Tuesday, 24 July 2012 12:50

Since Times Picayune paper cuts, New Orleans on digital media steroids

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tp-logo2Ever since the Times Picayune announced its move to a major digital platform for its NOLA.com operation, the media community has virtually gone haywire with rumors, collaborations and announcements.

Times-Picayune announced it will be publishing three-times per week and virtually all its content will be online.

On Monday, the Baton Rouge Advocate announced it would enter New Orleans market with more than a spattering of news stories.



According to the Associated Press, the “Advocate newspaper says it will expand into the New Orleans market with a specialized print edition.

Richard Manship, president and CEO of Capital City Press, says The Advocate is laying the groundwork to reach into the market following the announcement by The Times-Picayune that the newspaper will reduce publication to three days a week this fall while beefing up its online report.

Manship said The Advocate will add staff to supply this coverage of the area, but did not provide specific numbers.”

Another group that is backed by the Greater New Orleans Inc., NOLA Beat apparently is getting into the game.

This operation is being pushed by Greater New Orleans Inc. president Michael Hecht and Leslie Jacobs.

According to the Gambit, “NOLA Beat's proposal calls for reporting in five "key focus beats," each with a dedicated beat reporter: government accountability ("watchdog function for elected officials and good government"); business ("coverage of economic development progress, including key policy issues"); education ("specific focus on educational reform"); criminal justice ("coverage of progress with crime and the judicial system") and environment ("coastal restoration and flood protection issues").”

The content will be free and open-source (meaning other news organizations will be free to use NOLA Beat's reporting), and the website will have an "aggregation" component, linking to and summarizing other local New Orleans news sources.”

Gambit has been told Hecht and Jacobs' plan is to have the new newsroom open by the end of 2012.

Also, another group announced operations today.

Four local online newsrooms have united to broaden New Orleans’ news options. The mission of the newly formed New Orleans Digital News Alliance is to connect independent digital news organizations for the benefit of our readers and to strengthen and promote sustainable, up-to-the-minute online journalism in New Orleans.

The founding members of the New Orleans Digital News Alliance are:

The Lens, the city’s first nonprofit, public-interest newsroom, which provides the information and analysis necessary for residents to advocate for more accountable and just governance. thelensnola.org

My Spilt Milk, which takes a timely look at popular culture in New Orleans with an emphasis on the city's robust musical culture live, online and on record (or the digital equivalent). myspiltmilk.com

NOLA Defender, an alt daily that provides hyperlocal coverage of politics, crime, and culture Southern Louisiana, with an emphasis on the people, food, events, and arts that make New Orleans a cultural beacon. noladefender.com

Uptown Messenger, a hyperlocal news site, which covers the people and events of New Orleans' Uptown neighborhoods, reporting on government, crime, schools, business and culture. uptownmessenger.com

The members will begin promoting each other’s work immediately through social media and other avenues, and closer cooperation is being developed.

The New Orleans media landscape is in flux, and the New Orleans Digital News Alliance strives to ensure that the city’s digital press provides deep, current and breaking coverage of the community in a way that is true to its unique culture.

The New Orleans Digital News Alliance members are locally owned and operated, and see reporting on

The New Orleans Digital News Alliance will promote readership of local news outlets regardless of medium, and it encourages community engagement in the journalistic process. The city needs more journalistic voices than ever, and this alliance will explore opportunities to create new media models as the field evolves.


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