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Print wasn’t always dead, man

Mar 17, 2011

The social revolution of the 1960s affected more than just the tempo of music and the style of jeans; it also laid the foundation for dramatic shifts in culture and media. In Smoking Typewriters: The Sixties Underground Press and the Rise of Alternative Media in America, John McMillian details the ascent of the New Left and its particular style of journalism. McMillian examines papers such as The Los Angeles Free Press, East Lansing, Michigan’s Paper, Austin’s Rag, and the Berkeley Tribe and their cumulative impact on the liberal, youth movement in America. Established news sources such as newspapers and magazines were failing to adequately report on the revolution for teenagers and young adults. Due to cheap and efficient technologies, local, independent papers began to spring up to fill this void left by the mainstream media. The papers and the communities which read them were mutually dependent on one another. The papers obviously needed an audience, and the communities were able to rally and unify around new ideas, philosophies, and lifestyles due to the content they could not find anywhere else. What happened to the New Left approach to media? Can it still be seen in modern society, despite the lack of a revolution?

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