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An alternative newspaper is a type of
newspaper A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial Serial may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media The presentation of works in sequential segments ...

newspaper
that eschews comprehensive coverage of general news in favor of stylized reporting, opinionated
review A review is an evaluation of a publication, product, service, or company or a critical take on current affairs in literature, politics or culture. In addition to a critical evaluation, the review's author may assign the work a content rating, ...

review
s and
columns A column or pillar in architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Par ...
, investigations into edgy topics and
magazine A magazine is a periodical publication Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial Serial may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media The presentation of works in sequential ...

magazine
-style feature stories highlighting local people and culture. Its news coverage is more locally focused, and their target audiences are younger than those of daily newspapers. Typically, alternative newspapers are published in
tabloid Tabloid may refer to: * Tabloid journalism, a type of journalism * Tabloid (newspaper format), a newspaper with compact page size ** Chinese tabloid * Tabloid (paper size), a North American paper size * Tabloid (film), ''Tabloid'' (film), a 2010 d ...
format and printed on
newsprint Newsprint is a low-cost, non-archival paper Paper is a thin sheet material Material is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, ...
. Other names for such publications include alternative weekly, alternative newsweekly, and alt weekly, as the majority circulate on a weekly schedule. Most
metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated urban core Urban means "related to a city". In that sense, the term may refer to: * Urban area, geographical area distinct from rural areas * Urban culture, the cul ...

metropolitan area
s of the United States and Canada are home to at least one alternative paper. These papers are generally found in such
urban Urban means "related to a city". In that sense, the term may refer to: * Urban area, geographical area distinct from rural areas * Urban culture, the culture of towns and cities. Urban may also refer to: General * Urban (name), a list of people ...
areas, although a few publish in smaller cities, in rural areas or
exurban An exurb (alternately: exurban area) is an area outside the typically denser inner suburban area File:Husby Kista.jpg, The Swedish suburbs of Husby/Kista/Akalla are built according to the typical city planning of the Million Programme. A s ...
areas where they may be referred to as an alt monthly due to the less frequent publication schedule.


Content

Alternative papers have usually operated under a different
business model
business model
than daily papers. Most alternative papers, such as '' The Stranger'', the ''
Houston Press The ''Houston Press'' is an online newspaper published in Houston, Texas, United States. It is headquartered in the Midtown Houston, Midtown area. It was also a weekly print newspaper until November 2017. The publication is supported entirely ...
'', ''
SF Weekly ''SF Weekly'' is a free alternative weekly An alternative newspaper is a type of newspaper A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial Serial m ...
'', the ''
Village Voice ''The Village Voice'' is an American news and culture paper, known for being the country's first alternative ''AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples'' (formerly ''AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Sch ...

Village Voice
'', the ''
New York Press ''New York Press'' was a free alternative weeklyAn alternative newspaper is a type of newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is often typed in b ...
'', the ''
Metro Times The ''Detroit Metro Times'' is a progressive alternative weekly An alternative newspaper is a type of that eschews comprehensive coverage of general news in favor of stylized reporting, opinionated s and , into edgy topics and -style feature sto ...
'', the ''
LA Weekly ''LA Weekly'' is a free weeklyWeekly or Weeekly may refer to: *Weekly (news magazine), ''Weekly'' (news magazine), an English-language national news magazine published in Mauritius *Weekly newspaper, any newspaper published on a weekly schedule ...
'', the ''
Boise Weekly ''Boise Weekly'' is a newspaper in Boise, Idaho Boise () is the capital and most populous city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds ...
'' and the ''
Long Island Press The ''Long Island Press'' is a free monthly news and lifestyle periodical serving Long Island Long Island is a densely populated island in the southeast part of the U.S. state of New York, in the northeastern United States. At New York Har ...
'', have been free, earning revenue through the sale of
advertising Advertising is a marketing Marketing is the process of intentionally stimulating demand for and purchases of goods and services; potentially including selection of a target audience; selection of certain attributes or themes to emphasi ...

advertising
space. They sometimes include ads for adult entertainment, such as adult bookstores and
strip club A strip club is a venue where strippers A stripper or exotic dancer is a person whose occupation involves performing in a public adult entertainment venue such as a . At times, a stripper may be hired to perform at a or other private ev ...
s, which are prohibited in many mainstream daily newspapers. They usually include comprehensive classified and
personal ad A personal advertisement, sometimes called a contact ad, is a form of classified advertising Classified advertising is a form of advertising, particularly common in newspapers, online and other periodicals, which may be sold or distributed fr ...
sections and event listings as well. Many alternative papers feature an annual "best of" issue, profiling businesses that readers voted the best of their type in the area. Often these papers send out certificates that the businesses hang on their wall or window. This further cements the paper's ties to local businesses. Alternative newspapers represent the more commercialized and mainstream evolution of the
underground press The terms underground press or clandestine press refer to periodicals and publications that are produced without official approval, illegally or against the wishes of a dominant (governmental, religious, or institutional) group. In specific rece ...
associated with the 1960s
counterculture A counterculture is a culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilitie ...
. Their focus remains on arts and entertainment and social and political reportage.
Editorial An editorial (US), leading article or leader (UK) is an article written by the senior editorial people or publisher of a newspaper A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a per ...

Editorial
positions at alternative weeklies are predominantly
left Left may refer to: Music * ''Left'' (Hope of the States album), 2006 * ''Left'' (Monkey House album), 2016 Direction * Left (direction) Body relative directions (also known as egocentric coordinates) are orientation (geometry), geometri ...
-leaning, though there is a contingent of
conservative Conservatism is an aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste (sociology), taste, as well as the philosophy of art (its own area of philosophy that comes out of ae ...
and
libertarian Libertarianism (from french: libertaire, "libertarian"; from la, libertas, "freedom") is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and funda ...
, alt-weeklies. Styles vary sharply among alternative newspapers; some affect a satirical, ironic tone, while others embrace a more straightforward approach to reporting. Columns commonly
syndicated Syndication may refer to: * Broadcast syndication, where individual stations buy programs outside the network system * Print syndication, where individual newspapers or magazines license news articles, columns, or comic strips * Web syndication, w ...
to alternative weeklies include "
The Straight Dope "The Straight Dope" was a question-and-answer newspaper column A column is a recurring piece or article in a newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current event ...

The Straight Dope
,"
Dan Savage Daniel Keenan Savage (born October 7, 1964) is an American author, media Pundit (expert), pundit, journalist, and LGBT community activist. He writes ''Savage Love'', an internationally syndicated relationship and sex advice column. In 2010, Sav ...

Dan Savage
's "
Savage Love Savage Love is a syndicated sex-advice column by Dan Savage. The column appears weekly in several dozen newspapers, mainly free newspapers in the US and Canada, but also newspapers in Europe and Asia. It started in 1991 with the first issue of th ...
," Rob Breszny's " Free Will Astrology," and Ben Tausig's crossword puzzle "Ink Well." Quirky, non-mainstream
comic a medium Medium may refer to: Science and technology Aviation *Medium bomber, a class of war plane *Tecma Medium, a French hang glider design Communication * Media (communication), tools used to store and deliver information or d ...
s, such as
Matt Groening Matthew Abram Groening ( ; born February 15, 1954) is an American cartoonist, writer, producer, and animator. He is the creator of the comic strip ''Life in Hell ''Life in Hell'' is a comic strip A comic strip is a sequence of drawings, oft ...

Matt Groening
's ''
Life in Hell ''Life in Hell'' is a comic strip A comic strip is a sequence of drawings, often cartoon A cartoon is a type of illustration, sometimes animated, typically in a non- realistic or semi-realistic style. The specific meaning has evolved over ...
'',
Lynda Barry Lynda Barry (born Linda Jean Barry, January 2, 1956) is an American cartoonist, author, and teacher. Barry is best known for her weekly comic strip ''Ernie Pook's Comeek''. She garnered attention with her 1988 illustrated novel ''The Good Times ...

Lynda Barry
's '' Ernie Pook's Comeek'',
Ruben Bolling Ruben Bolling (born c. 1963 in New Jersey) is a pseudonym for Ken Fisher, an American cartoonist, the author of ''Tom the Dancing Bug'' and ''Super-Fun-Pak Comix''. His work started out apolitical, instead featuring absurdism, absurdist humor, parod ...
's '' Tom the Dancing Bug'', and
Ted Rall Frederick Theodore Rall III (born August 26, 1963) is an American columnist, syndicated editorial cartoonist, and author. His political cartoons often appear in a multi-panel comic strip, comic-strip format and frequently blend comic-strip and e ...

Ted Rall
's
political cartoons A political cartoon, a type of editorial cartoon, is a cartoon A cartoon is a type of illustration that is typically drawn, sometimes animated, in an unrealistic or semi-realistic style. The specific meaning has evolved over time, but the ...
are also common. The ''Village Voice'', based in
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
, was one of the first and best-known examples of the form. Since the Voice’s demise in 2018,
Marin County Marin County is located in the northwestern part of the San Francisco Bay Area The San Francisco Bay Area, popularly referred to as the Bay Area, is a populous region surrounding the , , and in . Although the exact boundaries of the regi ...
’s Pacific Sun, founded in 1963, is now the longest running alternative weekly. The
Association of Alternative Newsmedia The Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN), formerly known as the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, is a trade association of alternative weeklyAn alternative newspaper is a type of newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literat ...
is the alternative weeklies' trade association. The Alternative Weekly Network and the Ruxton Group are national advertising sales representatives for alternative weeklies.


Chains and mergers

Some alternative newspapers are independent. However, due in part to increasing
concentration of media ownership Concentration of media ownership (also known as media consolidation or media convergence) is a process whereby progressively fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media Mass media refers to a diverse ...
, many have been bought or launched by larger
media conglomerate A media conglomerate, media group, or media institution is a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal person, legal or a mixt ...
s. The Tribune Company, a multibillion-dollar company that owns the ''Chicago Tribune'', owns four New England alternative weeklies, including the ''Hartford Advocate'' and ''New Haven Advocate.'' ''Creative Loafing'', originally only an Atlanta-based alternative weekly, grew into Creative Loafing, Inc. which owned papers in three other Southern United States, southern U.S. cities, as well as the ''Chicago Reader'' and ''Washington City Paper''. Village Voice Media and New Times Media merged in 2006; before that, they were the two largest chains. The pre-merger Village Voice Media, an outgrowth of New York City's ''
Village Voice ''The Village Voice'' is an American news and culture paper, known for being the country's first alternative ''AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples'' (formerly ''AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Sch ...

Village Voice
'', included ''
LA Weekly ''LA Weekly'' is a free weeklyWeekly or Weeekly may refer to: *Weekly (news magazine), ''Weekly'' (news magazine), an English-language national news magazine published in Mauritius *Weekly newspaper, any newspaper published on a weekly schedule ...
'', ''OC Weekly'', ''Seattle Weekly'', ''City Pages, Minneapolis City Pages'', and ''Nashville Scene''. New Times Media included at the time of the merger ''Cleveland Scene'', ''Dallas Observer'', ''Westword'', ''East Bay Express'', ''New Times Broward-Palm Beach'', ''
Houston Press The ''Houston Press'' is an online newspaper published in Houston, Texas, United States. It is headquartered in the Midtown Houston, Midtown area. It was also a weekly print newspaper until November 2017. The publication is supported entirely ...
'', ''The Pitch (newspaper), The Pitch'', ''Miami New Times'', ''Phoenix New Times'', ''
SF Weekly ''SF Weekly'' is a free alternative weekly An alternative newspaper is a type of newspaper A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial Serial m ...
'' and ''Riverfront Times''. In 2003, the two companies entered into a non-competition agreement which stated that the two would not publish in the same market. Because of this, New Times Media eliminated ''New Times LA'', a competitor to Village Voice Media's ''LA Weekly'', and Village Voice Media ceased publishing ''Cleveland Free Times'', a competitor to New Times Media's ''Cleveland Scene''. The US Justice Department launched an antitrust investigation into the agreement. The case was settled out of court with the two companies agreeing to make available the publishing assets and titles of their defunct papers to potential competitors. The ''Cleveland Free Times'' recommenced publication in 2003 under the publication group Kildysart LLC, while the assets of New Times LA were sold to Southland Publishing and relaunched as LA CityBeat. On October 24, 2005, New Times Media announced a deal to acquire Village Voice Media, creating a chain of 17 free weekly newspapers around the country with a combined circulation of 1.8 million and controlling a quarter of the weekly circulation of alternative weekly newspapers in North America. The deal was approved by the Justice Department and, on January 31, 2006, the companies merged into one, taking the name Village Voice Media. Phoenix Media/Communications Group, owner of the popular Boston alternative weekly the ''Boston Phoenix'', expanded to Providence, Rhode Island in 1988 with their purchase of ''The Phoenix (newspaper), NewPaper'', which was renamed the ''The Phoenix (newspaper), Providence Phoenix''. In 1999, PM/CG expanded further through New England to Portland, Maine with the creation of the ''The Phoenix (newspaper), Portland Phoenix''. From 1992 through 2005, PM/GC owned and operated the ''The Phoenix (newspaper), Worcester Phoenix'' in Worcester, Massachusetts, but PM/GC folded that branch because of Worcester's dwindling art scene. Nonetheless, a number of owner-operated, non-chain owned alternative papers survive, among them ''Columbia City Paper'' in Columbia, South Carolina, ''Metro Silicon Valley'' in San Jose, California, San Jose, ''Pittsburgh City Paper'' in Pittsburgh, ''Salt Lake City Weekly'', the '' Pacific Sun'', the North_Bay_Bohemian, Bohemian in California’s Sonoma and Napa counties, the ''San Diego Reader'', ''Isthmus (newspaper), Isthmus'' in Madison, Wisconsin, ''Flagpole Magazine'' in Athens, Georgia, the ''Boulder Weekly'', "The Second Supper" in La Crosse, Wisconsin, ''Willamette Week'' in Portland, Oregon, ''Independent Weekly'', ''Yes! Weekly'', ''Creative Loafing'', and Triad City Beat in North Carolina, the ''Austin Chronicle'' in Texas, ''The_Stranger_(newspaper), The Stranger'' in Seattle, Seattle, Washington, ''Artvoice'' in Buffalo, New York, the ''The Aquarian Weekly, Aquarian Weekly'' in North Jersey, the ''Colorado Springs Independent'', the ''Good Times (newspaper), Good Times'' in Santa Cruz, California, Santa Cruz, California, ''Knoxville Voice'' in Knoxville, Tennessee, and ''New Times (weekly), New Times'' in San Luis Obispo, California, San Luis Obispo, CA and the ''Sun'' in Northern Santa Barbara County, California, Santa Barbara County, CA. Canadian examples of owner-operated, non-chain owned alternative papers include Vancouver's ''The Georgia Straight'', Toronto's ''Now (newspaper), NOW Magazine'', Edmonton's ''Vue Weekly'' and Halifax's ''The Coast (newspaper), The Coast''. Examples outside the United States and Canada include Barcelona's ''BCN Mes''.


See also

* List of alternative weekly newspapers


References

{{Reflist Alternative weekly newspapers, Alternative press