Back in the day, alternative media – weekly newspapers like the Village Voice — were dependable stalwarts of the Good Fight, defenders of the right (usually on the left). They were fiercely independent — and positive cash flow seemed to assure their continued good fortune.
Times change. Big profits made many alt weeklies excellent targets for acquisition by mainstream media companies on the one hand, and by formulaic bottom feeders from their own alternative universe on the other.
Now, in the wake of recession and in the midst of a permanent migration to the Web (especially among the young who are the alt papers’ core readers), alt media (print and Web) has become increasingly dependent on sex advertising for their sustenance. This is not news, and I point to it again only in light of developments at Craigslist, which was bullied into removing its own sex-trafficing section.
Such ads remain a key component in the print editions of most alternative newspapers, including those owned by Village Voice Media.
Now that the anti-porn crusaders have vanquished Craigslist, they’ve turned they eyeballs on alt media sleaze.
The Washington Post has announced that it would no longer run “escort” service ads.