Veterans of the Real Paper, a Boston-based alternative weekly in the 1970s, will get together in a Ford Hall Forum event this Thursday to discuss what they learned and what lessons that might hold for the future of journalism. The event will take place in Suffolk University’s C. Walsh Theatre from 6:30 to 8 p.m. You can find out more here.
As we old-timers well remember, the rivalry between the Real Paper and the Boston Phoenix was intense during the decade or so that they both published. The Real Paper was formed in 1972 after Stephen Mindich, the founder of Boston After Dark, bought the Phoenix, which was sometimes known in that earlier incarnation as the Cambridge Phoenix. Mindich called his new paper the Boston Phoenix.
The former staff of the Cambridge Phoenix, rather than going away, founded the Real Paper, which during its first few years operated as an employee-run collective. The paper ceased publication in 1981.
This Wikipedia article on the Real Paper strikes me as an accurate summary of those years.
The Ford Hall Forum event brings together a number of well-known former Real Paper staff members: Harper Barnes, Jan Freeman, Mark Zanger, Laura Shapiro and Paul Solman, assembled by Monica Collins, herself a Real Paper alumna who’s also vice president of the Ford Hall Forum.