National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association

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Logo for the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association.

The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA – The Association of LGBTQ Journalists) is an American professional association dedicated to unbiased coverage of LGBTQ issues in the media. It is based in Washington, D.C., and the membership consists primarily of journalists, students, educators, and communications professionals.

According to the NLGJA's website, "NLGJA is an organization of journalists, media professionals, educators and students working from within the news industry to foster fair and accurate coverage of LGBTQ issues. NLGJA opposes all forms of workplace bias and provides professional development to its members."[1] The association offers professional development opportunities for its members, in addition to resources newsrooms including a Rapid Response Task Force[2], Stylebook Supplement on LGBTQ Terminology[3], and informational tip-sheets[4].

History[edit]

The association was founded by Roy Aarons in 1990, along with other journalists, Elaine Herscher, Shannon Hickey, David Tuller, Victor Zonana, and Kathleen Buckley, who made up its first board.[5][6]

Jen Christensen took over as NLGJA national president following the death of Michael Triplett, who died Jan. 18, 2013,[7] less than six month after his election.

Past national Presidents of NLGJA include Roy Aarons (founder), Karen-Louise Boothe, Robert Dodge, Steven Petrow, Eric Hegedus, David Steinberg[8] and Michael Triplett.

NLGJA hosts three annual benefit events to support its programs throughout the year: the Headlines & Headliners Benefit in New York City, Dateline:DC in Washington, DC, and L.A. Exclusive in Los Angeles. The events have drawn guests including Don Lemon, Hoda Kotb, Meredith Vieira, Rue McClanahan, and Barry Manilow.

The association has inspired the founding of the French association of LGBTQ journalists in 2013.[9]

NLGJA works with the Centers for Disease Control as part of the Partnering and Communicating Together to Act Against AIDS (PACT) program. As part of the partnership, NLGJA offers workshops and resources to educate journalists about the HIV & AIDS epidemic[10].

Conventions[edit]

From its inception in 1990, NLJGA hosts an annual convention inviting their members to participate in top-level training sessions, thought-provoking discussions, and social & professional networking events.[11] From 2003 to 2016, a one-day LGBT Media Summit was added to the event to educate and network journalists working within LGBT media.

The 2012 convention was the first time NLGJA participated in the joint UNITY Journalists convention, held in Las Vegas with the Asian American Journalists Association, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Native American Journalists Association.

2010 marked the 20th anniversary for NLGJA. It hosted its annual convention in San Francisco.[12] In 2009 [4], NLGJA held its first international convention in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Previous conventions have been held in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Las Vegas and San Francisco, among other cities.[13]

Newsletter[edit]

The group published a quarterly newsmagazine called Outlook until the mid-2000s.[14] The magazine focused on LGBTQ stories in the workplace and workplace issues such as domestic partner benefits, and updates readers on NLGJA's activities at the local and national levels. The magazine had a circulation of over 3,500. As it was written by news professionals, it had a high level of professional writing and was recognized as a source for commentary on LGBTQ workplace issues.[15]

LGBTQ Journalist Hall of Fame[edit]

Starting in 2005, the NLGJA has inducted noteworthy LGBTQ journalists into a Hall of Fame (HOF) so that their legacy may be remembered for generations to come.[16] Inductions occur during the NLGJA National Convention each year along with the annual Excellence in Journalism awards.[17]

Inductees by year:

2017[edit]

  • Jinx Beers: Founding publisher and first managing editor of America’s longest running lesbian newspaper, The Lesbian News, launched in 1975. She is a pioneering journalist as well as a lifelong feminist and advocate for human rights.
  • Dan Savage: Award-winning journalist and author, TV personality, and activist best known for his political and social commentary, as well as his honest approach to sex, love and relationships. His sex advice column, “Savage Love,” introduced over 25 years ago, is now syndicated throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia.

2016[edit]

  • Ina Fried: American journalist for Re/code. Prior to that, she was senior editor for All Things Digital and a senior staff writer for CNET Network's News.com. She is a frequent commenter on technology news on National Public Radio, local television news and for other print and broadcast outlets.
  • LZ Granderson: American journalist, a contributor at ABC News and a columnist for ESPN. A senior writer and columnist for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com's Page 2, he has contributed to the channel's SportsCenter, Outside the Lines, Around the Horn, Sportsnation, and ESPN First Take and commentates for ESPN's coverage of the U.S. Open tennis tournament.

2015[edit]

2014[edit]

  • Donna Cartwright: Believed to be the first Times staffer to publicly disclose her status as a transgender person when interviewed in 1998 by Barbara Walters on ABC Television to discuss her decision to resolve her gender conflict and to transition as a woman.
  • Lisa Keen: Served as the top editor of one of the nation's most respected gay publications, The Washington Blade, for 18 years. She was one of the first two reporters for a gay newspaper to be credentialed to cover the White House and Congress, she’s covered U.S. Supreme Court cases since 1985 and she’s one of the only reporters to carefully analyze gay voting trends in presidential elections.
  • Tracy Baim: Publisher and co-founder of the Windy City Times, Baim began her career at Gay Life newspaper in 1984, a month after graduating from Drake University.

2013[edit]

2012[edit]

  • Jill Johnston: writer for the Village Voice and New York Times Book Review. She is best known for her book Lesbian Nation: The Feminist Solution.
  • Randy Wicker: the first openly gay person on East Coast television, and considered the first out PR professional.

2011[edit]

2010[edit]

2009[edit]

  • Garrett Glaser: the first television journalist to come out of the closet to the radio and television news industry
  • Ronald Gold: A sharp writer with an uncompromising style, Gold built a career writing for a number of publications, including Variety
  • Deb Price: Began her column for The Detroit News inviting readers to help her come up with a less awkward way of introducing her boss to her partner

2008[edit]

  • Richard Goldstein: Founder of the Village Voice's annual Queer issue and author of several novels and essays on issues within the gay rights movement
  • Gail Shister: First mainstream reporter to be vocally "out" and an active member of the NLGJA

2007[edit]

2006[edit]

2005[edit]

Excellence in Journalism Awards[edit]

Continuing a tradition started in 1993, the NLGJA Excellence in Journalism Awards are given each year to recognize journalists who have made a difference in their field. Each year the organization chooses recipients for awards in over 30 categories spanning fields including local television, radio, HIV/AIDS coverage, photojournalism, and feature writing.[16] The awards are given out at the NLGJA National Convention each year.[18]


NLGJA Journalist of the Year Award recipients[edit]

Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for LGBTQ Journalist of the Year recipients[edit]

Contributions to journalism[edit]

NLGJA Stylebook Supplement on LGBTQ Terminology[edit]

The NLGJA's most noteworthy tangible contribution to the journalism industry is the NLGJA Stylebook Supplement on LGBTQ Terminology, which fellow journalists can use for reference when writing about topics relating to the LGBTQ community. According to the organization's website it is part of the NLGJA's push to encourage "the association's mission of inclusive coverage of LGBTQ people"[21]

The Stylebook Supplement can be found on the NLGJA website in both English and Spanish.[22]

Press service[edit]

In connection with Witeck-Combs Communications, the NLGJA launched OutNewsWire in 2008 to simplify the distribution of news articles relating to the LGBTQ community. The wire has more than 400 journalists receiving updates currently, which are available online. The service comes at a discounted price to "nonprofits hoping to use the service to reach the LGBTQ media".[23]

Newsroom Outreach Project[edit]

As early as 1996, the NLGJA, along with Hollywood Supports, developed “sexual orientation in the workplace” seminars that were conducted in Knight-Ridder newspapers across on the nation. The seminars were designed to place emphasis on acceptance in the workplace, through discussions of stereotypes and business and legal issues involved with the LGBTQ community. The stated goal of these seminars was to provide an LGBTQ-friendly office environment for LGBTQ journalists, but the discussions also pushed for domestic partnership benefits at newspapers across the nation, one of the main focuses of the LGBTQ rights movement nationwide.[24] The seminars are offered free of charge to news organizations.[25]

During the seminars, facilitators introduce employees to the “model of parity” NLGJA developed in order to encourage equality and inclusiveness within the workplace. There are fourteen steps in this model, highlighting both workplace climate and fair compensation. Included in these steps are things like avoiding double standards, promoting balanced coverage, providing the same insurance coverage for all employees, and offering family and medical leave.[25]

Rapid Response Task Force[edit]

In order to more directly combat biased journalism, the NLGJA formed the Rapid Response Task Force[26]. This team of journalists addresses any news piece that readers report as being offensive or inaccurate and informs writers and readers of the correct terminology, which furthers their mission of equality and helps to “spread awareness about issues facing the LGBTQ community”.[27] In order to report a biased or offensive story, readers simply email the link or a description of the article to the NLGJA and the problem is evaluated.

Student outreach[edit]

In an attempt at connecting with and encouraging future LGBTQ journalists, the NLGJA created the CONNECT: Student Journalism Project. The program brings 12 young journalists to NLGJA's National Convention each year to form a newsroom and cover the local community and convention events. Since its inception, over 200 students have participated in the CONNECT program.[28]

The NLGJA offers several scholarships each year to students "committed to NLGJA's mission of fair and accurate coverage of the LGBTQ community."[29] These scholarships include the Leroy F. Aarons scholarship and the Kay Longcope Scholarship scholarship, each of which provides tuition money to one LGBTQ student a year.

Membership[edit]

Between 2008 and 2009, the organization lost members due to the number of people laid off in the media industry that year. Since then, membership has steadily grown to include over 750 members.[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ about | NLGJA
  2. ^ http://www.nlgja.org/resources/rapid-response-task-force/
  3. ^ http://www.nlgja.org/stylebook/
  4. ^ http://www.nlgja.org/resources/journalists-toolbox/
  5. ^ Christopher Lisotta (December 20, 2008). "Whither NLGJA?". The Advocate. 
  6. ^ "NLGJA Founded". NLGJA. 
  7. ^ Michael Triplett, NLGJA President, Dies Richard Prince's Journal-isms
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ AJL (16 May 2013). "Pour une association des journalistes LGBT". Libération. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  10. ^ http://www.nlgja.org/newways/
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ NLGJA | Convention
  13. ^ [3]
  14. ^ "2008 ASAE Gold Circle Awards announced," ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership
  15. ^ NLGJA. National Lesbian and Gay Journalist's Association. 2008. http://www.nlgja.org/publications/outlook.htm
  16. ^ a b NLGJA| Awards
  17. ^ NLGJA Hall of Fame
  18. ^ http://www.nlgja.org/awards/excellence-in-journalism-awards/
  19. ^ a b 2012 NLGJA Excellence in Journalism Awards Announced
  20. ^ a b "2008 Excellence in Journalism Award Winners". National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  21. ^ http://www.nlgja.org/stylebook/
  22. ^ http://www.nlgja.org/stylebook/
  23. ^ LGBT Group Unveils New Press Service PRWeek
  24. ^ Fitzgerald, Mark. "Workplace 'out'-reach." Editor & Publisher Archived 2010-04-05 at the Wayback Machine. 129(1996): 12
  25. ^ a b Hernandez, Deborah Gersh. "Do ask--Do tell." Editor & Publisher Archived 2010-04-05 at the Wayback Machine. 129(1996): 13
  26. ^ http://www.nlgja.org/resources/rapid-response-task-force/
  27. ^ NLGJA| Rapid Response Task Force
  28. ^ http://www.nlgja.org/connect-a-student-journalism-training-project/
  29. ^ NLGJA| Scholarship Fund
  30. ^ http://www.nlgja.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/2017InReviewPub.pdf

External links[edit]