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Commentary: Happy New Year — and hello, 2018 

Our mission remains the same: give New Orleans an indispensable weekly paper, and have fun doing it

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2017 was a tumultuous year — locally and nationally, and that includes the newspaper industry. While some daily and weekly papers — and websites — across the country suffered layoffs or even folded in 2017, many others, like us, continued to fulfill their core mission to provide timely, accurate and relevant information to their readers. This can be as simple as letting you know where your favorite musician is playing — or as complicated as a months-long investigation into a civic or political scandal.

  Many of the newspapers that had trouble this past year were owned by conglomerates whose main concern was executive compensation and ever-increasing profits. That's not us. We're a locally owned business much like your favorite shop on Magazine Street or your favorite art gallery on St. Claude Avenue — and we're as hands-on as a family-owned po-boy shop. We give our editors and writers a lot of freedom to create stories they find significant, confident that if they think it's important, our readers will too.

  Earlier this year, we conducted a survey to find out what Gambit readers want from the paper and the website. The results were encouraging. "I count on Gambit to tell me about events going on in the area that don't get much press. Not the big festivals, but the fun little neighborhood events" was one typical comment. When we asked what cover stories you preferred — news and politics, arts and entertainment or food and drink — we were delighted to see all three answers tied for first. That mix is what we'll continue to provide, every week.

  None of this is to say that Gambit doesn't change with the times. Starting in 2018, with next week's issue, we're reinventing our CUE Magazine to be not just about fashion and homes, but also life in New Orleans in general. Each monthly issue will focus on one theme: relationships, money, travel and more. We think you'll find the new CUE Magazine more useful than ever.

  At a time when freedom of the internet is under attack and some use the label "fake news" to dismiss any story with which they personally disagree (regardless of its truth), our mission remains the same: to give our fellow New Orleanians an indispensable weekly paper — and to have fun doing it.

  If you like what we do (and we hope you do!), we hope you'll continue to keep Gambit thriving — whether you're one of our hundreds of local advertisers or among our more than 150,000 weekly readers. Every time you buy an ad, pick us up on a Sunday or Monday, or call or email us looking for coverage, you remind us that what we do matters, not just weekly but every day. You can find the latest news on our website, www.bestofneworleans.com — and for round the clock, sometimes more irreverent and interactive takes on the news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

  Above all, we'd like to close 2017 by thanking all of you for making Gambit a part of your lives. Here's wishing all of us a happy and prosperous 2018.

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