paper trail

"Village Voice" discontinues print edition; Mark Bray on his "Anti-fascist Handbook"

Mark Bray

The Village Voice will discontinue its weekly print edition. "The most powerful thing about the Voice wasn’t that it was printed on newsprint or that it came out every week," owner Peter Barbey said in a 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.”

Publishing platform Medium has finally explained its new system for paying writers. The $5-per-month reader memberships will be doled out proportionally to writers whose articles receive the most “claps.” “These are just the early days of what we consider a grand experiment,” product head Michael Sippey writes. “Imagine a day when anyone with the skills and willingness to put in the effort can write something useful, insightful, or moving and be compensated based on its value to others.”

At the Washington Post, Michael J. Socolow remembers the one year anniversary of Gawker’s closure. “Gawker might have been foolhardy, reckless and ultimately self-destructive, but it was also, above all, courageous,” he writes. “With the hindsight of Donald Trump’s ascendancy to the presidency, we should all recognize that courage in the media is needed now more than ever.”

Mark Bray talks about his new book, Antifa: The Anti-fascist Handbook, which publisher Melville House rushed to print after Trump’s comments on Charlottesville. Bray explains that while the movement does condone violence in response to right-wing attacks, the group’s activities include “educational campaigns, working with communities, monitoring fascist individuals,” as well as physical confrontations. “Though this last facet of anti-fascism gets the most attention,” Bray said, “it is actually only a small fraction of the thankless drudgery that is committing oneself to tracking the scum of the earth.”

At Politico, Andrew Feinberg reflects on his five months as Sputnik News Service’s White House reporter. Feinberg writes that while he knew the company was state-owned, he didn’t see his work as any different than reporting for BBC, Al-Jazeera, or other state-sponsored news agency. But he quickly learned that “Sputnik’s mission statement—‘Telling the Untold’—means that Sputnik’s content should reflect the Russian side of any news story, whether it lines up with reality or not.” Feinberg writes that he was increasingly pressured to ask questions at White House news briefings that supported Russian propaganda, like whether budget cuts to foreign aid spending in Ukraine were related to the country’s “corrupt” government, and that he was fired for refusing to question the press secretary about murdered DNC aide Seth Rich. “I thought Sputnik wanted me for my skills as a journalist,” he writes, “but what they wanted was to use the veneer of journalism to push their own agenda.”