Vice (magazine)

Last updated

Vice logo.svg
Vice Syria Issue.jpg
The Syria Issue (November 2012)
Editor-in-chiefEllis Jones
Circulation 900,000 (worldwide)
80,000 (UK) [1]
Publisher Vice Media
Founder Suroosh Alvi, Shane Smith, Gavin McInnes
First issueOctober 1994;24 years ago (1994-10) (as Voice of Montreal)
Based in New York City, New York, U.S.
ISSN 1077-6788
OCLC 30856250

Vice is a Canadian-American print magazine focused on arts, culture, and news topics. Founded in 1994 as an alternative punk magazine in Montreal, the founders later launched the youth media company Vice Media, which consists of divisions including the magazine as well as a website, broadcast news unit, a film production company, a record label, and a publishing imprint. As of February 2018, the magazine's editor-in-chief is Ellis Jones. [2] [3]

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of more than 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Montreal City in Quebec, Canada

Montreal is the most populous municipality in the Canadian province of Quebec and the second-most populous municipality in Canada. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. The city is centred on the Island of Montreal, which took its name from the same source as the city, and a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which is Île Bizard. It has a distinct four-season continental climate with warm to hot summers and cold, snowy winters.



Founded by Suroosh Alvi, Gavin McInnes and Shane Smith, [4] the magazine was launched in 1994 as the Voice of Montreal with government funding, and the intention of the founders was to provide work and a community service. [5] When the editors later sought to dissolve their commitments with the original publisher Alix Laurent, they bought him out and changed the name to Vice in 1996. [6]

Suroosh Alvi Canadian journalist and filmmaker

Suroosh Alvi is a Pakistani-Canadian journalist and filmmaker. He is the co-founder of Vice Media, a youth media brand operating in more than 50 countries. Alvi is a travelled journalist and an executive producer of film, covering global youth culture, news, and music. He has hosted and produced award-winning documentaries investigating controversial issues, movements, and subcultures, including conflict minerals in the Congo, the Iraq War, and the rise of the Pakistani Taliban and global terrorism.

Gavin McInnes Canadian writer and political commentator

Gavin McInnes is a Canadian writer and far-right political commentator who holds both Canadian and British citizenship. He is the co-founder of Vice Media and Vice magazine, and host of Get Off My Lawn, formerly on Conservative Review Television. He is a contributor to Taki's Magazine and a former contributor to The Rebel Media, and was a frequent guest on television programs on Fox News and TheBlaze.

Shane Smith (journalist) Canadian journalist

Shane Smith is a Canadian journalist and media executive. He is the co-founder and Executive Chairman of the international media company Vice Media, operating an international network of digital channels, a television production studio, a record label, an in-house creative services agency, a book-publishing house, and a feature film division. Smith served as CEO of Vice from its founding until March 2018. Former A+E Networks CEO Nancy Dubuc was named CEO March 13, 2018. In his role as Executive Chairman, "Smith will now be focused on creating content and strategic deals and partnerships to help grow the company."

Richard Szalwinski, a Canadian software millionaire, acquired the magazine and relocated the operation to New York City in the late 1990s. Following the relocation, the magazine quickly developed a reputation for provocative and politically incorrect content. Under Szalwinski's ownership, a few retail stores were opened in New York City and customers could purchase fashion items that were advertised in the magazine. However, due to the end of the dot-com bubble, the three founders eventually regained ownership of the Vice brand, followed by the closure of the stores. [4]

Dot-com bubble historic speculative bubble covering roughly 1997–2000

The dot-com bubble was a historic speculative bubble and period of excessive speculation mainly in the United States that occurred roughly from 1994 to 2000, a period of extreme growth in the use and adoption of the Internet.

The British edition of Vice was launched in 2002 and Andy Capper was its first editor. Capper explained in an interview shortly after the UK debut that the publication's remit was to cover "the things we're meant to be ashamed of", and articles were published on topics such as bukkake and bodily functions. [7]

Andy Capper American film director, journalist and editor

Andrew Richard "Andy" Capper is a New York-based director / journalist and former editor and executive producer at Vice Media. In 2018 he founded Happy Now Film.

Bukkake sex act and pornography genre

Bukkake is a sex act in which one participant is ejaculated on by two or more other participants. It is often portrayed in pornographic films.

By the end of 2007, 13 foreign editions of Vice magazine were published, the Vice independent record label was functional, and the online video channel had 184,000 unique viewers from the U.S. during the month of August. The media company was still based in New York City, but the magazine began featuring articles on topics that were considered more serious, such as armed conflict in Iraq, than previous content. Alvi explained to The New York Times in November 2007: "The world is much bigger than the Lower East Side and the East Village." [4]

<i>The New York Times</i> Daily broadsheet newspaper based in New York City

The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 127 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 18th in the world by circulation and 3rd in the U.S..

McInnes left the publication in 2008, citing "creative differences" as the primary issue. In an email communication dated 23 January, McInnes explained: "I no longer have anything to do with Vice or VBS or DOs & DON'Ts or any of that. It's a long story but we've all agreed to leave it at 'creative differences,' so please don't ask me about it." [8]

At the commencement of 2012, an article in Forbes magazine referred to the Vice company as "Vice Media", but the precise time when this title development occurred is not public knowledge. [9] Vice acquired the fashion magazine i-D in December 2012 and, by February 2013, Vice produced 24 global editions of the magazine, with a global circulation of 1,147,000 (100,000 in the UK). By this stage, Alex Miller had replaced Capper as the editor-in-chief of the UK edition. Furthermore, Vice consisted of 800 worldwide employees, including 100 in London, and around 3,500 freelancers also produced content for the company. [7]




Vice magazine includes the work of journalists, columnists, fiction writers, graphic artists and cartoonists, and photographers. Both Vice's online and magazine content has shifted from dealing mostly with independent arts and pop cultural matters to covering more serious news topics. Due to the large array of contributors and the fact that often writers will only submit a small number of articles with the publication, Vice's content varies dramatically and its political and cultural stance is often unclear or contradictory. Articles on the site feature a range of subjects, often things not covered as by mainstream media. The magazine's editors have championed the immersionist school of journalism, which has been passed to other properties of Vice Media such as the documentary television show Balls Deep on the Viceland Channel. This style of journalism is regarded as something of a DIY antithesis to the methods practiced by mainstream news outlets, and has published an entire issue of articles written in accordance with this ethos. Entire issues of the magazine have also been dedicated to the concerns of Iraqi people, [13] Native Americans, [14] Russian people, [15] people with mental disorders, [16] and people with mental disabilities. [17] Vice also publishes an annual guide for students in the United Kingdom. [18]

In 2007, a Vice announcement was published on the Internet:

After umpteen years of putting out what amounted to a reference book every month, we started to get bored with it. Besides, too many other magazines have ripped it and started doing their own lame take on themes. So we're going to do some issues, starting now, that have whatever we feel like putting in them. [19]


In a March 2008 interview with The Guardian , Smith was asked about the magazine's political allegiances and he stated, "We're not trying to say anything politically in a paradigmatic left/right way ... We don't do that because we don't believe in either side. Are my politics Democrat or Republican? I think both are horrific. And it doesn't matter anyway. Money runs America; money runs everywhere." [5]

He has also stated:

I grew up being a socialist and I have problems with it because I grew up in Canada [and] I've spent a lot of time in Scandinavia, where I believe countries legislate out creativity. They cut off the tall trees. Everyone's a C-minus. I came to America from Canada because Canada is stultifyingly boring and incredibly hypocritical. Thanks, Canada. [6]

OwnerVice Media
Alexa rankDecrease2.svg 196 (June 2019) [20]
Current statusActive

Vice founded its website as in 1996, as was already owned. In 2007, it started as a domain, which prioritized videos over print, and had a number of shows for free such as The Vice Guide to Travel . In 2011, and were combined into, [21] also the host of the Vice Motherboard website at [22]

In 2012, Vice Media was created as the parent company for Vice Magazine and other properties including Vice News on HBO and the website. [23] The company has since expanded and diversified to include a network of online channels, including,,,, and Broadly. [24]


From its beginnings as Voice of Montreal, Vice had a "reputation for provocation." [25] In 2010, Vice was described as "gonzo journalism for the YouTube generation." [26] As the magazine grew into a broader media brand, it struggled with "how to distance itself from its crude past, yet hold on to enough of that reputation to cement, and grow, its authority with its core audience." [27] Nevertheless, the magazine has continued to face controversy. In 2013, the magazine retracted parts of a fashion spread entitled 'Last Words' which depicted "female writers killing themselves." [28] [27] Also in 2013, Vice again courted controversy when the then-editor of the magazine joined millionaire software mogul John McAfee as he evaded authorities to avoid being questioned about a murder case. [25]

Sexual harassment at Vice

In the fall of 2017, a number of stories were published citing allegations of sexual misconduct and a general "boys club" culture at Vice Magazine's parent company, Vice Media. [29] [30] [31]


See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Mens Health</i> magazine

Men's Health (MH), published by Hearst, is the world's largest men's magazine brand, with 35 editions in 59 countries. It is also the best-selling men's magazine on U.S. newsstands. Although originally started as a men's health magazine, it currently covers various men's lifestyle topics such as fitness, nutrition, fashion, and sexuality. The magazine's website,, averages over 118 million page views a month.

<i>Mental Floss</i> American magazine

Mental Floss is an online magazine and its related American digital, print, and e-commerce media company focused on millennials. It is owned by Minute Media and based in New York City., which presents facts, puzzles, and trivia with a humorous tone, draws 20.5 million unique users a month. Its YouTube channel produces three weekly series and has 1.3 million subscribers. In October 2015, Mental Floss teamed with the National Geographic Channel for its first televised special, Brain Surgery Live with mental_floss, the first brain surgery ever broadcast live.

Viceland was a Canadian English language Category A specialty channel. It was owned by Vice Network Canada, Inc., which was owned by Rogers Media with minority ownership by Vice Media. It was a Canadian version of Viceland, broadcasting lifestyle-oriented documentary and reality series aimed towards a young adult demographic.

American Society of Magazine Editors

The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) is an industry trade group for magazine journalists and editors of magazines published in the United States. ASME includes the editorial leaders of most major consumer magazine in print and digital extensions. The group advocates on behalf of member organizations with respect to First Amendment issues and serves as a networking hub for editors and other industry employees.

Jim Nelson was the editor-in-chief of the magazine GQ. was an online television network owned by Vice Media, and later absorbed into The network produced original, short-form, documentary-style video content under the auspice of VICE Films. Subject matter included humanitarian issues, music, insider travel guides, and news. The creative director of the network was Spike Jonze.

Wells Tower is an American writer of short stories and non-fiction. In 2009 he published his first short story collection, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned to much critical acclaim. His short fiction has also been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, McSweeney's, Vice, Harper's Magazine, A Public Space, Fence and other periodicals.

Viceland is a multinational brand of television channel owned by Vice Media, which also provides programming. Viceland launched on February 29, 2016 with two Viceland-branded cable channels; the American version is a joint venture majority-owned by A&E Networks, while the now defunct Canadian version operated as a Category A-licensed specialty channel majority-owned by Rogers Media.

Here Media Inc. is an LGBT-oriented media company. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company produces and distributes niche content focused on LGBT consumers across a multi-platform global network including television, video on demand (VOD), broadband, online, print, and mobile.

<i>Vice</i> (TV series) TV series

Vice is a documentary TV series created and hosted by Shane Smith of Vice magazine. Produced by Bill Maher, it uses CNN journalist Fareed Zakaria as a consultant, and covers topics using an immersionist style of documentary filmmaking. It premiered on April 5, 2013, on HBO. The show's second season aired in 2014 and won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Series or Special.

Simon Ostrovsky Soviet-born American journalist

Simon Ostrovsky is a Soviet-born Russian American documentary filmmaker and journalist. He is known for his coverage of the 2014 crisis in Ukraine for VICE News and for Selfie Soldiers, a 2015 documentary in which he re-enacted a Russian soldier's social media posts to track him to Ukraine. He was briefly held hostage by pro-Russia militants there in April 2014. Ostrovsky won an Emmy Award in 2013 for his work with VICE and his series Russian Roulette was nominated for two Emmys. He is also a recipient of the Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award.

Vice Media LLC is a Canadian digital media and broadcasting company. Originating from the Montreal-based Vice magazine co-founded by Suroosh Alvi, Shane Smith, and Gavin McInnes, Vice expanded primarily into youth and young adult–focused digital media, including online content verticals and related web series, the news division Vice News, a film production studio, and a record label among other properties. In 2015 Vice Media was called "[arguably] a poster child for new-media success—especially when it comes to attracting a valuable millennial audience."

<i>Balls Deep</i> (TV series) television series

Balls Deep is a documentary series airing on Viceland that follows host Thomas Morton, a journalist and contributing editor for Vice magazine.

Sarah Jeong American journalist

Sarah Jeong is an American journalist specializing in information technology law and other technology-related topics. A member of the The New York Times editorial board since 2018, she was formerly a senior writer for The Verge and a contributing editor for Vice's Motherboard website. She is the author of The Internet of Garbage, a non-fiction book about online harassment.

Viceland is an American pay television channel owned by a joint venture majority-owned by A&E Networks. It is a part of Viceland-branded television channels worldwide. Launched on February 29, 2016, it replaced H2 on most multichannel television providers in the United States.

Susan Goldberg American journalist and first female Editor-In-Chief of National Geographic Magazine

Susan Goldberg is an American journalist and editor in chief of National Geographic Magazine. She is the first woman to edit the magazine since it was first published in 1888. Before joining National Geographic, Goldberg worked at Bloomberg and USA Today. She is an advocate for cross-platform story telling.

Vera Papisova is a Russian-American journalist. Papisova was the first ever digital wellness features editor at Teen Vogue, and covered drug education, gender, identity, mental health, sexual health, sexuality, trauma, and wellness.


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Further reading