Vice is a print magazine and website focused on arts, culture, and news topics. Founded in 1994 in Montreal, Canada, the magazine later expanded into Vice Media, which consists of divisions including the magazine and website, a film production company, a record label, and a publishing imprint. As of February 2015, the magazine's Chief Creative Officer is Eddy Moretti, Andrew Creighton is President, the editor-in-chief is Ellis Jones and Alex Miller is the global head of content. As of October 2014, 29 Vice bureaux exist, being on every continent except Africa and Antarctica.
The monthly publication is frequently focused on a single theme.
Founded by Gavin McInnes, Suroosh Alvi and Shane Smith, 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. 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.
Richard Szalwinski, a Canadian software millionaire, acquired the magazine and relocated the operation to New York City, U.S. in the late 1990s. Following the relocation, the magazine quickly developed a reputation for provocative and politically incorrect content. Under Szalwinski's ownership, a small number of retail stores were also 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.
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.
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 VBS.com had garnered 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."
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."
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. 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.
- Shane Smith – Co-Founder
- Suroosh Alvi – Co-Founder
- Eddy Moretti – Chief Creative Officer
- Andrew Creighton – President
- James Schwab – Co-President
- Alyssa Mastromonaco – chief operating officer
- Ellis Jones – Editor-in-Chief
- Alex Miller – Global Head of Content
The full current staff of VICE Magazine and VICE.com can be found on their masthead.
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, Native Americans, Russian people, people with mental disorders, and people with mental disabilities. Vice also publishes an annual guide for students in the United Kingdom.
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."
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."
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."
Vice originally founded its website as Viceland.com in 1996, as Vice.com was already owned. In 2007, it started VBS.tv 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, both Viceland.com and VBS.tv were combined into Vice.com.
The website has expanded and diversified to include a network of online video channels, including TheCreatorsProject.com, Motherboard.tv, Fightland.com, Noisey.com, Thu.mp, and Broadly, which "represents the multiplicity of women's experiences".
Vice News is Vice Media's current affairs brand. Launched in December 2013, its presence consists of a YouTube channel and a website. Vice News content primarily consists of documentaries and video news digests, which range from prison systems, such as Guantanamo bay (Gitmo), to American market/political corruption, to international drug addiction and far beyond.
The magazine has published the collections The DOs and DON'Ts Book and The Vice Guide to Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll. In 2008, the photograph compilation The Vice Photo Book was released and featured published works from previous editions of the magazine.