The Advocate builds presence in New Orleans

The Advocate’s debut as a daily paper in New Orleans has raised concerns about whether or not it will serve as an effective replacement for dedicated Times-Picayune readers.  New Orleans is a city that has always been known for its tradition, and the Times-Picayune was a reflection of that, until Oct. 1 when it was cut down to deliver only three days a week, eliminating the readership of people who are unlikely to follow NOLA.com, the platform from which editors will now release the Times-Picayune’s daily news.

Jordan Tarajano, a native to Baton Rouge, lived in New Orleans for four years while attending Loyola University.

“I’ve always felt that The Advocate was a more conservative paper than the Times-Picayune, so I’m glad that it’s being delivered into New Orleans.  It is a paper that I would like to read when I’m back in New Orleans,” he said.

The latest editions of The Advocate have covered some of the same content in both editions of the paper, but are also reporting on topics specific to New Orleans in the city’s new edition.  The Advocate’s staff in New Orleans consists mostly of former Times-Picayune staff members who are experienced in writing for a New Orleans audience.

Brienne Griffin, a communications major at LSU, fears that the end of the Times-Picayune as a daily paper is significant to the decline of newspapers and other print media throughout the country.

“They aren’t as convenient and immediate as the internet, so people just don’t use them anymore,” she said.  “The best part of my day is sitting down during my break at school and reading The Advocate, but we get them for free. I don’t go out and buy a paper every day.  If I were responsible for that, I probably wouldn’t buy it.  News on the internet is free and more convenient.”

Caroline Lanusse, a native to the New Orleans area and an avid Times-Picayune reader, is having a difficult time accepting The Advocate’s entrance into the city, and almost thinks of it as intrusive.

“Different districts had different versions of the Times-Picayune.  I’m from Metarie, so I had that paper.  It came every Thursday and Sunday.  It kept me up with what was going on, and I like its setup better than The Advocate.  I grew up with the Times-Picayune, so I’m sad that it’s not going to be around as much,” she said.

NOLA.com and other sources like WWL and WAFB have reported on the competition between the most popular newspaper in New Orleans and the main daily newspaper in Baton Rouge.  While the Times Picayune has been cut down to three days a week in New Orleans, it has plans to build a presence in Baton Rouge in reaction to the Advocate’s new presence in New Orleans.

According to the Advocate, the paper is currently growing by 1,000 new subscribers in the New Orleans area per day.

“I’m really glad The Advocate got involved.  I think it’s great that they’re willing and able to support that market,” said Griffin.

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