A fifth anniversary for The Island Free Press - Shooting The Breeze


Hi, and welcome to my "Editor's Blog"! In this space I'll be attempting to keep our readers informed on fast-breaking news and issues affecting our islands. Visit often. There's a lot going on!

Enjoy the Island Free Press and, even more importantly, enjoy our wonderful barrier island!!!




Latest Comments

Devildog (Protecting N.C. H…): Steve, Devildog, it is not a philosophy, but proven facts that Mr. Scott speaks of.. Negative. Dr…
John G (Year In Review – …): 100th Anniversary of the Mirlo Rescue.
Steve (Protecting N.C. H…): Devildog, it is not a philosophy, but proven facts that Mr. Scott speaks of..
Devildog (Protecting N.C. H…): Steve, I respectfully take issue with this statement: Overwash may be an inconvenience, but it is …
Steve (Protecting N.C. H…): Well said Michael Scott! More people need to realize that dune lines have been strangulating Hatteras…
Salvo Jimmy (Protecting N.C. H…): Michael Scott, Good analysis and I pretty much agree. Especially the dunes. Seemingly a long t…


Powered by PivotX - 2.3.11 
XML: RSS Feed 
XML: Atom Feed 

Looking forward to me… | Home | Records and Rants

A fifth anniversary for The Island Free Press

Wednesday 05 September 2012 at 4:44 pm.

Five years ago today, The Island Free Press published its first edition.

It was Hatteras and Ocracoke islands’ first and only online newspaper.

It was an experiment of sorts, since we didn’t know what we were in for or how the paper would be received.

Five years later, we can say that online publishing is terrific. 

You will notice some slight changes in the way the Island Free Press looks. Graphic designer and co-owner Donna Barnett has given the pages a new look – not really a facelift, more like a Botox treatment.

She has made some font changes in headers, made some adjustments to colors to brighten up the way we look, added color to some of the headline type, added a gray border to photos and softened the captions from a stark black to a medium gray.

However, you will notice we still have the same user-friendly format.

About a month ago, we added a feature so readers can now add their comments directly on the story pages, instead of having to e-mail us comments that we published as letters to the editor.  You can still e-mail us your comments, which will still be published as letters, probably just not quite as often.

For our advertisers, we will now be offering ads on story pages, beginning with the Beach Access and Local News pages. Eventually, they will be added to all stories on other category pages.

In addition to the two banner ads at the top of my blog, “Shooting the Breeze,” we will sell ads down the right side as well.  The blog page is definitely one of the most read and popular pages on the site.

And later this month, we will be offering just one banner ad on the e-mails that go to readers each week, alerting them to new stories on the site.  We are currently sending out these e-mails to nearly 5,000 readers who have signed up to receive them.

Some readers wait until they get the e-mail to check the site or ask how often we publish “a new edition.” There is no certain day of the week we publish a new “edition.” There is something new on the site just about every day from Monday through Friday and some weekends.  We add stories as we get them and as the news happens.

We continue to be grateful to our loyal and ever-growing readership of islanders, northern Outer Banks residents, non-resident property owners, and visitors, most of whom are regular visitors to the islands and want to keep up with news and issues and businesses.

We continue to be grateful for the support of our advertisers, many of whom have been with us since Day One.  We know we bring them customers and clients, but we also know that we could not do this important work in community journalism without their backing.

At no time in the last five years was a community newspaper more important to our readers than after Hurricane Irene last August when for months rumors were everywhere and we at Island Free Press were able to bring important news from our sources directly to our readers.

We hope readers will continue to support our advertisers by visiting their shops and restaurants and using their services to buy property, rent a vacation cottage, or arrange a fishing trip or watersports lesson.

Our advertisers are now conveniently arranged by category to make it easier to find them on the site.  Click on the guide to advertisers at the top of the Front Page on the left side.

As always on this date, we thank Hatteras Designs and co-owners Jim Boyd and Buddy Swain who helped us start up the Web site and still trouble-shoot our Internet problems. And we thank all of our terrific contributors, who bring you news about local issues, fishing, real estate, business, history, nature and the environment, and so much more.

On Sept. 5, 2007, some of the top stories we published on the Local News Page were about a tropical storm – Gabrielle – headed our way, the opposition of environmental groups to the plan to replace the Bonner Bridge, and access to seashore beaches.

Time marches on, but some things just don’t change.


You can check out stories we’ve published in the last five years that you may have missed in our Archives.  Click on the bar toward the bottom of the Front Page and do a search for topics that interest you or peruse the stories by year and category page.

How to reach us:

Irene Nolan, editor, editor@islandfreepress.org. 252-995-5323.
Donna Barnett, graphic designer and webmaster, graphics@islandfreepress.org. 252-986-2542.
Liza Lutz, advertising sales, sales@islandfreepress.org. 252-573-1759.


Salvo Jimmy

This online paper has been one of the best things happening here in the last 5 yrs. Happy Anniversary

Salvo Jimmy - 05-09-’12 17:19
Mike Berry

Congratulations on reaching your 5th year mark, now go for 10. If every paper was as relevant, factual and well edited as Island Free Press, news might mean something again. You bring the wounderful Outer Banks of North Carolina into our daily life even though many of us are not fortunate enough to live full time in your community. Thanks for what you do especially for the care you show for all of our OBX friends, your neighbors.

Mike Berry - 05-09-’12 19:30
Kathy Maxwell

I have kept up with this paper since its inception. Congratulations on your fine work and ever so entertaining stories. As a visitor for the past twenty five years and soon to be resident, all I can say is that it makes my day, every day. To Joy, your blogs are awesome.

Kathy Maxwell - 05-09-’12 22:14

About your blog, my mama told me if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all!

Anon - 06-09-’12 00:11

Actually, Anon, what I wrote in my blog was not about me or myy blog at all but about the entire Island Free Press and the value of community journalism.
Maybe you like something in the newspaper? If not, I agree with your Mama.
Why not, just stay off the site?


irene - 06-09-’12 01:04
Al Adam


Congratulations for being a key part of this fine publication. IFP is one of the very few media that I continue to enjoy. A once avid newspaper reader, I can no longer tolerate what passes for journalism in most rags —- and forgettabout the editorials!
Your paper and your Shooting the Breeze are pertinent and straightforward with objectivity that is lacking in so many of todays’ online and otherwise publications. Kudos to all involved!

Al Adam - 06-09-’12 05:32
Hawk Hawkins

Congrats,Irene!Sorry you had to be berated by one of the Anons right out of the gate.If they had eyes that see they would realize that this paper does print both sides of the story,including interviews,if they are granted.I have never seen an article skewed or “cropped” to the point of untruth,such as in the Audubon publication.IFP is a wonderful way to stay connected to the beautiful islands.Please keep up the great work!

Hawk Hawkins - 06-09-’12 07:13
Dancing Bear

Congratulations! I read your site, and your blog, regularly. You provide a vital service to locals and out-of-town property owners.

Wishing you many more years of success!!

Dancing Bear - 06-09-’12 09:12

Thanks Irene for promoting the truth. If it was not for you and some of the people that post, Audubon and their non-truthful statements and tactics might have never been exposed. I have people from all over the United States, including 3 senators, that read and understand what is really going on in their National Recreational Park. Keep up the good work! A majority of people are just beginning to see what these money hungry enviro-lawyers are really about!

Jamie - 06-09-’12 10:06
Ken Young

Congratulations to you and your entire staff, wishing Island Free Press many more years of successful, truthful publishing! Thank you for continuing to expose the lies and untruths put out by Audubon and the other misguided folks that continue to spue their hostle dribble. I know that you will provide the truth and that you research your information before printing it. As a visitor for over 30 years, I check in almost every day to keep up with the happenings on my favorite place – Hatteras Island! I can not thank you enough. Please keep up the good work! (and I am not afraid to print my real name!)

Ken Young - 06-09-’12 10:49
Amanda Dancks

Happy Anniversary Irene and staff! Keep up the good work, you folks are terrific. I know after the storm last year, my family (out of state) knew things even before I did, because of you and your excellent reporting. We love Island Free Press!

Amanda Dancks - 06-09-’12 12:11
Pat Conley  Avon

Thank you… for The Island Free Press..Its our news paper.. Has all the events and news, about the folks who live here and more..I thank you for a place to comment, and let your concerns be heard… Thanks to all the others who make the paper a success. You do check your facts..and the pictures are wonderful… Thanks again

Pat Conley Avon - 07-09-’12 16:06
Robert Doswell


Robert Doswell - 07-09-’12 20:29
Liz Browning Fox

Irene, Donna, and all writers and associates……thank you so very much for the important contributions you make for the benefit of everyone interested in Hatteras Island, our residents, our visitors, our news and our way of life here. I look forward to reading each and every “issue”. Happy Birthday!

Liz Browning Fox - 07-09-’12 20:51
fish tale

grt work Happy birth day

fish tale - 07-09-’12 22:50
Jan McCrystal

Congratulations on a very special venture
to you and all your staff. Island Free Press is a vital link for us and we greatly appreciate all the work in keeping us informed.
Jan & Bill McCrystal

Jan McCrystal - 08-09-’12 08:48
M. Breeden

Thank you IFP for 5 informative years! Your articles have made me cry, angry, smile and laugh. They’ve also spurred me into getting involved in ways I never thought I would. I wish for you another 5 years (and more) of success.

M. Breeden - 08-09-’12 12:46
Denny in Dayton

I remember when it was obvious “the breeze” had pretty much gone to hell. I didn’t realize at the time it was because you had left and started this endeavor.


Denny in Dayton - 08-09-’12 14:02
Jim Brown

Thanks for making me feel like a local.

Jim Brown - 08-09-’12 21:20
Natalie Hastings

A more or less belated “Thank you and Congratulations!” I no longer check IFP daily as I did when you first began publishing and I was still homesick for the island, but I still check in quite regularly. Thanks to you I now know more about island “doings” than I did during the 23 years I lived in Hatteras! You bring back many happy memories of my life there.
Thank you, and may you have many more wonderfully successful years!

Natalie Hastings - 10-09-’12 13:39
Monster Beats Headphone

Through the appearance, experience, http://www.beatsheadphonesstore.com/mons.. Monster Beats Lady Gaga with classic and mini style and above all, superb sound quality, it is obvious that huge and also generate. If you are a music lover, the desire to listen to your favorite music for long periods of time, better headphones fit the bill perfectly. They are designed to ensure a meeting emozionantemusica for long periods without causing pain for the user disagioo. http://www.beatsheadphonesstore.com/ Monster Beats By Dr Dre in addition to their groups have assembled a well used line of headphones high quality facing the lovers songs with hiphop fans, especially. The Declaration of a State of execution is that these types of headsets have got over 36 months involving the investigation and the growth before these people were introduced to the audience.

Monster Beats Headphone (URL) - 12-09-’12 08:54
Barbara Ackley

My mother always told me that when one door closes, another opens. I have found this to be true in my life. It surely has been true for you and your work! The Breeze is nothing. Island Free Press is everything. I appreciate your skill and courageousness! God Bless!

Barbara Ackley - 14-09-’12 08:49
F. Vashti

Happy birthday Island Free Press and thank you Irene!

F. Vashti - 20-09-’12 17:34

(optional field)
(optional field)

Comment moderation is enabled on this site. This means that your comment will not be visible until it has been approved by an editor.

Remember personal info?
Small print: All html tags except <b> and <i> will be removed from your comment. You can make links by just typing the url or mail-address.