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Welcome to the new Indy Week and indyweek.com

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At heart, Mark Zusman and I are incurable journalism junkies. We operate on this fundamental principle: Good reporting of news, culture and politics—presented handsomely and effectively—can change the world for the better. We have committed our professional lives to this quest. It's not an easy habit to sustain.

But here we go again. As you probably know, I have long-standing ties to North Carolina, from my childhood paying long summer visits to Kitty Hawk and points south to a job at age 21 teaching in the public school on Ocracoke Island to visiting my brother and his family and working on his campaigns over the past three or four decades to my long-standing friendship with Steve Schewel. Mark comes to the Triangle more recently, but no less passionately.

What attracted us to the Independent and indyweek.com in the first place hopefully will serve this venture well for years to come—great staffers with our drug of choice pulsing through their veins.

So it's a great pleasure—and even greater honor—to join this enterprise today, and to introduce you to the person who will be in charge: Publisher Susan Harper.

This new start for our website and newspaper is going to be fun, we hope—for you as readers and for our staff. —Richard Meeker

For nearly 30 years, the dual goals of the Independent have been to publish some of the nation's best alternative journalism while helping to build a just community in the Triangle. While this issue marks a new era for the Indy, our goals remain the same.

You will notice some changes to the paper. Our new name and logo, Indy Week, connects our longtime nickname, the Indy, to our print version and to our website, indyweek.com.

One of our challenges is covering a vast area—four counties and a half-dozen cities. To address that challenge, we're personalizing the editions. When appropriate, the Indy will feature two covers, one for the eastern Triangle—Wake County—and another for the western part—Durham, Orange and Chatham. Along the way, we hope to pull off an important balancing act—celebrating the unique qualities of these communities while simultaneously approaching the Triangle as a unified entity.

Inside, you'll find a beefed-up news section, and in food, we are adding weekly restaurant reviews. We are also emphasizing work by our award-winning photographers and brightening the paper's pages with more graphics and pictures.

Our arts, music and film coverage is unrivaled in the Triangle. After reading an article in the Indy's print version, you can find extra features at indyweek.com: music, including the Simple Music Video series, short films and regular posts on Artery, Scan and Triangle Offense, our popular sports blog.

Please take some time this week to flip through the whole issue. Add your voice to our discussions: Send us feedback at backtalk@indyweek.com or comment on indyweek.com. Most important: If you have a story tip, email editor Lisa Sorg (lsorg@indyweek.com). And if you'd like to involve the Indy in efforts you're making to build our community, reach out to me (sharper@indyweek.com).

We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you in advance for your continued attention and support. —Susan Harper

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