Changes in newsrooms nationwide have forced thousands of highly experienced journalists out of the news business. And the Gulf Coast region is no exception. With all those professionals available, it made sense to pull them together in a cooperative venture to create a product this region has needed for a very long time.
In January 2016 we will publish the inaugural issue of the Gulf Coast Reporters' League Business Quarterly.
This is like no other publication you'll see, either print or digital. We cover a region nobody else is covering in a single publication: the metropolitan areas along the Interstate 10 corridor between Southeast Louisiana and Northwest Florida.
The area has deep ties socially and economically. People care about what happens in their neighbor's back yard. With a population of nearly 4.4 million people, native and transplant alike, and gross product of $223 billion, it's a sizeable region with a diverse economy that deserves a publication focused on its commercial activities.
Every quarter we'll bring you stories with a region-wide perspective. If it's about marine science research, we tell you about the entire region, not just one slice. If it's about Airbus in Mobile, we'll make sure we paint a picture that will place it in the context of the region's historic aviation activities.
Our nearly two dozen contributing reporters, editors, photographers, graphics artists, cartoonists, page designers, proof readers and researchers each has a minimum of 20 years experience, ranging up to nearly a half century. They count among their honors a Pulitzer for public service as well as hundreds of other national, regional, state and local honors.
Many of the team members have been business reporters, and all of them have covered topics that run the gamut. They have chased hurricanes, sat through trials, stepped on oil-spill tar balls, watched sports events and covered politics ranging from national to local. Now all that experience is going into this brand new business publication.
What we're most proud of is that in an age where anyone with a computer and Internet access can be a publisher, this team is old school and abides by the principals of traditional journalism. We look for the stories nobody else is doing. We make sure our facts are right. But we also embrace new means of reaching our readers, and will make our product available no matter what your particular preference.
I've had the pleasure of working with every one of the members of this team. I understand their passion for the job and pride in their work. That's why they are part of this venture. The professionals who have come aboard jumped at the chance to participate in an untried venture because of their can-do attitude and belief that these stories need to be told. For those of us who have already had full, rewarding newspaper careers, you can consider this our Third Act.
We hope you'll take the time to look at our first issue when it's published Jan. 5, 2016. It will be available in electronic format for free at this site, or you can sign up to have it delivered via email. You can even get a printed version at cost if that's your preference.
We hope you will make the Gulf Coast Reporters' League Business Quarterly part of your regular reading routine. - David Tortorano, editor