IF it weren’t for the ’80s Village Voice, I probably would not be a journalist. (The world, I expect, would be a better place.)
This weekend I have a story in Al Jazeera America about good times and bad for alternative weeklies. I talk about the crystalline sense of mission these publications had during conservative times, and the troubles they’ve had more recently. And I try to shine a light on the good and important work they still do.
In the piece I get into my youthful infatuation with the alt-press — I interned at the Voice, freelanced for the now-defunct Boston Phoenix soon after leaving college, later worked for New Times Los Angeles. As nasty as that company could be, we had a blast there, some of the time, and I’m still proud of the work my colleagues and I did there. (Even if New Times responded by killing the paper and destroying its online archive.) Where is the alt press now?
And I try to sketch out what various weeklies have meant to the city of Los Angeles, which remains the Misread City.
Happy holidays to all my readers.