Over my nearly ten years as a media columnist (for Advertising Age and other publications), I've been lavishing praise on Vice magazine. As recently as last year, I called it "rowdy, raunchy" and "frequently hilarious" -- all still true, but the release this fall of News, Nudity & Nonsense: The Best of Vice Magazine Vol. II 2003-2008 reminded me that, in the aughts, the glossy become much more than just a street-culture bible. It became a journalistic institution.
In the promo copy for this book, Vice crows about growing up: "Amidst the trademark heartfelt screeds regarding screwing and bodily functions, we published legitimate scoops from places as far flung as Russia, Burma, Appalachia, Antarctica, Pakistan and New Jersey. We published an issue that was entirely written by Iraqi citizens living in the midst of the war. We practiced immersive journalism everywhere from poverty-stricken Indian reservations to leper colonies in Nepal. And yet we never stopped keeping up with new music, weird art and good fashion...."
For once, self-congratulations are definitely in order. Vice magazine may be getting a lot of attention lately because of Virtue, its sister ad agency (see my colleague Andrew Hampp's recent report here). But let's not forget how Vice came to its current position of global cultural influence (it's now published in 22 countries): by being a damn good magazine that's only gotten better with age.
Anyway, "News, Nudity & Nonsense" is my choice for The Best Magazine Anthology of the Year. Maybe you want one of the two copies I'm giving away in my random drawing? See the details below.
P.S. Stay tuned: There are 2 more picks (and 4 more giveaways) to come.
(Pssssst. Looking for the previous year-end Media Guy's Pop Pick giveaways? Yesterday's is right here, and Day 8 contains links to all the earlier installments. The entry deadline for each random drawings is Dec. 31, so you've still got time to get in on the holiday win-a-thon.)
THE FINE PRINT: To enter the random drawing for one of two copies of "News, Nudity & Nonsense" in this informal Media Guy's Pop Pick giveaway, send me an e-mail with "Vice anthology" in the subject line on or before December 31 (the cut-off is 12 midnight EST). You must have a valid U.S. mailing address and be 18 or older.
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Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco