On frequent stops to check documents at the city’s police headquarters, Atlanta Journal-Constitution police reporter Megan Matteucci noticed a constant line of women. “It’s like a doctor’s office, a large room with chairs all around it and it was always filled,” Matteucci told Editor & Publisher. “I’d got by there at lunchtime and you’d see 20 or 30 women. That was a peak time.” The women, Matteucci found, were there to get $350 adult-entertainment permits — to dance in Atlanta’s many strip clubs.
Matteucci and business reporter Tammy Joyner teamed up to report the story of how the recession was swelling the numbers of women strippers in a city that is a major hub of strip clubs. “You have to have a job offer from a club to get a permit,” Matteucci said. “And you would see some women with their hair done and with makeup, wearing sweatpants. You knew they were just coming back from an audition.” Matteucci saw women with their young children, or studying a college textbook while they waited their turn. The reporters were turned away from many clubs, but welcomed at some, including Magic City where they spent two nights talking with strippers in their locker room and with club managers.