The countdown begins: We’re going monthly in print — and online daily big time
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.
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 TheInd.com 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.
MAY 17 Here's a column from James Gill, this time in the Advocate. Gill, who has jumped ship from the Picayune, writes about the absurdity of dueling polls in this post. The numbers are so wildly different, it is obvious that both sides are "cooking the books," he writes. In particular, he looks at Sen. Mary Landrieu, and how her recent actions in DC have been received by those polled. Gill's acerbic, amusing prose is a welcome addition to a paper so conservative as to be occasionally lacking in personality.
MAY 17 Blogger Tom Aswell continues delivering bombshells about the state education department and Gov. Jindal's education "reform" efforts. In this post, he reports that students in the Shreveport area have been signed up for a charter school without their knowledge or consent. Most interesting to Aswell is how this Texas-based charter (with ties to GOP types) got the personal student information it has, if the students didn't give it.
MAY 17 This post by JR Ball in the Baton Rouge Business Report is an interesting tongue-in-cheek look at recent Baton Rouge economic development efforts. Among the items he examines is the idea that gaining a Costco makes BR a "world-class city." (Really? All you need is a different brand of Sam's? MK!) This effort, and other recent ones, are all built on the taxpayer's back, with tax zones, tax incentives and tax rebates, Ball writes.
MAY 17 Blogger CB Forgotston is critical of the legislature's reliance on a revenue-estimating committee's decision to include projected tax amnesty income in this year's forecast. That's a problem, CB posts, because the deadline for these people to pay their taxes is June 30, 2014. So when do you think these people who haven't paid taxes in years are going to pay their taxes? Surely not before June 30, and that means the money won't be there for this year's budget, he argues.
MAY 17 Here's an interesting blog out of California by a Hollywood writer, attorney and academic named Brian Alan Lane. He blogs about higher ed, and was a whistle-blower in a scandal over false credentials. In this post, he takes aim at LSU's new top dog, King Alexander. It's convoluted and a little confusing, but it sure makes Alexander a lot more interesting than he was yesterday.
MAY 17 Blogger Robert Mann writes about the LSU Board's refusal to allow Dr. Fred Cerise to testify before the legislature about Gov. Jindal's plan to close down all the state's charity hospitals and dump the poor on the private system. It's hard to imagine anyone more qualified than Cerise to testify about that, so why would anyone try to prevent him doing so? Mann thinks it is because the powers that be aren't interested in hearing any truth about the plan.
MAY 17 This post on the Louisiana Sinkhole Bugle, a blog that notes developments in the Bayou Corne and Jefferson Island salt domes, talks about a proposed expansion of the salt dome storage under Lake Peigneur in Iberia Parish. Residents are working against it for several reasons, including two biggies: the sinkhole disaster in Bayou Corne and the continuing, unexplained bubbling on the surface of the Lake.
MAY 17 NOLA police arrested more people Thursday accused of either being involved in the Mother's Day shooting or hiding the suspect afterward, this Gambit story reports. The NOLA police chief said he suspects the whole thing was gang-related and throws out a challenge to the gangs: he's got informants now, he says, and he knows a lot more than the gangs want him to know. The people who live in the neighborhoods terrorized by gangs are ready to talk, he says.
Is it a crime for citizens to photograph, video, or take notes of a police officer in the line of duty, or a right protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? Locally, such activity, as witnessed recently, will at the very least result in a night spent behind bars.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
Episcopal School of Acadiana’s Dr. Joshua Caffery, chair of the school’s English Department, is headed to Washington, D.C., and the Library of Congress as the latest winner of the Alan Lomax Fellowship in Folklife Studies.