“On behalf of our entire team at the Bayou Brief, I am proud to announce that Edward J. Branley, a digital pioneer in Louisiana, a multitalented and genre-bending writer, and the legendary force behind YatPundit and its collection of digitally-native subsidiaries, such as YatHistory and YatCuisine, is now the Bayou Brief’s first-ever Director of Social Media and Creative Content,” stated Lamar White, Jr.
“For more than a decade and largely due to the power of the internet, I have been fortunate to get to know Ed personally. And after spending only two weeks with us, I’m already astonished by his attention to detail and truly humbled by his encyclopedic and institutional knowledge of both New Orleans and statewide politics and history,” White continued.
Ed’s work has earned acclaim throughout the state of Louisiana and across the nation. He is witty, fierce, and unapologetic about his beliefs and values and has been known to occasionally rattle the sensibilities of those on both the far-right as well as those on the far-left; in so doing, he creates provocative and productive platforms on a range of important issues.
Two weeks ago, the Bayou Brief assigned him with the responsibilities of expanding its social media footprint and audience, assisting with editorial oversight and quality control, and dramatically improving our outreach to current donors and providing new donors with a seamless and accessible way to better ensure that readers of the Bayou Brief have multiple opportunities to remain connected, engaged, and informed.
Today, for the first time ever, there is an invitation-only Facebook group for the Bayou Brief, an Instagram account, and a LinkedIn page.
“Ed understands this project and has done some extraordinary work to help us perfect our digital presence at a critical moment,” Bayou Brief CAO Cayman Clevenger said.
“Some of the things Ed was able to accomplish in two weeks, like a better integrated online store and an integrated membership subscription serve, are things we have been hoping to include since the very beginning,” said White. “We are all extraordinarily grateful for Ed’s tenacity and his genuine belief in this project and in our mission.”
During the next four months, the Bayou Brief aims to raise an additional $25,000 through sustaining monthly memberships, with the ultimate goal of raising more than $250,000 in 2020.
“The market for the work we publish on the Bayou Brief is there,” Lamar White, Jr. said. “Because of Ed and his expertise, we now have the capacity to dream bigger, all while guaranteeing our content remains free to read and free from advertisements.”
A full report will be published by the end of September.
The Ragin Cajun and the Bronx to the Bayou
In ten days, Lamar White, Jr. and Ben Collinsworth the Bayou Brief will head up from New Orleans to Baton Rouge to record James Carville’s first class of the school year at LSU. If you’ve never seen the Ragin Cajun in the classroom, we’re thrilled to be able to provide our readers and subscribers with a unique opportunity. Regardless of whether you agree with his politics or disagree, like his wife Mary Matalin is sometimes known to do, the lecture he plans on delivering on the first day of his class should’ provide all of us with a stack of homework and, hopefully, a sense of urgency.
During the past four months, Lamar White, Jr. has recorded more than 14 hours worth of content with Mike Fawer, one of Louisiana’s most legendary and consequential criminal defense attorneys. We are actively seeking out sponsorships to fund professional post-production work. Fawer, recently retired at the age of 83, doesn’t hold anything back in an epic series of conversations about his roles in defending or advising accused murderers, former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards, Congressman William Jefferson, Mississippi gubernatorial candidate Charles Evers, and former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer’s father Charles Roemer, in a wild case that included a defendant named Carlos Marcello that Fawer had first encountered decades prior, as a young prosecutor in Bobby Kennedy’s Justice Department.
Statewide Tour, a New Orleans Event, and the Ray Nichols Award for Community Building
Within the month, White, along with Sue Lincoln, will announce a statewide listening and policy discussion tour, likely to kick off in October and including stops in Shreveport, Ruston, Grambling, Alexandria, Lake Charles, Lafayette, and Baton Rouge. The tour will begin with a stop in Lake Providence, Louisiana, a small town in the state’s fifth congressional district known as the most “unequal town in America.”
In mid-December, the Bayou Brief will host a post-election seminar and workshop on the 2019 statewide elections and an inaugural awards ceremony, honoring leaders across Louisiana and in both the Deep and Gulf Coasts who have made a difference in the local media by shining a light on corruption and those who have made a difference in their communities by advancing positive, progressive initiatives and reforms.
We are also pleased to announce that the Bayou Brief’s top award for 2019 will be the Ray Nichols Award for Community Building. Details on how to submit nominations will be published in mid-September.
If you or your organization is interested in sponsoring the tour, the podcast, the event and awards ceremony in New Orleans, or all three of them, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.