Media critic James Rainey’s latest piece in the LA Times takes on the subject of Village Voice Media and its staunch defense of its adult classified website Backpage.com. The piece is largely a retread of what’s been talked about at length on this site and others for nearly a year. But Rainey does come up with one interesting new factoid. Citing an anonymous VVM executive, Rainey reports that one-seventh of the company’s revenue comes from Backpage.
That’s a lot of flesh peddling.
VVM has taken a lot of flack in recent months from religious leaders and anti-sex trafficking advocates for allowing children to be sold through Backpage. But the company isn’t backing down. Not with all that cash on the line. Rainey notes that not only has VVM hired lawyers and a PR firm to help them preserve Backpage revenue, the chain has run two lengthy stories debunking the problem of child sex trafficking.
Interestingly, unlike the previous two major VVM “special investigations” the online version of the most recent anti-sex trafficking story did not come with the disclaimer that VVM has a vested interest in preserving the status quo with regards to online escort ads. Hooray for transparency! And editorial standards!
Previously on FishbowlLA: Village Voice Media REALLY Wants to Hold on to Its Adult Classified Ads