As a condition of entering a drawing to win tickets to a Bob Dylan concert, we recently asked Indy readers to tell us why they read us. We got genuine, heartfelt compliments, ridiculous flattery (“You make our world a better place!”) and even an insult or two. Contributing writer Hal Crowther racked up the most mentions by name. (“Every time I pick up an issue, I secretly hold my breath for a new Hal Crowther essay,” said one fan.) We got out-of-towners from Charlotte to Canada who, after seeing the contest cross-posted on a Dylan fan site, didn’t let the fact they’d never seen our paper keep them from offering some feedback.

Why do people pick up the Indy? Some excerpts:

  • “‘Front Porch’ is the heartbeat of the Triangle … You guys have a great understanding of our community and help me to feel I can be a part of it all. Plus, my cat loves to chew on the corners.”
  • “Because I’m a liberal bastard.”
  • “I am tired of all the gore and scare tactics being printed all over the mainstream media.”
  • “To hear what [Music Editor] Grayson Currin is selling or trashing, ’cause he is usually humorously way off the mark.”
  • “From investigative articles scrutinizing the failure of local work programs and crisis centers to features on clean-cut hippies living in eco-huts…the Indy reveals a burgeoning liberal community with every free read. I just moved to Durham and without the Indy, I would not have found an abandoned graveyard in the woods, a crumbling quarry, a burrito paradise with a psychedelic lounge and an array of eclectic electric local bands.”
  • “The Independent magazine has led me to music I never would have thought to listen to, food I never would have tried to taste, stores I never would have found on my own, ideas, movies … and even, once, a car and a dining room table. Oh, and quite a few job interviews.”
  • “I love the Independent for its fresh views and because it is unbeholden to big commercial interests that control so much of the press throughout the world.”
  • “The Indy is the all-encompassing rag that is reliable and entertaining.”