Living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn during the early years of the 21st century, my friends and I saw Vice Magazine as our local neighborhood newsletter. It had stacks in every coffee shop, and stories and photo shoots that always managed to be pretty shocking, even to those of us who considered ourselves hard to shock. But the most shocking thing off all was the way the magazine outlasted electroclash and all the other nonsense of that era to grow into a media empire capable of pulling off some pretty serious journalism. (Its Appalachia Issue remains one of my favorite bits of reporting of any kind, anywhere).
The Man has taken notice. CNN announced today that it will be teaming up with Vice's VBS.TV, overseen by Spike Jonze, on certain reporting projects on its website. The first will be the Vice Guide To Liberia. Vice's founder, Shane Smith, has a pretty classic quote in the release:
"Most people who hear about this partnership will think, 'Vice and CNN, hmmm... That's an odd pair of bedfellows for you.' And you'd be right. The 'Hipsters' Bible' hooking up with the World's News Leader is a bit odd. But as our company began to evolve and cover stories around the globe, CNN was our first and only choice for a partner. In a world of hyper-partisan opinion-led 'news,' CNN's credibility and reach put it in a class by itself. We couldn't be more excited with a partner unless it was Jimi Hendrix (nod to all the Baby Boomers out there) joining our rock and roll band."
CNN is also teaming up with Sub Pop band the Handsome Furs to show their band's first tour across Asia, filmed on Flip cams: www.cnn.com/IndieAsia