It’s surprising but not jarring The Village Voice is ending its six-decade print run. After all, paper publications are the checkered taxi cabs of New York City, subsumed into extinction by the steady tick of technology. Journalism is dead, remember? Or at the very least, journalism as it once stood has been reincarnated into a new, digital animal with four legs made from vlogs, its tail cut short as a tweet.
Even if The Village Voice’s bright-red newsstands speck almost every Manhattan street with a humble familiarity New Yorkers have come to take for granted, the stands are no longer needed; they’ll be gone soon enough.
“When The Village Voice was converted into a free weekly in an effort to boost circulation back in 1996, it was at a time when Craigslist was in its infancy, Google and Facebook weren’t yet glimmers in the eyes of their founders, and alternative weeklies – and newspapers everywhere – were still packed with classified advertising,” said Peter Barbey, current owner of The Village Voice.
“Clearly a lot has changed since then,” he explained. “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.”
Paperless but not powerless, as Barbey might explain, The Village Voice will morph into an online, unrelenting exploration of alt-news, while continuing to host high-profile events like The Obie Awards and The Pride Awards. Still, in the form it once took when the paper was founded on Oct. 26, 1955 by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher and Normal Mailer, The Village Voice is no more.