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Q-Notes

Q-Notes is a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) newspaper serving North Carolina and South Carolina. It is based in Charlotte, N.C., and publishes every other week. 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 under the direction of C.A.N. (Charlotte Advocacy Network) Inc. The paper was bought by its current owner, Pride Publishing and Typesetting, in December 1989. Chronicling local and regional news around the Carolinas, the paper is a vital resource for the LGBT communities of the two states.

General Information

Q-Notes is published every other week on Saturdays, with a print circulation of approximately 12,500. It is distributed in all major cities in North Carolina and 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.

Origins

Q-Notes was originally started in 1983 as a monthly newsletter, printed on 8.5x11 paper and distributed by the now defunct Queen City Quordinators, a local non-profit LGBT community organization. The newsletter ended with the closing of QCQ, circa late 1984. In 1986 Q-Notes was reborn under the auspices of C.A.N. (Charlotte Advocacy Network) Inc., a for-profit corporation formed expressly to produce the publication as a monthly tabloid newspaper. The first issue of the revised newspaper was distributed in June 1986. 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

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; Charleston; Columbia; Durham; Greensboro; Greenville, S.C.; 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.

The full newspaper is also published online at www.q-notes.com In March 2008, the staff announced that the website would undergo a large-scale revamp.

Developments, Controversies and Notoriety

Merger with The Front Page

On May 12, 2006, Q-Notes merged with the Raleigh, N.C., based The Front Page, another North Carolina LGBT newspaper. Started in the 1970s as The Free Press, The Front Page began publishing under that name in 1979 in Raleigh, N.C.

Online Presence

On April 17, 2008, Q-Notes debuted its new website at www.q-notes.com 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, requiring hours of behind-the-scenes construction for each bi-weekly issue.

2008 Democratic Presidential Primary

On April 30, 2008, seven days prior to the May 6, 2008, North Carolina primary, Q-Notes published online three interviews. 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. Q-Notes quickly edited their Q&As including notations that the interviews were conducted via email.

Physical Changes

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 one, stitched section.

Staff

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 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.

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.

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.

Other staff include Kat Read, the advertising representative and account executive; and Chuck Patterson, who oversees accounting.

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

The paper has 10 regularly contributing freelance writers and columnists, including Wayne Besen, Leslie Robinson, Jasmyne Cannick and Irene Monroe.

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

References

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