Washington City Paper is your source for local news. Since 1981, our journalism and events have connected D.C. natives and newcomers to the District and to each other. 

With the support of our members, we’re exploring the city we all love—investigating corruption and exposing wrongdoing, analyzing the District’s biggest issues, holding elected officials accountable, and at the same time shining a light on our rich food, arts, and sports scenes with award-winning design and photography.

What We Do

We report on all things D.C. with an independent and local lens. Like alt-weeklies across the country, we center the people and culture of our hometown in our reporting, reviews, and columns.

We also host events for locals year round. Best of D.C. brings together the very best our city has to offer, and culminates with a massive party. At our community events, we convene in-depth conversations on our reporting.

The full text of every Washington City Paper story from 1995 to this week is available for free in our online archives. Digital versions of our print issues from 2015 to 2022 are available on Issuu; scans of older issues are available in the D.C. Public Library’s Dig DC portal.

Our History

City Paper’s history follows that of other big city alt-weeklies. We started as an independent, irreverent, and unique source of news for Washington, D.C., and expanded as classified and print ads grew. In the late 2000s, declining advertising sales and consolidation efforts forced the company to lay off members of the operations, editorial, production, and business staffs.

All the while, we continued to produce journalism that, while still unique, became essential for people who care about D.C. beyond the National Mall. We further enmeshed ourselves into our hometown with our beloved Crafty festival, Best of D.C. contests, and other community events. 

In the fall of 2017, City Paper’s then-owner, SouthComm, Inc., put City Paper up for sale, along with four other alt-weeklies the company owned. When the paper’s editorial staff learned of the sale, we did everything we could to find a local owner for the paper, collaborating with past City Paper editors, staffers, and publishers. In late December of that year, local entrepreneur, sports team owner, and philanthropist Mark Ein announced he would buy the paper under the official name, MDE City Paper Holdings, LLC.

With his support, we’re striving to fix local news’ flawed business model. We’ve been D.C.’s trusted source of local news for over 40 years, and we want to be around for at least 40 more. We launched our membership program in September 2019, and more than 1,000 readers have already stepped up to support us and independent journalism in D.C. We are so grateful, and we will continue to work hard to earn and keep the trust of our community.