In what is being called the end of an era, The Village Voice announced Tuesday that it will stop printing its free weekly edition. The paper, which began in 1955, was known across the city and the country for its coverage of the arts and politics as well as its opinionated writers and became a launching pad for the careers of reporters and Pulitzer Prize winners.
Peter Barbey, who bought the Voicein October 2015, now sees the publication moving in a new direction. In a statement released yesterday, Barbey emphasized that the Web was still young when the Voicebecame a free weekly to increase its readership. Advertisement and commerce wasn’t yet focused on digital initiatives and print was widely popular. “Clearly a lot has changed since then,” he said. “That business has moved online—and so has the Voice’s audience, which expects 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. This decision will allow us to move forward more freely in our pursuit of all of those avenues so that The Village Voice brand is not just once again viable, but vital.”
Now the Voicewill begin further embracing digital media, while readers lament the end of its famed print edition which was created by Norman Mailer, Dan Wolf and Ed Fancher, becoming the country’s first alternative weekly.
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“For more than 60 years, The Village Voice brand has played an outsized role in American journalism, politics, and culture,” Barbey said. “It has been a beacon for progress and a literal voice for thousands of people whose identities, opinions, and ideas might otherwise have been unheard. I expect it to continue to be that and much, much more.”