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What's new? A lot.

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It's a new year and the INDY has a new look, new staff and beaucoups changes ahead.

First, art director Maxine Mills and graphic designer J.P. Trostle spent the winter holidays redesigning the print version of the INDY—with a web face-lift in the works. So what's new?

Besides updating the design—2005, eat our dust—the culture and music calendars are packed with more useful information that is punchier and easier to read. (INDY fans edging in to their 40s may not need reading glasses now. No scoffing, 20-somethings, one day you'll understand.)

Looking for 8 Days a Week? It's been rechristened "Where We'll Be" as the go-to for the most interesting events of the week in the Triangle. Looking for Act Now? Most of it is online now, but we're highlighting the most important social activism events to sprinkle throughout the news section. Looking for Front Porch? It returns next week in this slot.

Over the next few weeks, we'll tweak the design and begin rethinking this website.

How will we get all this done? Well, there are roughly only 40,000 full-time journalists working in America—and with the INDY's latest hires, make that 40,002. We added two new staff members, associate editor Brian Howe and Raleigh bureau chief Aaron Lake Smith, who will help us increase our Triangle-wide coverage and ramp up our investigative reporting.

Howe (bhowe@indyweek.com) has steadily freelanced for the INDY for about 10 years, covering arts, music and technology. He'll continue to write in that capacity, plus assume editing duties in the culture section. He replaces Peter Blackstock, who is enjoying the balmy weather in Texas, where he is a music writer at the Austin American-Statesman.

A Raleigh native, Smith (asmith@indyweek.com) wrote a piece for the INDY in 2010 about the Triangle terrorism suspects. He most recently worked as a senior editor at VICE, and also sharpened his chops as a fact checker at GQ and an intern at Harper's. This week he trekked back to North Carolina from Brooklyn, where he battled several days of snowmaggedon to get here.

With Raleigh staff writer Jane Porter, Smith will focus on Wake County and state news coverage in the eastern part of the Triangle.

And finally, the totals have been tallied, and the INDY's inaugural Give Guide! raised $83,000 in November and December for 28 local nonprofits, easily blowing through our goal of $56,000. Thanks to everyone who donated to these worthy organizations, which are working for a more just and compassionate Triangle.

Here's to muckraking and thoughtful, provoking coverage on all fronts in the coming year. If you have comments about our redesign, our coverage—or if you have a tip—let us know at editors@indyweek.com.


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