As the daily news vehicle, The Times-Picayune has represented the Greater New Orleans community for more than 175 years, serving three critical functions: ensuring news access for all citizens; providing serious coverage that protects the public; and, creating a common conversation and cultural cohesion amongst all New Orleanians…
…Cutting print publication of the Times-Picayune to three days a week diminishes the accessibility of vital information.
Read Lolis Eric Elie’s editorial published in June 2012 by the Urban Conservancy: Demise of New Orleans Daily Limits Access in the Information Age
Times-Picayune Citizens’ Group Speaks out on Proposed Changes to The Times-Picayune
NEW ORLEANS — A group of concerned civic and business leaders have come together in the wake of the recent announcement by the owners of The Times-Picayune to move to a three-day a week print version in addition to the current web-based nola.com product.
The group’s purpose is to ensure the continuation of the delivery of a high quality, seven-day-a-week newspaper, with access to the entire community. The group intends to open discussions with the current owners as well as other interested parties to achieve its purpose.
Citing the unique New Orleans regional landscape, which has steadily and successfully rebuilt itself since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina to become a beacon for economic resilience and innovation, the group is reviewing all options and opportunities to influence the current plans, as is consistent with desires of the papers’ customers and wider community.
As the daily news vehicle, The Times-Picayune has represented the Greater New Orleans community for more than 175 years, serving three critical functions: ensuring news access for all citizens; providing serious coverage that protects the public; and, creating a common conversation and cultural cohesion amongst all New Orleanians.
With this history and service in mind, the Citizens Group believes that it is important to clearly state its desire for The Times-Picayune to remain a daily newspaper, and that any possible future change be conducted in a more effective and considerate transition than what was announced to take effect beginning in September.
“In the next several years, the city will host an unprecedented amount of national and international visitors and media, including the NFL Super Bowl, NCAA Women’s Final Four, NBA All-Star game, commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and celebration of the city’s 300th birthday,” said Scott Cowen, president of Tulane University. “These events, along with the downtown opening of two new $1 billion-plus hospitals, deserve a more robust approach to news delivery.”
“Now is not the time to switch suddenly to a three-day a week publication,” stated Anne Milling, Founder of Women of the Storm. “A daily Times-Picayune has been the backbone of the community in our post-Katrina environment and provides the foundation for all civic dialogue and discourse. It is our hope that the owners will respect the voices and desires of the community which has been so loyal to the printed newspaper for generations.”
“I can and have accepted change in my life. But I do not think this is a good change,” said Leah Chase, Chef at Dooky Chase. “People like Sheila Stroup, Judy Walker, Doug MacCash, and Brett Anderson provide me with information about the things I love, and I can relate to what they write about. For people my age, this will be a terrible loss.”
“New Orleans was recently named the ‘#1 Fastest Improving Economy in the Nation’ by the Wall Street Journal,” said Michael Hecht, President & CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “The drastic reduction of our paper is not only inconsistent with this economic renaissance, it also sends a negative – and erroneous – message to the rest of the world about our resurgent community’s viability.”
Times-Picayune Citizens’ Group (Full list still being compiled)
This release can be downloaded.