The following is a press release from the staff of QNotes:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The staff of QNotes, the Charlotte-based LGBT newspaper of North Carolina, is celebrating a milestone achievement — surpassing 500,000 page views on its website, goqnotes.com, in a single year — as it continues to build its online reading audience and reach more readers with coverage of local arts, entertainment, news and views important to local LGBT community members.

Established in 1986, QNotes is one of the oldest, continuously operating local LGBT newspapers on the East Coast, and the oldest and largest in the Carolinas.

On Dec. 11, 2014, it reached an online milestone, topping out over 500,000 page views to its website in 2014 and more than 2.1 million page views since a successful online reinvention in April 2008. At that time, the newspaper revamped its online operations, transitioning to a modern content management system and undertaking new social media and online publishing strategies. The website’s readership has grown each year.

The Dec. 11 achievement marks years-long online growth for the local niche newspaper, which published its very first website in 1996. The newspaper continues to publish a biweekly print edition with an average print readership of 18,000.

“We strive to ensure our independent community journalism reaches the most people for the most impact — both our print edition and website have been equally vital components of this strategy,” said Jim Yarbrough, publisher.

Editor Matt Comer has led the newspaper’s online strategy — hired in 2007 after a successful run as an independent youth citizen journalist.

“QNotes offers news with a purpose and a vision,” said Comer. “We exist to lift up the voices of LGBT community members and those who care about a wide range of social justice issues. Our hard-hitting independent journalism has helped shape local politics, policy and debate, including within our own community. Naturally, we want our print edition’s content to be complemented by a top-notch online presence, where community members can share, discuss, debate and interact with the issues.”

The website publishes content from each of QNotes’ biweekly print editions, in addition to publishing daily or near-daily arts, entertainment, news and opinion content. This year’s tremendous interest in LGBT marriage equality and other social justice issues contributed to the growth in online readership. In October, QNotes became one of the premier sources for breaking news as events unfolded bringing full LGBT marriage equality to the state.

On high-traffic news days, QNotes’ readership often rivals other local news organizations’ audiences in Charlotte, including consistent readership that more than doubles at least one local TV news station’s average viewership, according to Nielsen’s November sweeps data.

QNotes plans on expanding its online coverage and audience in 2015 with the addition of a mobile news app.

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About QNotes:
QNotes serves the LGBT and straight ally communities of the Charlotte region, North Carolina and beyond, by featuring arts, entertainment, news and views content in print and online that directly enlightens, informs and engages the readers about LGBT life and social justice issues. QNotes is the most trusted source of news, politics, opinion, entertainment, art, lifestyle, community events and more for LGBT people in the Carolinas. The print edition is distributed in major cities and small-to-medium sized cities and towns in North Carolina including the greater Charlotte metro area, and in Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Durham, Chapel Hill and Carrboro.