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Peter Barbey

New York’s Village Voice Will No Longer Exist in Print

After more than sixty years in print, New York’s acclaimed alternative weekly, the Village Voice, will cease to exist as a paper edition, writes Benjamin Mullin of Poynter. Billionaire Peter Barbey, who bought the journal in 2015, said in a statement that the Voice “plans to maintain its iconic progressive brand with its digital platform and a variety of new editorial initiatives and a full slate of events that will include The Obie Awards and The Pride Awards.”

After a breakdown in negotiations between the periodical’s management and its historic union, writers who’d previously written for the Voice—such Ta-Nehisi Coates, J. Hoberman, Molly Haskell, Hilton Als, Roberta Smith, and Deborah Jowitt—signed an open letter in July addressed to Barbey, accusing him of going against everything the progressive weekly stands for by not renewing its union contract. (In 1982, for instance, the Voice was the first private enterprise in the United States to offer domestic/same-sex partner benefits.)

“The most powerful thing about the Voice wasn’t that it was printed on newsprint or that it came out every week,” Barbey continued in his statement. “It was that the Village Voice was alive, and that it changed in step with and reflected the times and the ever-evolving world around it. I want the Village Voice brand to represent that for a new generation of people—and for generations to come.”

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