Q-Notes

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Q-notes.jpg
Qnotes frontpage 20100109.jpg
The Jan. 9, 2010 front page of
QNotes
Type LGBT bi-weekly newspaper
Format Tabloid
Owner(s) Pride Publishing & Typesetting
Publisher Jim Yarbrough
Editor Matt Comer
Founded 1986
Headquarters 920 Central Ave.
Charlotte, N.C. 28204
 United States
Circulation 11,000
Official website www.goqnotes.com
www.q-notes.com

Q-Notes is a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) newspaper serving North Carolina and South Carolina. It is based in Charlotte, N.C.. Published every other week, it has a circulation of 11,000 print copies and is the largest print publication serving the LGBT community in the American Southeast. The paper was originally started in 1983 as the monthly newsletter of Queen City Quordinators, a Charlotte LGBT organization. In 1986, it began publishing as a monthly tabloid and merged with the Raleigh, N.C. LGBT newspaper The Front Page in 2006.

General information[edit]

Q-Notes is published every other week on Saturdays, with a print circulation of approximately 11,000. It is distributed in all major cities in North Carolina and in Columbia, South Carolina and by subscription. The paper covers news, politics, opinion, entertainment, art, lifestyle and other topics. It is the largest LGBT news publication in the Carolinas, with reach to parts of Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia. It is the largest LGBT print news publication in the Southeast.

Origins[edit]

Q-Notes was originally started in 1983 as a monthly newsletter, named Queen City Notes, printed on 8.5x11 paper and distributed by the now defunct Queen City Quordinators, a local non-profit LGBT community organization.[1] The newsletter was published for two years and grew to 12 pages an issue with paid advertising.[2] It ceased publication due to lack of volunteer manpower. In 1986 Q-Notes was reborn as a monthly print newspaper published by Queen City Quordinators [3] and later under the auspices of C.A.N. (Charlotte Advocacy Network) Inc., a for-profit corporation. The first issue of the revised newspaper was distributed in June 1986.[4] Don King was hired part-time as the paper's first editor. QCQ President Jim Yarbrough, Dean Gaskey, Joel Smith and Robert Sheets kept the publication operating until it was bought by Yarbrough in December 1989. In 1991, Yarbrough left another job to take over operation of the publication full-time. Jim Yarbrough, the owner of Pride Publishing and Typesetting, Inc., bought the publication from C.A.N. Inc. in December 1989. In 1996, Q-Notes began distributing every other week.

Distribution[edit]

The paper is distributed in major cities and small-to-medium sized cities and towns in the Carolinas including Charlotte, N.C., where the paper is based; Asheville, Chapel Hill; Columbia; Durham; Greensboro; Greenville; Raleigh; Wilmington, Winston-Salem and more. The paper also has distribution points and subscribers in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia.[5]

The newspaper is also published online, with daily news updates, event calendars and community resource listings.

Developments, controversies and notoriety[edit]

Merger with The Front Page[edit]

On May 12, 2006, Q-Notes merged with the Raleigh, N.C., based The Front Page, a Raleigh, N.C. LGBT newspaper founded in 1979.[6][7]

Online presence[edit]

On April 17, 2008, Q-Notes debuted its new website.[8] The new incarnation of the almost decade-old website featured daily news updates and staff blogs and allowed reader comments to be posted to any story. The site is using a modified version of the WordPress blogging platform as a content management system

The older version of the paper's website had been a simple and static HTML design,[9] requiring hours of behind-the-scenes construction for each bi-weekly issue.

In January 2010, the newspaper unveiled a newly redesigned website.

2008 Democratic presidential primary[edit]

On April 30, 2008, seven days prior to the May 6, 2008, North Carolina primary, Q-Notes published online three interviews.[10][11] Two were with Democratic candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama. The third was with Clinton aide Mark Walsh. Obama's interview also included comments from aide Eric Stern. Chris Crain, former editor of The Washington Blade criticized Q-Notes coverage as it did not include information that the interviews had been conducted via email.[12] Q-Notes later edited their Q&As including notations that the interviews were conducted via email.[11]

Physical changes[edit]

For the July 26, 2008, issue the Q-Notes staff changed the traditional quarter fold of the newspaper to a flat layout, reflecting the layout more typical of an average, weekly tabloid newspaper or news-magazine. The traditional two sections of the newspaper, the front, more news-oriented section and the back, arts and entertainment section, were rolled into a single stitched section. In late 2008, the paper began using full, front page images on the front cover rather than have story text in a traditional newspaper layout.

An example of the Q-Notes front page before the 2010 rebranding and redesign.

Distribution changes, growth[edit]

In October 2009, Q-Notes announced it would stop distribution of its print edition to most regions in South Carolina. In a letter from publisher Jim Yarbrough, the newspaper said it would concentrate most South Carolina print copies in the state capital of Columbia.[13] The paper continues to distribute to some community organizations and businesses in Greenville and Myrtle Beach.

Despite changes in the newspaper's circulation strategies, the closure of Window Media's Southern Voice and South Florida Blade on November 16, 2009 made the Carolinas newspaper the largest LGBT print news publication in the Southeast.

New editorial direction[edit]

In January 2009, Q-Notes began rebranding its print edition and online presence. A new layout for the print edition accompanied an online redesign and new editorial strategy. Editor Matt Comer wrote, "With our change in aesthetics comes a change in our editorial direction. Our bi-weekly print issues will be more future-oriented and contain less reporting of events past, while GoQnotes.com takes up a more robust daily presence with online only reporting of Carolinas, national and international events and news...In an effort to maintain our new, robust website and editorial direction, qnotes will be implementing a sort of “web first” model. Stories slated to appear in our print editions will be published as they are completed, or as a set of stories in the day or two after we dispatch our content to our printer. No more waiting the painfully slow and long five days between press time and street date."[14]

Staff[edit]

  • Publisher: Jim Yarbrough - Oversees daily operation of all aspects of the newspaper, from financial matters to employment and occasional editorial decisions.
  • Editor: Matt Comer - Oversees all editorial decisions, writes editorial material, oversees production and New Media/website operations. Comer was hired October 1, 2007, at the age of 21. He is the youngest person to ever hold the position at the paper.[citation needed]
  • Associate Editor: David Stout - Oversees music, film and lifestyles materials. Assists in making editorial decisions. Stout was hired as editor in the early 1990s, at the age of 22. At that time, Stout was the youngest-ever editor at the paper.[citation needed]
  • Production Director/Special Assignments Writer: Lainey Millen - Oversees physical layout of the paper, graphic design and writes occasionally for special projects, North Carolina news briefs and in-depth reports.

Occasionally, interns also assist the paper in its various functions.

The paper has several regularly contributing freelance writers and columnists.

Contributing news writers and columnists from the Carolinas have included Ryan Wilson, president of the S.C. Pride Movement; Jeff Olson, Samantha Korb, Robbi Cohn, a transgender activist; Gareth Fenley, a former CNN journalist living in Columbia and others.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Q-Notes and Front Page merge" (html). Q-Notes (Jim Yarbrough) 20 (10): 1. 2006-05-12. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  2. ^ "Charlotte Business Guild honors Q-Notes, others" (html). Q-Notes (Donald Miller and David Stout) 20 (10): 1. 2005-07-30. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  3. ^ "Chronicling America". Library of Congress. Library of Congress. p. 1. Retrieved 2010-01-10. 
  4. ^ "Q-Notes and Front Page merge" (html). Q-Notes (Jim Yarbrough) 20 (10): 1. 2006-05-12. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  5. ^ "Q-Notes Distribution Points" (PDF). Q-Notes (Jim Yarbrough) 20 (10): 2. 2006-05-12. Archived from the original on 2007-09-15. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  6. ^ Eleanor Brown (May 2006). "Carolinas media merge". PressPassQ 8 (2): 1. Retrieved 2010-01-10. 
  7. ^ Jim Baxter. Jim Baxter resume. p. 1. Retrieved 2010-01-10. 
  8. ^ "Q-Notes new website". Q-Notes (Jim Yarbrough): 1. 2008-04-17. Retrieved 2008-04-19. 
  9. ^ "Q-Notes old index page". Q-Notes (Jim Yarbrough): 1. 2008-04-17. Archived from the original on 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2008-04-19. 
  10. ^ "Q-Notes Primary Interviews". Q-Notes (Jim Yarbrough): 1. 2008-04-30. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  11. ^ a b Chuck Colbert (June 2008). "Obama finally talks with local GLBT media". PressPassQ 10 (3): 1. Retrieved 2010-01-10. 
  12. ^ "More Obama-Clinton on gay rights". Citizen Crain. Chris Crain. 2008-05-07. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  13. ^ "Q-Notes Letter from the Publisher". Q-Notes (Jim Yarbrough): 1. 2009-11-14. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  14. ^ "At New Year, a new qnotes". Q-Notes (Jim Yarbrough): 1. 2010-01-07. Retrieved 2010-01-08.