Most of you are probably familiar with the Alternative Press Index. If you’re not familiar, you might check out their “history” page. Here are some selected quotes:
the Alternative Press Index (API), a unique and comprehensive guide to the alternative press in English, French and SpanishWith increased corporate conglomeration in the media industry, readers are now turning to the alternative press for news and analysis.The Alternative Press Centre (APC) is a periodicals library and nonprofit collective that promotes access to independent and critical sources of news and information.The APC networks with activist librarians, such as the Progressive Librarians Guild.The spirit of the late 60s brought new publications that reflected the movements of the timeThe original founders came together to promote a many-sided dialogue aimed at the development of a radical consciousness by providing the tools for analysis that are necessary for meaningful social change.
As of this month, the API is available only through Ebsco. The original database went back to 1969, but Ebsco has split it into the Alternative Press Index (1991+) and the API: Archive (1969-1990), which I assume allows them to charge more for the full content. Though perhaps they’re being true to the alternative spirit, and trying to make the more recent content more available by lowering the price. I doubt it, but I suppose it’s possible.
It’s ironic that an index founded as an alternative to the corporate mainstream media that wanted to develop a radical consciousness is now available only through Ebsco, one of the most aggressive commercial content providers around. This is the company, after all, that has made it a policy to secure exclusive licensing agreements for any journals they index, thus monopolizing information and making it less accessible if more profitable. Perhaps the “spirit of the 60s” met the “need to pay the bills.”