One year ago this week, The Bayou Brief officially opened for business. Sorta.
It’d take us another three months before we hit publish for the very first time, but I still consider this to be our first birthday because last year, at this time, we opened a bank account, hired a web developer, an attorney, and a graphic designer, assembled a Board of Directors, and reached out to our friends, family members, former college professors, exes, old bosses -really anyone we knew- to help us fund Louisiana’s very first, statewide, digitally-focused, nonprofit news publication.
The Bayou Brief was entirely built by people like you, our readers, and because of that, we can offer vitally important news, research, and in-depth journalism about the politics, the culture, the history, and the people of Louisiana.
On this, the occasion of our first birthday, we are asking once again for your generosity. Click here to go where we’re stashing the birthday presents.
Because of contributions from readers who believe in our public service mission, The Bayou Brief is able to offer our work completely free-of-charge. No paywalls. No browser-killing pop-ups. No annoying surveys. No advertisements at all.
We believe that our member donors and sponsors are our shareholders, and they deserve to know how their money is being put to good use.
During the nine months we have been online, we have received more than 260,000 individual readers and more than 340,000 total views. Nearly 38% of our audience is between the ages of 18 to 34, the most coveted demographic in media. In a state of only 4.7 million people, these numbers are stronger than we ever could have anticipated. (And we haven’t even entered campaign season yet).
*Two of our stories from 2017 went viral nationally, so although it may appear as if 2018 is behind pace, the truth is we’ve actually more than doubled our average daily and weekly traffic.
We also have a social media following of nearly 20,000 people, and on Facebook, our “organic reach” ranges between 40,000 to 155,000 a day.
If you’ve been reading The Bayou Brief, then you know we’re doing something different in Louisiana.
We are the only statewide news publication, either online or in print, with a full-time state Capitol correspondent.
We publish a weekly report on the New Orleans Saints, even during the offseason. We regularly feature in-depth stories about Louisiana history, extended interviews with some of the state’s most well-known leaders, and important reports from North Louisiana, CenLa, and Acadiana that far too often are overlooked by the state’s largest news organizations.
In only nine months, we have published nearly 200 original reports, stories, and opinion columns.
More than 30 different freelance writers have contributed to The Bayou Brief, and because of donations from our readers, we have been able to pay them fairly for their work.