I’m actually forced into being succinct in this Mojo Mouth column because, well, there’s not a lot of room to express myself here.
Just like other print media, OffBeat is feeling the pinch from advertisers who now say they only use social media to promote their businesses. So we print fewer pages. Less advertising, less editorial. Sad, but true.
We’ve been steaming full speed ahead, though, to improve and expand our digital content on OffBeat.com, in the Weekly Beat, and through social media outlets. We’ve hired great staff to help us there (Amanda Mester, our digital content editor; Noé Cugny, writer, videographer, all-around web dude and photographer; Camille Ramsey, events and marketing) and we’re going to be improving and expanding with other staff members in the near future.
OffBeat has been very diligent in creating compelling digital content (not advertising that boosts followers) that both our local and out-of-town readers can relate to and engage with. We’re also offering options to advertisers who want to engage with our readers too.
We are aware, though, that it’s one thing to post ad after social media ad as some local media do, but this doesn’t sit well with many people (our readers tell us so, and we listen).
You’ll be noticing in the future that we’ll be publishing more “digital only” content. We actually do have readers who don’t care for the web or social media, which surprises me to no end (one of our subscribers called in a week or so ago and let us know that he didn’t have email). Okay, we get it: Some readers want print, and we’ll continue to give it to them.
There are still a lot of us “old people” who read the newspaper and print because it offers a lot more in-depth journalism, and provides a much wider range of news options for its readers. I don’t care for spoon-fed headlines. I can pick and choose what I want to read; it also takes less time, believe it or not, to become more well-informed (with less internet news bias) about what’s going on in my world.
The fact is, at this point in the three-decades-long journey of OffBeat, that music appeals to a broad range of age groups, and our job is to keep our readers entertained and informed in print and digitally. We also want them to be cognizant of the responsibility that they have to support and honor New Orleans and Louisiana music and musicians, and the music businesses that keep the scene and culture alive, growing and flourishing. That’s an integral part of our mission.
I have tons more to say on this subject, as you know! Check out my blog on OffBeat.com every week.