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Underground Press.

Atton, Chris


Chris Atton


Wolfgang Donsbach


The “underground press” typically refers to those → Newspapers and → magazines produced by the counterculture that emerged in the mid-1960s and continued until the early 1970s. The counterculture was concerned with establishing an alternative society in direct opposition to mainstream society. The underground press became a vehicle for the elaboration of this ideal, along with social issues such as women's rights, ecology, and racial equality, and was politicized primarily by the US involvement in the Vietnam War. The aim of the underground press was to build a society where “culture and society were regarded as one” (Nelson 1989, 49), and to propose norms and values that broke with “straight” society absolutely. Interventions by the state were of particular concern, especially in areas of sexual freedom, drugs, and press → censorship (→ Activist Media).Precursors of the underground press include independent papers such as the New York-based Village Voice (founded in 1955) and Paul Krassner's the Realist (1958). However, three other US titles – the Los Angeles Free Press (1964), the Berkeley Barb (1964), and the East Village Other (1965) – began the underground press of the 1960s. The first underground paper in the UK was International Times (founded in 1966 and known as IT after the threat of legal action by the London Times), followed by Oz in 1967


Atton, C. (2008). Underground Press. In W. Donsbach (Ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Communication (5215-5216). Wiley-Blackwell

Publication Date 2008
Deposit Date Mar 4, 2010
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Pages 5215-5216
Book Title The International Encyclopedia of Communication
Keywords Rebellion; counterculture; alternative society; independent newspapers;
Public URL

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