The Village Voice, the alternative weekly newspaper known for its muckraking reporting of New York City government and extensive arts coverage, is ending its print edition.
The paper, which started more than 60 years ago, will live on through a “digital platform and a variety of new editorial initiatives,” according to a statement released by the newspaper on Tuesday.
Owner Peter Barbey noted in a statement that classified advertising, the financial lifeblood of the paper, had moved online. “And so has the Voice’s audience,” he said.
The final publication date is not yet certain.
“The Village Voice is weighing a number of scenarios with a firm timeline to be released in due time,” a spokesperson said.
Throughout its history, the Voice won three Pulitzer Prizes and was home to top shelf journalists including Wayne Barrett, Jack Newfield, Nat Hentoff and Tom Robbins. Vaunted music critic Robert Christgau started his Pazz and Jop music poll and influential Christgau Consumer Guide during his long career at the Voice.
But in recent years, the paper had undergone changes in ownership and direction. It shed senior staffers — like Hentoff and Barrett — to save cash.
“It’s the end of a storied era, but it’s potentially the beginning of a great new one,” said Jere Hester, news director at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and a former reporter and editor at the New York Daily News. “The challenge will be to produce strong journalism that aspires to the investigative and cultural reporting that made The Village Voice a must-read in decades past.”
Hester noted that the Voice is going digital-only in a “very crowded digital landscape.”
“There’s an opportunity to put more resources into reporting and reclaim the brand’s stature in the prime medium of this age,” he said.
Barbey said the most powerful thing about the Voice was not that it was “printed on paper or came out every week.”
“It was that The Village Voice was alive, and that it changed in step with and reflected the times and the ever-changing world around it,” he said.