Learning More About Independent Journalism

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are responsible for establishing Village Voice Media. This was in 1970. It is an alternative newspaper that would be released weekly in Phoenix, Arizona. This also led to the start of four decades that would see the rise of Independent Journalism.

The New Times was created after there was journalism coverage was done of the Vietnam War. Next was the decision of President Richard Nixon to expand this war by launching an invasion into Cambodia.

By 2001, the New Times Company had grown. Now it had 13 newspapers. These were spread in major cities all across the United States. It was in 2006 that it acquired Village Voice group of publications. Then the company changed its name and kept it as Village Voice Media Holdings. Now it was holding over 17 weekly newspapers. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase

New Times was known for its independent journalism. It was willing to write on topics that may have managed to spook the mainstream publishers till now. Besides, these newspapers spoke about local arts and culture, besides devoting a lot of space to rock music along with restaurant reviews. All this was being ignored by the other dailies at this time.

Michael Lacey was the editorial boss here. He was reporting stories. He also wanted his reporters to have a say here. He expected them to display intellectual honesty. He was looking at keeping editorial part independent from the business side of the paper.

It was in 1978 that the Board of Directors of the company approved that the editorial board of Phoenix New Times will have full and autonomous control over their editorial section. This allowed Michael Lacey to fulfill his desire as he was able to enter the industry on his own terms.

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are the only journalists who been arrested and then jailed for what they have written and what they advertised.

It was in 2007 that Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were arrested by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The charge was the alleged violation of the secrecy laws of the grand-jury. This case ended the long and illustrious careers of these men in journalism.

Then the county attorney Andrew Thomas decided to drop these charges against them. Now Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin sued Sheriff Arpaio, besides county attorney Thomas along with special prosecutor Dennis Wilenchik.

The charge was the violation of their First Amendment Rights besides abuse of power. It was in 2012 that the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals gave the ruling that there was no probable cause for these arrests that were made. Besides, these subpoenas were also quite invalid as Wilenchik had not even consulted a grand jury.

The Maricopa County settled this case in 2013 by paying them $3.75 million as the settlement. The money was used by Michael and Jim to establish the Frontera Fund. It is designed to assist the Hispanic community that is based in Phoenix. Besides, it supports several other organizations that are fighting for the civil rights of immigrants.