The Beginning of the IND

by Cherry Fisher May

As our reader and advertiser needs rapidly evolve, the IND rises.

Back in 2003, a band of great local writers and marketing guys teamed up with us to start up a newsweekly for Lafayette.

As our reader and advertiser needs rapidly evolve, the IND rises.

Back in 2003, a band of great local writers and marketing guys teamed up with us to start up a newsweekly for Lafayette. We wanted to put out a paper that appealed to us and to like-minded locals - smart and irreverent writing on topics and with a style not found in The Daily Advertiser nor welcomed by the few on the far ends of the political spectrum. Nine years and literally dozens of statewide journalism and advertising awards later, we'd like to think we've by and large met that goal.

Since then, The Independent has broken stories on initiatives that will distinguish Lafayette forever, like LUS's community-owned fiber-to-the-home network and the development of a massive passive park smack-dab in the center of town on UL's former horse farm. In conjunction with INDevents, The Independent has nurtured ideas that helped lay the groundwork for the first-ever comprehensive plan for Lafayette Parish and a new direction for our public schools. Through investigative reporting on public agencies, The Independent helped force the resignations of some top officials and the filing of ethics charges, causing no small dyspepsia for entrenched interests on both the south and north sides of town. In our "Fair Share" series on property tax assessments, we set our sights on perhaps the stickiest wicket for political leaders in any community - an issue even more critical in a conservative place like ours as we struggle to make the appropriate government investment in Lafayette's continued growth and improvements in public education.

Hard news, investigative journalism and political analysis are trademarks of The Independent, along with the market's best coverage of the arts, entertainment, food, fashion and style. More and more, we're posting this award-winning content and big breaking news stories online at, where readership has now eclipsed our weekly rack distribution. With this issue, we complete the transition from The Independent Weekly to IND Monthly in print and the launch of the next phase of our content development online, a change Managing Editor Walter Pierce blogged on Aug. 1: "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."

IND Monthly. We like the new IND moniker, largely because that's what we and thousands of our readers have come to call it; plus, it's a nice tie-in to our online presence, But you can still call us The Independent (or anything you want - just call us, as they say!). This change to monthly for our print presence will allow us to do what we do best on both platforms, even as we increase our lifestyle content. We're also adding dozens of new rack locations for the monthly and targeted new outbound products for the web. If you're not yet an INDsider, you can sign up today at and receive our daily outbound e-blasts to keep you, well, IND the know. ABuzz subscribers receive weekly business updates from our business pub, ABiz, each Tuesday, and coming soon: specialized online products designed for foodies, fashionistas, families and weekend entertainment.

Lafayette's growing, and our industry is changing in ways we couldn't envision when we launched nine years ago. The IND's format has evolved, but the mission remains the same, and we look forward to even broader community involvement as the conversation continues. Thanks, as always, for doing what you do in our partnership: being one of thousands of loyal readers who grab us out of the rack or click to connect with us online. This is the beginning of the IND - the new one. The journey continues.

- Steve and Cherry Fisher May, Publishers

Odie Terry, Associate Publisher