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A magazine known for its urban coolness and lewd imagery has partnered up with CNN. Vice Magazine, a former zine hailing from Montreal, has started featuring a series of short documentaries on CNN.com (the first went viral last Wednesday).

It’s an unlikely pairing, but Vice founder Shane Smith says there’s logic behind the madness.

“If I wanna stay the same, if I wanna be Vice, that used to be like,
‘Fuck everybody, and Dos and Don’ts, and all this shit,’ then I should retire.
Because that shit’s over. It is. It’s over.”

Well said, Smith, but to translate, Vice is ready to settle down and take this journalism thing seriously.

And the magazine didn’t sweet-talk its way to this deal. CNN.com staff have been charmed by Vice’s consistent transparency in its reporting, which is duly noted in the first doc where Smith and his crew interview residents and ex-warlords of an impoverished and crime-ridden Liberia.

Vice is one of the few Canadian magazines that have found success in the United States, with editions spanning the globe. How it’s been able to do it has been a surprise to most Canadian journalists. And what seems at first to be a ludicrous joint venture now might just blow up in our faces and prove to be a smart move. Looks like Vice is getting ready to resign as the hipster’s Bible.

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About the author

Mai Nguyen was the Production Editor for the Spring 2010 issue of the Ryerson Review of Journalism.

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