Is it still a rumor if it’s true? You may have heard by now about big changes at The Independent. On Aug. 15 we’ll distribute the last weekly issue of this newspaper. On Sept. 6 we’ll debut both The Ind Monthly and our new presence online.

Although 2011 was the best ever in our nine-year history, this wasn’t a hard decision. Far from it. Transitioning to a monthly is something we began tossing around a few years ago — an idea that seemed, at the time, several years away. We dropped “Weekly” from our name more than a year ago because we’ve long known that our future — the future of our industry, in fact — has digital written all over it. And we knew there would come a time when our online readership surpassed its print counterpart. That time came sooner than expected as the rise of smart phones and tablets accelerated the way information is consumed, and the gap between our digital and paper identities has widened considerably since. Today, while our print readership remains as strong as ever, our online readership now consistently exceeds print consumption by up to 150 percent. So we’re making the move. It’s not a baby step — it’s a plunge into the deep end. We’re doing a cannonball into a future that is now. Step away from the computer if you don’t want to get wet.

What to expect for our readers in print: The Ind Monthly will offer everything you’ve come to expect from this feisty little pub — the investigative reporting, the hard news and political analysis, the arts and culture coverage; the best, most irreverent writing in local journalism and the relentlessly local reporting you rely on to stay attuned to our community. But we’ll offer a lot more, too: revamped culinary coverage for the foodie tribe; eye-popping photography features; fashion, home design and nightlife; technology; sports and recreation — everything that makes Lafayette the vibrant, plugged-in community it is.

We’ll also be adding dozens more rack locations in boutiques and restaurants.

You’re welcome.

For our online readers: This transition isn’t just about beefing up our print coverage and changing our rack frequency. Hardly. This is, after all, about the digital now.

Expect to become, more than ever, you’re daily source for reporting on local and state news, political analysis, arts/entertainment coverage. We’ll break the big stories online rather than hold them for print. We’re expanding our zones — currently devoted to news, business, A&E and food — to include style, fashion and family.

More blogs. More coverage. More Ind.

News, culture, commentary: It’s what you’ve come to depend on us for, and that’s what you’ll continue to get, only deeper and fresher than ever before. We like to think of it as the beginning of The Ind. The new Ind. Online and in print. We hope you’ll agree.

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