Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are behind the weekly alternative paper, New Times. This paper was basically driven editorially through opposing of the war in Vietnam. The company slowly grew under Lacey. But he also wanted that his reporters should have stories as well as a voice too.
He told his reporters that just being objective will not do in journalism. He asked them for intellectual honesty as they framed their stories. He asked them not to mince words and openly call a person a crook or a liar.
This mission statement was the foundation of a methodology of journalism that was unfettered. Michel Lacey had also demanded editorial to be independent of the business potential of this paper. It was in 1978 that the board of directors of the company approved of this request. It gave complete control of editorial area of Phoenix New Times to its editors. This meant that publishers did not have the authority to either hire editors or fire them. This was unheard of in this industry.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are journalists who were arrested and jailed for what they wrote.
Michael Lacey is the son of a construction worker who worked in New York. He dropped out of school when he felt compelled to provide an accurate report on the anti-war protests on the campus. He felt that these were being misrepresented by the conservative local media as it was led by the Republic.
This was when The New Times was launched in September 1970 as a weekly publication. This was not planned as any underground publication. He did not launch it as a mainstream piece of journalism too. This paper had a unique identity. New Times explored several social as well as political issues over the next two years. These were at the local as well as national level. The paper was highly successful.
Jim belongs to Phoenix. He joined the paper in 1972. He looked after the sales of the paper. He was a practical person as he had a family to support. He used to work all day at the end. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikipedia and Phoenix New Time
Paper and work all night as a waiter. In 1974, Jim Larkin was appointed as the Publisher as well as President of the company.
The paper did have its share of difficulties. But New Times survived. Its stroke of luck came through the murder of Don Bolles, the Arizona Republic reporter, in 1975. This was a major story in the state of Arizona. The residents of Maricopa County were very keen to read this report. Hence New Times ran excerpts of the IRE investigation. This allowed the paper to establish a strong readership in these parts.
It was in 2007 that Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were arrested by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He alleged that they had violated the secrecy laws of the grand-jury. This also ended the journalistic career of both of them.
Andrew Thomas, the county attorney, soon dropped the charges against them. This was when Lacey and Larkin decided to sue Arpaio, Thomas along with the special prosecutor Dennis Wilenchik. The settlement money was used to set up the Frontera Fund.