to put pressure on the company to shut down its adult services ads.
The campaign, led by the National Association of Attorneys General and spearheaded by two online petitions, alleges that has become a tool for pimps sexually trafficking minors, and that the would do wonders for its reputation by cutting itself loose from the whole business of adult classifieds. case is complicated, and it helps to have a sense of the history of alternative weeklies like the created a high standard for alternative news journalism for much of its history, but went through a gauntlet of owners beginning in the '70s, until it was bought by New Times Media, the owners of backpage.com, in 2005, at which point the new owners assumed the name of Village Voice Media.
There is a precedent for it - faced with a similar threat, craigslist worked with the National Association of Attorneys General to eliminate adult classifieds in 2010.
Whether cases against publishers or websites are successful, there's a growing perception that adult classifieds damage a publication's brand; when the for over a decade beginning in the late '80s - the last real heyday of print journalism, as it turned out, and I watched as the paper struggled to come to grips with the early growth of the internet.
Adult personals, on the other hand, run for 14 pages in full colour - 16 if you count the chat line and dating services pages.
The paper has done a tortuous dance for years reconciling its progressive political agenda with the business of being a middleman in the sex trade, but if the controversy brewing south of the border spills over here - and it will take just one high profile case to make it happen - The problem that NOW has is that if it lost this ad revenue, it'd actually have to do something very creative from editorial standpoint to make it up.Does anybody think that they have a Grid-like reinvention in them. If I thought that stopping these ads would have any effect whatsoever, then sure..does anyone believe that saying "no" to the sex trade industry is going to make them go away?The local angle to the story is not only that has a Toronto section - the site has branches all over the U. and Canada, and in the Caribbean, Europe, Mexico and New Zealand - but also that magazine, Toronto's longest-running alternative weekly, still does a thriving business in adult classifieds, both in its print edition and on its website, that generate profit while they grow as a potential liability. The case against and the column by Nicholas Kristof accusing of being "the biggest forum for sex trafficking of under-age girls in the United States." This followed public protests against the paper that featured John Buffalo Mailer, son of one of the founders of the , and finally led to the pull-out of key advertisers that include Best Buy, AT&T, Harley Davidson, New York Public Radio, Macy's and Carnegie Hall.The paper has its defenders, some of whom have made good points about the impossibility of enforcing age restrictions on every ad placed on backpage.com, as well as how lawsuits against the is facing a public relations disaster that VVM and could make go away by jettisoning its adult classifieds.
Back then the classified section was the paper's cash cow, and no matter what crisis or upheaval convulsed through the newsroom, the smooth running of the classified desk was taken for granted.It's still shocking, for me at least, to see the effect of Craigslist and Kijiji on today; this week's paper, the annual summer double issue, has just four pages of classified ads.