City Paper is not for tourists
Three years ago, former Washington Post reporter Ed Sargent was all set to unveil a slick new paper called City Images. While test-marketing the publication, however, Sargent concluded that it was “too positive for Washington,” a city that thrives on conflict. He went back to the drawing board, and the product of his epiphany, Naked City News, has just hit D.C. newsstands. The revamped publication is both hard-edged and hard to describe: In his preface, Sargent calls it a “mental state…the place within your mind where you see things as they actually are and envision yourself helping to change things for the better.” More specifically, it’s a monthly tabloid (price: $1) that prints everything from fiction to reportage to editorial screeds to self-help dicta to invitations for readers to write their opinions on, well, anything. The best section explores urban crime by printing mug shots, slamming unjust judges, and repeating police gossip. Less responsible is a book review in which Sargent pans fellow ex-Postie Jill Nelson’s Volunteer Slavery while admitting that he didn’t read it.