October 25, 2010
Vol. 1, No. 1, of The Village Voice. (Newseum collection)

Vol. 1, No. 1, of The Village Voice. (Newseum collection)

55 Years Ago in News History: It Takes a Village Voice

On Oct. 26, the granddaddy of alternative newspapers, The Village Voice, celebrates its 55th birthday.

Launched out of a Greenwich Village apartment, the five-cent New York newspaper was unlike any other.

The Voice's voice was passionate, critical and often irreverent. It offered in-depth articles and opinionated columns on politics and the arts.

Within 10 years, the Voice gained national readership. Inspired by the paper's success, similar weeklies began popping up in cities across the country. The rebellious reporting in these publications delighted young Americans and enraged their parents.

By 1967, the Voice's single-day circulation was higher than the circulations of many big-city U.S. dailies. It continued to make waves over the next several decades, winning three Pulitzer Prizes and other reporting honors.

In 2005, the newspaper was sold to Phoenix-based New Media Times amid criticism that it had lost its edgy, New York style of journalism. The Voice remains popular for its "no-holds-barred" coverage of culture, investigative reports and biting commentary.

A 1993 issue is included in an exhibit on nontraditional news formats in the News Corporation's News History Gallery.

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