Archive dive: ‘What kind of paper is this anyway?’ | Feature | Chicago Reader

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Archive dive: ‘What kind of paper is this anyway?’

When the Reader first got started, there was a lot of explaining to do.


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In this week's issue, we acknowledged the thousands of folks who donated to our membership drive, folks who are helping keep the paper alive. Back in 1972, on the one-year anniversary of the paper, the Reader answered readers' questions about the paper's existence. Both the questions and some of the answers are still notable today.

Before alt-weeklies became a staple of many cities, many people wondered, "What kind of paper is this anyway?" They wanted to know who the writers were, why the paper was free, and why it was covering news in a different way. And the final question and answer is just as relevant today as it was in 1972.

Why do we continue with this crazy project? 1) We are convinced it will be successful eventually. 2) We really enjoy our work. 3) The paper seems to be fulfilling a definite need for "alternative" publications which are nonetheless not "radical." 4) We are bringing exposure to some (potentially) great writers.

This year marks the 48th years this crazy project has continued. We must be doing something right.

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