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Print Liberation: A Look at the Magazines and Publications of Philadelphia

Grid strives towards ensuring a more sustainable Philadelphia.
Grid strives towards ensuring a more sustainable Philadelphia.

Philadelphia is the home of a lot of established magazines and newspapers like Philadelphia Magazine, The Inquirer, Philadelphia Weekly, Philadelphia City Paper, and Philadelphia Style. But it’s also home a lot of of independent publications that write about things like sustainability, cover a diverse mix of music, and cover human experience. Here’s a lot at some of the publications that you should be on the look for. magazine

Mission Statement

Our primary purpose in developing is to create a space where ethnically diverse social exploration can be realized, allowing Philadelphia to help transcend last-century models while documenting the city’s new 21st-century reality. And to have fun doing it.

Our hope is that grows increasingly more influential, becoming synonymous with engaging forward-thinking and stylish interlocution, a positive vehicle of influence for natives as well as transplants to the region.

That being said, we realize all too well how complex and multi-faceted a world we live in. It would be disingenuous if we only strove to highlight the more positive aspects of our environment. Thus, we will make it our mission to shine a stark, revealing light on the broken, disparaging characteristics of the region as well, honestly documenting the specifics of our time and place without prejudice or censor.

We will also continue to expand and network our brand — putting the word out — with a combination of powerful writing and engaging images, wedded with high journalistic standards. In doing so, we plan to employ the most intriguing writers and artists in the region, enlisting them to help us make a bold, innovative statement about our city and its inhabitants — and to beam this message world-wide.

We also promise to be an entity of which all of Philadelphia can be proud.

Tayyib Smith and Matthew Bacine
Founders/ Publishers
Two One Five Magazine


Megawords is a non-commercial record of place and human experience.

Our mission is simple: to document our surroundings, experience, to have a voice free from the noise of commercialization and competing novelties, and to create an open and active dialogue between Megawords and the community at large. We have self-published eleven free issues, broadcast a weekly internet radio show, and organized multiple events and performances under the banner of Megawords. With time came positive feedback from a diverse audience and a strong realization that this project had a profound impact.

Through the magazine, we have worked with a number of intriguing artists, photographers, designers, writers and creative people in a collaborative and direct manner. Each issue has its own aura and direction, yet remains integral to the Megawords aesthetic and mission. A new context for the allocated and appropriated images and ideas coming from our contributors and ourselves is created, and in turn a unique and timely outlook on society and our time is presented.

Megawords continues to be an experiment in contemporary media and communication, and strives to provide a relevant and critical contribution to the art of our time.

Wonka Vision


“We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams, wandering by lone sea-breakers and sitting by desolate streams. World-losers and world-forsakers on whom the pale moon gleams. Yet we are the movers and shakers of the world for ever, it seems.”
-Arthur O’Shaughnessy, 1874

In 1998, Wonka Vision entered the world as a cut-and-paste, stapled-together, punk rock fanzine created in an 18-year old kid’s bedroom with a glue stick and some scissors. Released by the same Publisher & Writer’s all along the way, 2009 marks Wonka Vision’s 11th year as one of the country’s still-standing D.I.Y. magazines truly dedicated to Independent Music, Controversial & Important Artists and Underground (now called popular?) Counter-Culture. Despite its slick, colorful, glossy appearance, the Wonka team works out of their home office in South Philadelphia grinding out 80 hours a week creating their beloved publication. Wonka Vision is run by an almost completely volunteer staff of open-minded and eclectic punk rock kids between the ages of 18-30. Our readers? A lot of them have become Writers, Illustrators & Designers. We know our readers and we understand what our readers want, well, because we ARE our readers.

Readers, Writers & Media-alike…we’re all the same. Like you, we love music. We agree nothing is better than a house show. We still ride our bikes everywhere and we can’t function in society without crafting our art…whatever that may be…our passion. Wonka Vision doesn’t try to pass off PR-puff pieces for real journalism in the age where blogs are replacing newsstands. As a counter to the apathy surrounding print media; our work ethic lends itself to spending several months every issue researching & developing each cover story we deliver. Let us prove it to you; give our now Senior Editor, (former Subscriber) Ellen Thompson’s Women in Rock Issue #43 Cover Story a quick read through. Ellen’s been cultivating her piece for almost 6 months now. Those same work ethics and ideals that punk rock taught both our staff and our core readership govern everything from how we live, how we treat others and how much passion we exude into our magazine’s pages.
Wonka Vision

Philadelphia Gay News

The Philadelphia Gay News is the area’s largest and oldest publication targeted to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Started in 1975, we strive to focus on and promote businesses and populations within our community to engender mutual success. This includes publishing special issues to highlight areas such as marriage, pets and health, as well as tackling sensitive issues like LGBT suicide and homelessness.

As a community newspaper, PGN’s mission is to be a platform for the LGBT community to communicate with each other on all their various viewpoints, as well as to communicate with the mainstream/ally community. We promote the community within and without. To be that platform, PGN reaches out to, builds rapport with and listens to its readers and supporters — and its critics. We strive to make the LGBT community more informed about resources in the community and to educate the non-gay community on who we are. Like any group, the LGBT community needs a communications tool to keep abreast of areas of concern, such as health issues and legislation, and to celebrate our successes.
Philadelphia Gay News


At the turn of the century, when the world was concerned with losing their fortunes to Y2K and intrigued by the idea of flying cars, Anthony Caroto was preoccupied with the creation of an honest and interesting monthly music magazine. Philadelphia was overflowing with musical talent, and there was a real and distinct need for a media vessel to bring this fact to the forefront. In December 2001, Caroto released the first issue of Origivation magazine, giving original Philadelphia acts a range of exposure, the scope of which they had never seen.

In 2006, after publishing 50 issues and becoming a regular fixture in the Philly scene, Caroto decided his work was done and, much like our forefathers, went west to preach the gospel of local music pride. He left the future of Origivation in the willing and capable hands of entrepreneur, Brian Cronin, who immediately increased the magazine’s circulation and distribution by 35 percent.

Since this shift of ownership – and under the leadership of former editors Kevin Laibson and Dominic Nicosia, respectively – Origivation expanded its coverage to include national and international musicians, while simultaneously keeping true to its roots and dedication to the Philadelphia music community. In October 2008, Cronin promoted seasoned wordsmith and Origivation writer, Annamarya Scaccia, to take over the reins. As its newly minted editor, Scaccia plans to improve and expand the magazine’s already luminous personality, while keeping Origivation’s zest, zeal and commitment to musical diversity and the local scene.

Truly a formidable ally of music, Origivation has featured buzzworthy national outfits like The Dresden Dolls, Rise Against, Gogol Bordello and Perry Farrell, alongside those special hometown acts, like Carfax Abbey and Victor Victor Band, which make the City of Brotherly Love so colorful and musically rich. Origivation is also involved with an array of festivals and shows, like the Dewey Beach Music Conference, Triumph Live Unplugged, Solo Live and the Origivation radio show, The O List, on, making this magazine an essential part of a balanced media diet.

Philadelphia Stories

Philadelphia Stories is a non profit literary magazine that publishes the finest literary fiction, poetry and art from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware and distributes free of charge to a wide demographic throughout the region. Our mission is to develop a community of writers, artists and readers through the magazine, and through education programs, such as writer’s workshops, reading series, and other affordable professional development programs for emerging writers and artists. Philadelphia Stories is a 501c3 and is managed completely by a staff of volunteers. To support Philadelphia Stories and the local arts, please visit to become a member today!
Philadelphia Stories

Magnet Magazine

Since 1993, MAGNET has published a print magazine, available by subscription and in bookstores and record stores worldwide. MAGNET has covered independent music through artist profiles, critical reviews, in-depth features and bold photography. Our website,, contains original editorial content as well as selected pieces from the print magazine.

Grid Magazine

Publisher Alex J. Mulcahy started Grid Magazine with the purpose of striving toward a more sustainable Philadelphia. The end result is a publication printed on 100% recycled paper that covers local businesses, people, and institutions that are focused on bringing a better environment to the city. And in the process it covers good food recipes, shopping suggestions, and useful tips that help you strive toward having a more sustainable home.
Grid Magazine