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Thu, 21 Sep 2017 09:19:52
The Village Voice began its long history almost 62 years ago, founded by Ed Fancher, Dan Wolf, and Norman Mailer in 1955. September 20 marked its final weekly printed distribution, as the publication segues to strictly online content. Bob Dylan salutes farewell to or from the city on the cover of the final edition of the free paper many consider an institution.
Current Village Voice editor Stephen Mooallem wrote a column for this week’s paper, aptly titled “You’re Probably Reading This On an Electronic Device.” In it, he chronicles the many and changing reporters, journalists, stories, and ideals the Voice came to represent over the years, as well as the technical difficulties of maintaining and employing their analog archive made of card catalogues and bound copies of every edition since the first issue of October 26, 1955.
Mooallem says the Voice, “…In its heyday — and when that was depends on who you ask — was a prime mover of the tectonic variety, and it attracted revolutionaries. The Voice tackled subjects that no one else did in ways that no one else would. If you were a politician, a real estate developer, a wealthy industrialist, a would-be art, music, or film star, or anyone deemed to be of dubious intent or motive, the Voice could be brutal. If you were marginalized, mistreated, ill, poor, a victim of injustice, or an activist or advocate for those who were, the Voice could be a beacon.”
When it was founded, Mooallem chronicles, “The future seemed possibly more unknown than it does now. The postwar years were prosperous ones in the United States, but the social fissures of the Cold War and McCarthyism had begun to widen and deepen.” Relating that state of affairs to ours, Mooallem refers to the many successes in the Voice‘s long history, painting a clear picture of the influence he hopes it can retain.
The Village Voice will continue to serve New York City in online form.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff