The Village Voice is Killed Off for Good
The Village is barely recognizable anymore and it just lost its Voice. As you’ve seen or likely heard, the Village Voice is gone after more than sixty years reporting the local beat.
The news dropped Friday afternoon – in the true spirit of Labor Day – exactly one year after publication ceased on the print edition. Owner of three years, Peter Barbey, laid off half the staff before break, and no new stories will be posted to the website. The other half – about 15 to 20 people – remain on board to “wind things down,” and work on archiving the Voice’s material online.
“Today is kind of a sucky day,” Barbey told the staff, as heard in audio obtained by Gothamist. “Due to, basically, business realities, we’re going to stop publishing Village Voice new material [sic].”
Below is a statement that Barbey released after the news broke:
This is a sad day for The Village Voice and for millions of readers. The Voice has been a key element of New York City journalism and is read around the world. As the first modern alternative newspaper, it literally defined a new genre of publishing. As the Voice evolved over the years, its writers, editors, reporters, reviewers, contributors, photographers, artists and staff were united by the idea that the they spoke for and fought hard for those that believed in a better New York City and a better world. The Voice has connected multiple generations to local and national news, music, art, theater, film, politics and activism, and showed us that it’s idealism could be a way of life.
In recent years, the Voice has been subject to the increasingly harsh economic realities facing those creating journalism and written media. Like many others in publishing, we were continually optimistic that relief was around the next corner. Where stability for our business is, we do not know yet. The only thing that is clear now is that we have not reached that destination.
The Village Voice was created to give speed to a cultural and social revolution, and its legacy and the voices that created that legacy are still relevant today. Perhaps more than ever. Its archives are an indispensable chronicle of history and social progress. Although the Voice will not continue publishing, we are dedicated to ensuring that its legacy will endure to inspire more generations of readers and writers to give even more speed to those same goals.
We have begun working to ensure that the enormous print archive of The Village Voice is made digitally accessible. I began my involvement with the Voice intending to ensure its future. While this is not the outcome I’d hoped for and worked towards, a fully digitized Voice archive will offer coming generations a chance to experience for themselves what is clearly one of this city’s and this country’s social and cultural treasures.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank everyone who pulled together to attempt create a new future for The Village Voice. Their passion and perseverance have inspired me. I will always be humbled by the grit they’ve shown and the dedication they have displayed.