Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Florida’s Agenda expanding to become a “global resource”

by Chuck Colbert

The Florida Agenda has, well, a new agenda. 

Just as the Wilton Manors, Fla.-based publication and renamed itself as Agenda - Florida Edition, so the media outlet has expanded its distribution to include the cities of Orlando, Miami, Key West, Tampa, St. Petersburg and Jacksonville.

What’s more, “In the coming months, we will expand to other states along the Eastern seaboard including Washington, D.C., and New York City,” wrote publisher and founder Bobby Blair in a statement published July 9. “Eventually, our unique customized local editions will cover the entire United States as we continue on our mission to remain the leading source of news and analysis within the LGBT community and beyond.”

During a recent telephone interview, Blair discussed his plans in some detail. “My vision is for Agenda to become a global resource for relevant news that involves anything to do with social change and equality for LGBT people, focusing on big picture issues,” said Blair. 

The Agenda, he said, is breaking new ground in its attempt to become the first LGBT newspaper not only to report the news as it happens, but also “to interpret its long-term affect on our future.”

“We want to be proactive with the news, not reactive,” explained Blair. That is to say, “We want to be able to discuss what’s happening today, discuss what the consequences might be going forward so that people can take these issues very seriously,” referring to “global” concerns that give “a perspective 100 percent geared toward LGBT initiatives and how they are going to impact social change.”

Key to being proactive, said Blair, “is holding people accountable every single day on an online 24/7 news platform, also holding them accountable in print every single week and doing that in as many U.S. markets as possible.”

In addition to rebranding, name change, and distribution expansion, Agenda - Florida Edition has a new publisher and editor in chief.  He is Richard Hack, a former executive editor at TV Guide.

Hack is also a best-selling author of “Hughes: The Private Diaries, Memos and Letters” (2001). A later book, “PuppetMaster: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover,” served as the basis of the 2011 film “J Edgar,” directed by Clint Eastwood, according to Wikipedia.

Multimedia Platforms LLC owns both Agenda and Guy Magazine. Guy will continue to cover entertainment, health, fashion and travel, said Blair, who is both founder and CEO of the company.

In undertaking its rebrand and distribution expansion, Multimedia Platforms has partnered with TBG Holdings.

Combining the accounting firm, R3 Accounting, and an investment banking consulting firm, Birch Group, formed TBG.

R3 Accounting brings LGBT-specific expertise insofar as the firm’s clientele consists of same-sex couples and other members of the LGBT community.

Neil Swartz, TBG Holdings’ CEO, voiced pride with the investment in Multimedia Platforms (MMP) “because it is a company that is now” and “will be a game changer in the LGBT community.”

“Our goal is to provide the resources to allow MMP to grow beyond its current demographic as it acquires other selected media companies,” he added, quoted in Agenda - Florida Edition on July 9.

“TBG has put its ‘money where its mouth is,’” said Swartz, who added that MMP is now positioned to become a public company.

Blair said that MMP would be “a fully reporting public company in the next 60 to 90 days,” which is advantageous for two reasons. “It is a way for us to raise capital. And it allows people to join us in our mission.”

Currently, Agenda - Florida Edition distributes 7,000-12,000 copies with each print run. Number of pages varies between 32 and 60 pages depending on the week. Print-run numbers, Blair said, would increase with the expanded distribution that would be targeted to “high traffic locations in each market.”

IN THE NEWS
Volume 16
Issue 4

Missouri has new online LGBT publication

by Chuck Colbert

St. Louis recently got a new source of information serving the LGBT community when three men launched #Boom Magazine, a news, advocacy and community publication. Boommagstl.com went live on the web on June 17.

CEO, publisher and co-owner
Colin Lovett
While heavily focused on news, advocacy and politics, #Boom also covers a wide variety of topics including arts and entertainment, health, science and sports.

“Our charge is to bring the community real content that matters with journalistic integrity,” co-owner Colin Lovett, chief executive officer and publisher, said in a statement. “We will explore the issues and opinions that affect us all, through a local community perspective.” Lovett served on the Pride St. Louis board of directors and as president of the city’s LGBT Center.

“We’re proud to continue the rich tradition of LGBT media in our area which started in 1969 with Mandrake,” added chief operating officer and editor in chief Colin Murphy, also a co-owner. “We live in historic times with compelling stories breaking almost daily.” In referencing Mandrake, he was referring to the first LGBT publication in St. Louis, published from 1969-1971 by The Mandrake Society, the city’s first LGBT rights organization.

COO, editor in chief and
co-owner Colin Murphy
With 25 years of experience in LGBT media, Murphy has worked for numerous community publications, both as writer and editor. Active in community service, he has served on several non-profit boards of directors, including the LGBT Center as secretary and Metro East Pride of Southwestern Illinois as vice president and president. A gay history buff, Murphy serves as project historian for the St. Louis LGBT History Project.

R. Kurt Ross, the other co-owner, designed #Boom’s website. Active in the St. Louis LGBT community since 1996, Ross has worked closely with Metro East Pride of Southwestern Illinois and the city’s LGBT Center. Ross serves at chief digital officer overseeing the publication’s website.

Co-owner R. Kurt Ross
#Boom was conceived seven months ago by Lovett and Murphy in order to provide an LGBT media platform, one serving the St. Louis metro and surrounding areas, with a focus on the local community and with their perspectives on national, regional and local stories.

Just as its owners are passionate about giving back to the local community, so #Boom Media contributes 15 percent of every ad purchased to one of 16 local LGBT-identified non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations.

“Since its June 17 launch, #Boom has seen almost 20,000 unique users, spanning over 46,000 page views across 74 countries,” Murphy said in email correspondence. “From social media alone, #Boom's total reach has accumulated to over 150,000 and almost 573,000 total impressions.”  

The publication’s official team resides in the St. Louis area, but #Boom makes every effort to reach for coverage throughout the region, not just Missouri but border states as well. 

Right now, #Boom is available only online, but plans include adding other platforms such as print. 

IN THE NEWS
Volume 16
Issue 4

Dallas Voice marks 30th anniversary

by Chuck Colbert

The leading LGBT publication for Texas achieved a significant milestone earlier this year when Dallas Voice celebrated its 30th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the award-winning weekly newspaper published a commemorative issue chronicling a shared history between Dallas Voice and the LGBT community.

The May 16 issue showcased the community’s history with a focus on who the LGBT community is today. One feature, for example, spotlighted people under 30 who are making significant contributions to the community’s growth. Another story highlighted 30-year-old LGBT businesses and organizations.

“Dallas Voice continues to stay relevant as the voice for the LGBT community by listening to our readers, developing relationships and investing in our future,” said publisher Leo Cusimano. “We will continue to document history like the Supreme Court decisions” as well as “the state and city challenges for equal rights,” and “to report on our important business and community news for many years to come.”

Cusimano also voiced thanks for the advertisers, supporters and readers of the weekly. “We continue to honor the people who make Dallas Voice a successful enterprise,” he said. “Our 30-year anniversary celebration continues all year.”

In 1984, Don Ritz, Robert Moore and William Marberry founded Dallas Voice with an investment of $250 each and a passionate commitment to serve the LGBT community. The men published a 24-page newspaper on May 11 of that year, and it has always been a free publication.

Just last year, two longtime Dallas Voice employees took ownership with the sale of the publication to Cusimano and Terry Thompson.

Cusimano began his career with Dallas Voice in 1992 and has worked as advertising director for most of that time. Thompson, who has been with the company for 13 years, now serves as president. Recently, Tammye Nash, who first joined the Dallas Voice staff in 1988 as a reporter, returned in the role of managing editor.

"I am really happy to be back with Dallas Voice," Nash said. "The Voice as a whole has been going through some changes in the last year or so, and we are still changing. The times are changing when it comes to media and journalism in general, and especially in terms of print media. The way we create, report and consume news has been and continues to change dramatically, and we are adapting to those changes. We have an outstanding staff company wide, and we are all very excited about the future."

While the weekly print newspaper has been Dallas Voice’s centerpiece for the past three decades — with more than 1,680 editions — the gay-owned company now provides content through other platforms, including video, podcasts, blogs, business directories and e-newsletters. The publication is available online at DallasVoice.com and has a strong presence on Twitter and Facebook.

Voice Publishing Inc. also designs websites for other companies. Here is a break out of the company’s various media components and brands:

• Dallas Voice, a print and online news magazine, with a weekly flip-page and downloadable PDF

• InstantTEA, an online blog of breaking news and events

• CommuniTEA, a public forum of diverse viewpoints
           
• Scene photos and expanded print and online picture galleries.
           
• Weekly eBlast! edition

•  OUT North Texas, the official LGBT visitors’ guide and business directory, available in print, online and on mobile devices.

•  Podcasts and on-demand programming, including MIXology, a mix of high-energy music by popular local DJs

•  DVtv, on-demand video news

• Digital Seltzer, a service that optimizes your website for mobile, tablet and desktop. 

Dallas Voice is published each Friday, with a circulation of 16,000 copies distributed in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, Denton and Parker counties. The publication’s weekly print readership is estimated to be more than 43,000 people, with DallasVoice.com drawing more than 210,000 unique visitors each month.

Dallas Voice is a member of the National Gay Media Association and the Associated Press. Recently, Voice Publishing received its supplier diversity certification from the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce as a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Business Enterprise.

IN THE NEWS
Volume 16
Issue 4

Frontiers co-produces Pride supplement in L.A. Times

by Chuck Colbert

Just in time for Pride season, a leading LGBT publication in Southern California and a premier marketing agency teamed up to provide a special supplement to the Los Angeles Times.

Released on June 4 and made available in all copies of the newspaper, the supplement, “What is Gay L.A.?” — produced by Frontiers Media and Flip —  answers the question posed by its title through the diversity of city residents.

It is the first LGBT supplement ever produced by the L.A. Times.

The Times also launched a new LGBT site, latimes.com/lgbt-lalatimes.com/lgbt-la,on June 20.

As Frontiers publisher Michael Turner wrote in the supplement, "Be proud of who you are, Los Angeles, and in the coming weeks we’ll celebrate our friendship right alongside our freedoms."

Award-winning artist Edel Rodriguez created the supplement’s cover illustration for Frontiers.

“What is Gay L.A.?” spotlights an open and accepting community at the same time it probes how those under the LGBT rainbow enrich their localities.

The supplement features an essay by news editor Karen Ocamb asking some other questions: "Who really won the sexual revolution?" and "What do gays have that straight people want?"

It also includes a perspective from AIDS activist Jewel Thais-Williams, founder of the legendary African-American gay bar, The Catch, who suggests, "L.A. is probably one of the gayest cities in the world."

In the supplement, West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico wrote, “Yes, I do think there is a Gay L.A. sensibility, and it’s my sense that it’s centered around invention and optimism. I find that so many LGBT people I meet have moved here to Southern California from other places in the country or around the globe. They chose L.A., and they’re committed to the idea that this is the best place for them to invent their lives. It’s the Wild West, and it’s full of opportunity.“

Another Angeleno offer an historical perspective.

“As a gay elder of 91, I have seen many faces of the big question: Is there a distinctly Gay L. A. sensibility? Yes, of course,” wrote civil rights activist Malcolm Boyd. “It is a combination of climate, the archives at USC, the genius of Harry Hay, role models like Jim Kepner and so many other gay and lesbian pioneers, the annual Pride Parade, the integrity and leadership of Sheila Kuehl, the benign presence of the ubiquitous movie world and the sheer volume of gay people seeking freedom. And not because L.A.’s distinct gay community is already a reflection of the global! L.A.’s gay images instantly flash around the world. West Hollywood and Silver Lake bump into the universal LGBTQ scene with alacrity, glamour, political significance and deep spiritual meanings.”

The supplement was produced by Frontiers Media and Flip.

Led by Tom Whitman, Flip is an integrated marketing agency that helps major brands connect to the LGBT community. Whitman is an L.A.-based event producer, club promoter, filmmaker, and philanthropist and is considered one of the most successful club promoters in L.A.’s gay nightlife scene, according to the New York Times and Wikipedia. Whitman is also known for his work in television at MTV Networks and his short films, “The Rape of Ganymede” and “Sexy.” OUT Magazine named him one of 100 People of the Year 2008.

Founded in 1982 by Greg Carmack and Jerry Hyde, Frontiers helped give a face to the emerging gay culture of the time and promoted cityhood for West Hollywood. Bob Craig joined Frontiers in 1983 and soon became the sole owner. Frontiers is distributed throughout Southern California, covering Los Angeles and West Hollywood extensively, with a focus also on communities as far away a Long Beach, Orange County, Palm Springs and San Diego. 

(Material from Dominic Preston was used for this reporting.)

IN THE NEWS
Volume 16
Issue 4

PRESSING QUESTIONS: Owen Phillips of Los Angeles-based Frontiers Media

by Chuck Colbert

Owen Phillips is one of Frontiers Media’s new owners and a business partner of Frontiers publisher Michael Turner. He spoke with Press Pass Q about Frontiers’ special supplement in the Los Angeles Times entitled, “What is Gay L. A.?” as well as Frontiers’ recent revamp.

Press Pass Q: What did Karen Ocamb find out regarding her essay questions, "Who really won the sexual revolution?" and "What do gays have that straight people want?" 

Phillips:  What it boils down to is that LGBTs fought for and won a truer, more expansive sexual freedom that makes the progress straight people got seem relatively minor.

PPQ: How did the special supplement to the L.A. Times come about?

Phillips: Because this was its first time doing such a supplement, the L.A. Times was seeking an editorial partner who could drive it with authenticity and care. Flip has been working closely with the Times on other successful projects for a long time and brought it to Michael Turner’s attention.

The editorial content was all created by Frontiers with an eye toward presenting Pride month to a mainstream audience — since the supplement would go to over 400,000 homes across L.A. County. Some who would read it would be LGBT and some wouldn't. This is as opposed to our own magazine issue devoted to Pride, which was written for our core gay audience.

It was fun to turn this around a bit — to flip what we do from presenting the tastes and influence and achievements of our sophisticated gay audience for its own consumption, to presenting those same decidedly gay moments to the outside, largely straight world.

The L.A. Times and Flip were wonderful partners in this — trusting us with complete editorial control. As a business venture I can't reveal specifics, but the advertising sold made the project profitable.

PPQ: What was your role in all of this?

Phillips: If you mean my role personally, I've been using my past experience at magazine startups and reboots to help the staff get all of their tremendous creativity and devotion out onto the page and onto the site. 

It's the same with this supplement, which many publishing companies might have farmed out, but we took to be a serious and worthy challenge. Our team worked their asses off to do this at the same time we were creating one of our biggest issues of the year, and planning several major events. I'm very proud of them.

PPQ: Tell readers about the revamped Frontiers? 

Phillips: There are specific features we've added and changed in Frontiers, but the most important is just a mission to give this community the magazine it deserves. Why shouldn't this incredibly influential and accomplished and vibrant world have a magazine as sharp and well made as any that come out of New York? Why should it settle for one that only shows a small portion of what gay life in L.A. is like when that life is now so varied and so rich? 

We have added additional talent from the publishing industry to editor in chief Stephan Horbelt and creative director Ed Baker's teams.

We've created a new lifestyle and fashion department called “Gay Agenda” that is particularly fun.

I'm especially proud of the news section, “Newsbox,” overseen by Karen Ocamb, which has breaking news and analysis, photos of the many LGBT galas and fundraisers in town, and the water cooler, which catches readers up on important news they may have missed.

We're also engaging the community in a much more robust style — sponsoring and hosting events such as Outfest, restaurant openings, book signings, nights at the L.A. Opera and L.A. Philharmonic, and fun things like pool parties and Out at Universal as well.

I don't think a good magazine is ever finished. And the website will very soon be revamped as well. This is just the first step in growth for the company. There will be news about our events division and expansion into other cities with lively gay communities soon.

PPQ: Any thing else you would like to say about Frontiers? 

Phillips:  One nervous blogger in West Hollywood keeps repeating something he misheard, and I do want to dispel that once and for all. Frontiers has no plans to become a "straight" magazine. We plan to make a magazine that is so good, and reflects on the richness of gay life so well that, naturally, everyone will want to read it. But our business plan and editorial mission are focused on the gay community.

IN THE NEWS
Volume 16
Issue 4

Sunday, July 27, 2014

TOP STORY: Summit to examine future, and funding, of LGBT media

NLGJA convention and LGBT Media Summit slated for Chicago in August
by Chuck Colbert

Hundreds of news industry professionals are expected in Chicago from August 21-24 when the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) convenes its annual convention and 10th LGBT Media Summit. 

The four-day gathering begins with the LGBT Media Summit on Thursday, August 21, followed by two full days of main convention programming with more than 30 workshops designed to address the needs of journalists and those in the communications industry.

“We believe this year’s convention is going to be one of the best ever,” said Jen Christensen, NLGJA president and a CNN producer. “Chicago is a perfect location for staging the event given how central it is to issues driving the news both literally and figuratively. In addition, we are excited about innovative new programming we are introducing.”

This assembly marks the 23rd year the organization has brought together journalists, news executives and communications professionals — all to build skills, network and engage in a lively discussion on the topic of fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues in the news media.

In addition to programming, the convention also will include Connect: the NLGJA Student Journalism Project, the Women's Networking Dinner, NLGJA's Excellence in Journalism Awards and numerous other learning and networking opportunities.

The convention co-chairs are Sharif Durhams and Jeff Truesdell, both of whom serve on NLGJA’s national board of directors. Truesdell is a staff writer for People magazine. Durhams, NLGJA’s treasurer, is the social media editor and a newsroom digital strategist at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The landmark Palmer House Hilton, the convention’s host hotel, is located in Chicago’s theater and financial district a short distance from the Art Institute, Millennium Park and State Street shopping.

The year’s theme is “Breaking Barriers.”

One barrier breaker is NBA Brooklyn Nets player Jason Collins, who is among the headliners at this year’s convention. He will be sharing his experiences in dealing with the news media after coming out after the end of the 2012-2013 season.

Among this year’s notable speakers are Chris Gajilan, National Emmy and Gracie Allen Individual Achievement Award-winning “Oprah” producer. She will discuss how to land the big get at “The Art of the Interview.” Melissa Bell, founder of Vox Media, will address attendees at the “Digging Deeper with Digital Media.” Craig Dellimore, political editor at WBBM Newsradio, will lead “The Center of the Universe: Chicago and Politics” and implications for election news coverage in a live airing of the station’s “At Issue” program.

Two new additions mark this year’s convention. One is a slate of boot camps focused on marketing, communications and business skills. The other is the Michael Triplett Speaker Series on the intersection between religion and the LGBT community. Both are open to the public. 

The boot camps will be held August 21 and will focus on the following subjects: “The Write Stuff: How to Write a Book Proposal that Sells Without Selling Out,” “Digging Deeper with Digital Media” and “The Business of Me: Innovative Ways to Build Your Personal Brand or Business.”

The convention also features StoryCorps, which will collect the various stories of NLGJA’s members through the years and the organization’s impact for possible inclusion in a StoryCorps OutLoud segment. StoryCorps is a national nonprofit organization that records the stories of everyday people and preserves them at the Library of Congress, with selected stories broadcast on NPR.

LGBT Media Summit

Before the main convention, LGBT media professionals are scheduled for a daylong, in-depth look at gay media. Specifically, this year’s summit addresses issues that present challenges in coverage, as well as LGBT media’s future. Diane Anderson-Minshall and Tracy Baim serve as summit co-chairs.


LGBT Media Summit co-chair
Tracy Baim
“The major theme of the summit is the future of the LGBT media, with a focus on how we’re adapting, how coverage is changing and a reminder that we also often set the standards for the mainstream press in this ever-changing multi-platform world of ours,” said Diane Anderson-Minshall, who wears a variety of professional hats, including editor at large at Advocate magazine and Advocate.com; contributing editor at SheWired.com, OutTraveler.com and Gay.net; and editor in chief of HIV Plus magazine and HIVPlusMag.com.

“You can see from our summit that every platform of media has changed, and traditionalists can learn from modern innovators and visa versa,” she explained in an email. “A good case in point is the ‘Out on the Air’ panel, which features journalists working in every audio platform from traditional radio to mobile podcasts. I’m hoping we end up, in many of these panels, talking about how readers — or consumers, users or whatever you choose to call them — are believers in our brands and why we need to meet them where they are, whether its web, print or mobile, and often all three.”

Baim, publisher and executive editor of Chicago’s Windy City Times, offered her perspective on the importance of this year’s summit. “LGBT media, like all media, are going through a lot of transitions. At the summit, we wanted to look at various aspects of LGBT media, including transgender issues, lesbians, African Americans, online, radio and much more,” she said in an email. “Especially important is the issue of funding, so our lunch plenary will feature a discussion on foundation funding of journalism, and if this is an area of growth for LGBT media.”

For Baim, “The foundation panel is a summit highlight, and also the participation of Alan Bell, of Gaysweek and BLK, on a panel is also going to be wonderful. He is a legend in LGBT media and will have a lot to say about representations in our community media.”

Baim was referring to the lunch plenary, “The Future of Journalism Funding: Foundation Funding” with the Ford Foundation, McCormick Foundation and Knight Foundation. This panel will address the growing need for foundation support of both mainstream and alternative journalism in order to fund investigative and public-interest journalism projects. Experts from Ford, McCormick and Knight will discuss their experience in funding journalism and will address questions about how LGBT media can get support from the foundation world. Panelists include Mark Hallet from McCormick, Barbara Raab from Ford, and John Bracken from Knight Foundation, with NPR’s Cheryl Corley serving as moderator.

Baim was also referring to an afternoon breakout session, “Black, LGBT, and Read All Over: African-American Journalists in LGBT Media,” which features longtime LGBT media pioneer Alan Bell, founder of Gaysweek in New York and BLK nationally. Other African American gay journalists, all of whom with years of experience covering the LGBT community for local, regional and international media outlets will join him. Those panelists include Andrew Davis, managing editor of Windy City Times; Rod McCullom, an internationally published journalist; and Lenox Magee, special contributor to RedEye Newspaper. Kirk Williamson, managing editor of Nightspots magazine, is the moderator.

LGBT Media Summit co-chair
Diane Anderson-Minshall
Anderson-Minshall discussed a few summit highlights from her perspective. “It is so hard to pick just one or two. Our sports panel [‘LGBT Issues, Athletes and Journalists in Sports Reporting’] will be fantastic. The young journalists panel [‘Young Journalists, J-School, and the LGBT Media’] is something I hope really informs people like me — old timers — as well as the new generation of journalists,” she said. “I for one would like to know how we recruit and retain reporters and editors in the LGBT media when mainstream outlets pay so much more.”

In addition, “Our plenary session, ‘Transgender Journalists and Trans Coverage in LGBT Media’ is going to be fantastic,” Anderson-Minshall added. “This really is a tipping-point year for trans visibility, but so far many media outlets — even LGBT ones — are getting it wrong. So we’re hoping this session can really help inform folks that are still struggling with labels, definitions, what’s appropriate, and what stories they are missing — all while seeing the real people behind theses issues.

“The same is true of our African-American breakout session, which was a priority for us and should be for all attendees. Because largely in the media, we need to go beyond covering cursory issues and cover the people behind those issues. And there’s still a huge gap in how the media covers people of color who are queer or trans."

Anderson-Minshall, who founded the lesbian magazine Girlfriends, and was later the long-time editor in chief of Curve magazine, says that one panel, “The Future of Lesbian Media” has her excited because “for over two decades my heart has been in lesbian media. So I’m intensely interested in where we are going next, why lesbian media is still critical even in an age where lesbian couples are on the cover of Time magazine, and what we need to do to continue reaching young readers who are increasingly label-less in their identity.

“And my other panel I’m involved in, ‘Taking Back HIV Reporting in LGBT Media,'  is really a great chance for us to talk about how HIV and AIDS reporting 33 years after the epidemic began has fallen by the wayside, even in LGBT media, and why we need to revive it. I’ll also be introducing a new style guide for reporting on HIV that we’ll introduce at the Summit and will also have available to push out to the mainstream media. As we see from so many of the recent headlines, especially around HIV criminalization, the mainstream media does not know how to report on people living with HIV and makes the most egregious mistakes in their reporting, ones that have lasting damage to their readers and the people they report on. So we’re starting with the LGBT media in correcting that and then hopefully branching out to the wider world. It’s one of my missions now that I’m also editor in chief of HIV Plus magazine.”

Two other breakout sessions fill out the LGBT Media Summit lineup. One is “Online and Connected: Bloggers, Digital Natives, Social Media, Mobile Reporting and the Future of Journalism.” This session delves into the topic of first-generation digital natives becoming readers as journalism heads in new directions, namely web-only reporters, hybrid blog journalism and mobile-first reporting, which is lagging for LGBT media, and social engagement reporting — that is to say, news coverage 140 characters at a time. Panelists include Noah Michelson of Huffington Post’s Gay Voices, Zeke Stokes of Media Matters and Michael Crawford of Freedom to Marry.

Another breakout session, “How We Count: Data Reporting and LGBT Issues,” takes a look at the changed landscape of LGBT information. Data used to be in short supply on LGBT issues, but now, it seems, journalists are drowning in data, not only from traditional news sources like surveys, but also from news organizations and social media’s measures of audience engagement. Associated Press New York Bureau Chief Howard Goldberg will help attendees discover and assess numbers that are valid and meaningful, while avoiding pitfalls in accuracy.

Founded in 1990, NLGJA is an organization of journalists, media professionals, educators and students working from within the news industry to foster fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues. NLGJA opposes all forms of workplace bias and provides professional development to its members.

To register for the NLGJA National Convention and LGBT Media Summit, and to stay updated on the latest speaker and programming news, visit www.nlgja.org.

TOP STORY
Volume 16
Issue 4

SIDEBAR: NLGJA selects new executive director

by Chuck Colbert

The national organization for LGBT media professionals has a new leader. He is Adam K. Pawlus, who has assumed top-staff duties as executive director of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA).

The announcement of his selection came in a July 14 press release. Its timing comes a little more than a month before the professional association’s media summit and convention, “Breaking Barriers,” August 21-24 in Chicago.

“We are thrilled to have Adam as our new executive director,” said Jen Christensen, NLGJA president. “After an exhaustive search and after speaking with many wonderful potential candidates, the hiring committee found Adam had the perfect combination of experience and personality to help lead NLGJA into its next exciting chapter of growth and visibility. We know he is the right fit to ensure the future success of the organization.” 

Adam Pawlus, NLGJA's new
executive director
Prior to heading NLGJA, Pawlus, a Chicago native, served as director of operations for Physicians for Social Responsibility and as deputy executive director for Voluntary Protections Programs Participants Association after he was director of communications and outreach there.

“I am honored to be joining NLGJA at such an exciting time — as we prepare to kick off our 25th anniversary year,” Pawlus said. “I look forward to working with the national board of directors, dedicated staff, members, partners, funders and sponsors to bring NLGJA to the next level of growth, impact and visibility.”

Pawlus also spoke of LGBT media specifically. “The LGBT press serves an integral role in the LGBT community. I'm proud to be working for an organization that supports the many LGBT news outlets through a number of great programs, including the LGBT Media Summit and the LGBT Media Journalists' Convening. NLGJA is dedicated to strengthening the LGBT press through programs such as these, designed to offer specialized resources and networking opportunities,” he said.

Besides his professional duties, community service is important to Pawlus, who serves on the board of directors of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and is an active member of a number of non-profit organizations in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Pawlus holds a 1999 baccalaureate in political science and speech communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as well as a 2001 Master in Arts degree in journalism and mass communications from the University of Georgia at Athens.

Founded in 1990, NLGJA is a leading professional association for LGBT journalists. Pawlus takes over from Michael Tune, who led the organization from 2009 to April 2014.

Volume 16
Issue 4
SIDEBAR