pulitzer Prizes for 1981||last=The Pulitzer Board|accessdate=2008-06-01]
*1960 - George Polk Award for Community Service [cite web|url=|title=The George Polk Awards for Journalism||accessdate=2008-06-01|last=Long Island University]

ee also

*Media of New York City


Further reading

*cite web|url=|title=New Times|publisher=San Francisco Chronicle|date=October 30, 2005|last=Chonin|first=Nina|page=PK-16
* Goodman, Amy. [ "Village Voice Shakeup: Top Investigative Journalist Fired, Prize-Winning Writers Resign Following Merger with New Times Media"] , April 13, 2006. Listen in [ Real Player] . Download in [ MP3] . Watch in 128K [ Real Player Video stream] . Read [ transcript] . Host Amy Goodman interviews current and former staff James Ridgeway Nat Hentoff, Tom Robbins, Sydney Schanberg and two reporters Mark Jacobson and Tim Redmond.
* Jacobson, Mark. [ "The Voice from Beyond the Grave:The legendary downtown paper has been a shell of its former self since it went free nearly a decade ago. But a potty-mouthed new owner—from Phoenix, no less—vows to make it relevant again."] "New York Magazine". November 14, 2005 issue. Retrieved April 13, 2006.
* Murphy, Jarrett. [,murphynews,69260,2.html "Village Voice Media, New Times Announce Merger: Deal to combine two largest alt-weekly chains would require Justice Department approval"] . "Village Voice", October 24, 2005 issue. Retrieved April 13, 2006.
* Sherman, Gabriel. [ "Can Village Voice Make It Without Its Lefty Zetz?"] . April 24, 2006 edition of "The New York Observer", p.1. Retrieved April 20, 2006.
* VanAirsdale, S.T. [ "The Voice in the Wilderness: A look inside the Village Voice's troubled film section reveals acrimony, disappointment -- and maybe even a future"] November 15, 2006 edition of "The Reeler". Retrieved November 16, 2006.
*Sisario, Ben. [ Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bloggy: An Online Poll Covets the Territory Once Owned by Pazz & Jop] , November 30, 2006 edition of The New York Times.

External links

* " [ "The Village Voice"] " (official site)
* [ About Us - Our History] at official site

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