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  • The San Diego Reader is the largest alternative press paper in the county of San Diego, distributed free in stands and private businesses throughout the county, funded by advertisements. Averaging 115,000 copies per issue, it reportedly has the largest circulation of any alternative weekly publication in the nation. It frequently presents an opposing viewpoint to the San Diego Union Tribune, the primary printed newspaper in the city. The Reader was founded in 1972 by Jim Holman, a Carleton College graduate who was a member of the group which established the Chicago Reader. Although Holman briefly owned shares in the Chicago paper, none of the Chicago owners had an interest in the San Diego paper. Holman used the Reader format and nameplate with the blessings of his friends in Chicago. Noted for its literary style of journalism and coverage of the arts, particularly film and theater, the Reader is recognized as a pioneer among alternative weeklies for both its creative nonfiction and its commercial scheme, using ad revenue to establish the practice of widespread free circulation, a cornerstone of today's alternative papers.

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