Boston’s Weekly Dig Challenge to NYC Alt. Weeklies: Come Clean

It’s unclear just how much of alt-weeklies’ revenue comes from the hooker ads usually filling up the back pages, but it remains a kind of fascinating display each week. If prostitution is illegal, how can “escorts” and “massage parlours” and other “erotic services” so brazenly advertise? In NYC, even upscale New York magazine and the Observer carry what are, in essence, sex-for-money ads.

We’re sure the sex trade helps keep plenty of these indie papers afloat, but one alt-weekly, Boston’s Weekly Dig, announced last week that it was going clean. The paper’s publisher claimed it swore off the seedy trade in an effort to target a younger audience, but either way it’s a good example.

If papers like the New York Press want to be seen as legit, a good step would be to try and find legitimate advertisers to help pull them out of the gutter. Let the pimps ply their trade on the Internet, removed from the freebie boxes at every corner.

‘Boston’s Weekly Dig’ Sends Escort Ads to the Curb [E&P]