Underground/Alternative Newspapers History and Geography

The social movements of 1960s and 1970s would not have been possible without the underground press, an explosive new media system that spread through hundreds of communities. While the label "underground newspaper" had long been used to describe the publications of resistance groups in totalitarian societies, it was repurposed in the mid 1960s by activists in the US and other countries who published radical and countercultural tabloid-format weeklies and monthlies. Breaking open the information monopoly dominated by three TV networks, two wire services, and a string of plain-vanilla daily newspapers, the undergrounds challenged the conventions of journalism and politics with wildly new designs and uncompromising articles. In so doing they established the parameters of radical politics and the meanings of "counterculture" for this pivotal decade.

Here we explore the history and geography of alternative media system with (1) interactive maps, charts, and lists that show 2,024 underground/ alternative periodicals from the decade between 1965 and 1975; (2) a filterable database of these publications. Research and data development by Katie Anastas.

Click to see map and charts
Maps of underground and alternative newspapers 1965-1975

Here are seven maps and charts showing the year-by year geography of the underground media system, locating the comings and goings of more than 2,000 weeklies and monthies. Filter by state and by categories, including African American, Chicana/o, antiwar GI, countercultural, radical left, and other descriptives.

Click to see database
Database of 2,024 periodicals 1965-1975

This sortable database shows publications by state, city, type, and circulation level.