Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Alternative and Underground Newspapers
During the 1960s and early 1970s, underground periodicals critiqued the government and mainstream society and celebrated alternative lifestyles. Some underground writers and editors thought they were inventing America's first alternative press, but in many ways, the nation's first newspaper— Publick Occurrences, Both Forreign and Domestick —of 1690 took the honor when it was suspended because it had been printed without government authority. After the American Revolution, most commercial newspapers continued to represent white, middle-to upper-class male readers. Most ignored the plight of laborers, slaves, other people of color, immigrants, and women. In reaction, alternative newspapers appeared during the first half of the nineteenth century. Most used journalism as an agent for social change. The country's first successful labor newspaper, the Mechanic's Free Press , was launched in 1827 in Philadelphia by shoemaker William Heighton. Between then and 1832, 50 to 60 labor weeklies were published around the country. The commercial ...