Wednesday, 01 August 2012 12:22
by The Independent Editors
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.
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DEC 6 Here we are, at the top of another bad list: this time, Louisiana has the (dubious) honor of beating out all other states when it comes to gutting higher ed funding, this Picayune story reports. The American Association of Colleges and Universities says our cuts (nearly 18 percent this year alone) are the highest in the nation. Three-fourths of the states increased funding last year, with the top spender increasing funding by 28 percent. This is a great legacy for our governor, right?
DEC 6 Blogger Lamar White Jr. takes a look at the creepy effort over in Baton Rouge, wherein the southern, lily-white area of the city wants to secede from the union, er, create its own "city" and take all the really fat sales tax cows with it. Turns out the group campaigning for the move is a for-profit corporation, and Lamar says that means its effort won't pass legal muster.
DEC 6 Blogger Tom Aswell tells us about some fishiness he found in the state worker's comp office. There's some confusion about when one guy started working there, and there's also some involvement by a GOP lege from Hammond. It's all just another example of the Jindal administration's actions that "defy explanation," Aswell says.
DEC 6 Edwin Edwards may think it's possible he will be governor again, but columnist James Gill isn't so sure. Edwards would have to get a presidential pardon to run for governor -- unless he wants to wait until he's 99, Gill says. But even Edwards' many supporters should probably hope he doesn't get that, because there's no real chance he can win, Gill says.
DEC 6 Here's an interesting post on DIG Magazine for football history buffs. It's about the Pelican Bowl, the Bayou Classic and the history of black college football. It's a trip down memory lane and the story of a "mythical black college national crown." What killed it? Trying to compete with the Bayou Classic.
DEC 6 Nelson Mandela became famous while sitting in prison, where he was a symbol of apartheid. But his enduring legacy was his ability to forgive, to reach out a hand of peace to heal his country of division and oppression, and the Picayune talks about this aspect of his personality. The story also reminds us of the more light-hearted moments Louisiana shared with the former President of South Africa.
DEC 6 We've all been passed by a nut on the highway and assumed the driver was on drugs. Maybe that's not hyperbole: here's a story from the Picayune about a guy riding around with a meth lab in his back seat. One wonders if his insurance policy included coverage for random explosions.
DEC 6 Here's a new blog in the NOLA Defender; it's called Shift Change, and it's all about cocktails. This installment by Rhiannon Enlil focuses on the sazerac, the enigmatic cocktail made with absinthe. But Enlil also introduces herself, a long-time NOLA bartender who has "a lot of booze" in her house.
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