Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were to Phoenix New Times writers who often wrote about topics that other media outlets turned a blind eye to. Larkin and Lacey met at Arizona State University. Michael Lacey was the executive editor of the Phoenix New Times and Jim Larkin was the head of the advertising side of this free newspaper. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://about.me/jim_larkin and https://thenewsversion.com/2018/03/larkin-lacey-speak-happened-joe-arpaio/
The Phoenix New Times came about when Arizona State University was the site of some anti-war campus protests and the local media refused to give full coverage of the protests. Michael Lacey wanted to voice what was happening on the campus and received quite a following of readers. The Phoenix New Times quickly grew as an alternative newspaper in America and the weekly reports were in high demand.
The New Times was able to purchase Westward in 1983. Westward was a newspaper publication in Denver that focused on the arts and news. This was the acquisition that sparked the expansion of the New Times to a seventeen newspaper conglomerate. These seventeen newspapers spanned from Los Angeles to Miami and up to New York City. This merger of newspapers became known as The Village Voice.
Wide spread outing of injustice provoked some back lash to Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey. Not everyone wanted truths exposed and brought to the public’s attention. In the middle of an October night in 2007 Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were arrested in their Maricopa County homes. The current sheriff at the time was Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Many people know him as the toughest sheriff in the United States. Some of his tactics included a tent city jail. Inmates were forced to live in the Arizona heat in a jail that was comprised of tents. They wore pink and were chained together to clean up rural stretches of roads.
The inmates received bologna sandwiches and other low cost meals. Sheriff Joe’s approach was explained as a way to save the state of Arizona on tax dollars. He felt as though criminals would be less likely to continually commit crimes if they understood the living conditions they would be subjected to when incarcerated. When televisions were allowed on they often featured children’s shows and the only books allowed were Bibles. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Village Voice Media | Wikepedia
Larkin and Lacey were unlawfully arrested in the middle of the night from their homes. They wrote an article about how allies of Arpraio in the county attorney’s office had issued grand jury subpoenas. They were unconstitutionally asking for details on all of the employees at The Village Voice.
When Larkin and Lacey were arrested they were taken in unmarked squad cars and taken to two separate jails for questioning. The public outcry was immense and they were released less than twenty four hours later.
Larkin and Lacey were awarded a hefty settlement from the county and established the Frontera Fund to help donate towards causes which sought to bring light to social injustices. During the spring of 2018 these two reporters found themselves again at the front and center of a FBI investigation.
They sold Village Voice Media in 2012 but they held onto Backpage.com which was an online reporting forum. Larkin and Lacey’s attorneys are currently fighting this injustice because they feel as though the government does not have a right to shut down anyone’s right to free speech, whether it is online or in person.