Monday, March 31, 2014

PRESSING QUESTIONS: Baltimore OutLoud turns 10

by Joe Siegel

Geographic coverage area: Baltimore and surrounding counties, Frederick, Md., the Eastern Panhandle, Martinsville W.Va., Southern Pennsylvania and Delaware’s Eastern Shore

Year founded: 2004

Staff size and breakdown [writers, sales reps., etc.]: Two active owners, two sales reps, 25 writers, two graphic designers and two photographers

Physical dimensions of publication: 9.875” w X 9.6” h

Average page count: 28-32

Print run: 5,000 every 2 weeks


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PPQ: What challenge has your publication had to overcome over the past few years?

Mary Taylor, director of marketing and production: Our biggest challenge was the fire. It was a Tuesday or Wednesday night we were going to press, it was two weeks before Pride. A windstorm blew the roof off the building that we were in. Then the roofers came and something ignited on Monday morning, which burned our offices down. The issue we were putting out in that time period was the Pride issue. A lot of the files were lost. That was the worst thing to overcome.

PPQ: What challenges are you facing right now?

Taylor: We need to get our web site updated and modernized. We need to use it to be able to bring in revenue. We know the new generation is more tech-savvy.

PPQ: How has Baltimore OUTloud changed in the past decade?

Taylor: More writers, and more advertisers helping to make the paper grow because of new sources of advertising. We have upgraded the quality of the paper we use print on. We've learned lessons on what works and what doesn't work, what the community wants to read, what they're not interested in. It's still a learning process. The interests of the readers change as the readers age. It is a continual growth process.

PPQ: What has been your biggest story in the last 10 years?

Taylor: Marriage equality. That was a long, hard, bitter nail-breaking fight. There were a lot of people who believed in it and once the community got involved and it went to referendum and we saw how the people voted (in November 2012), Maryland became one of the first states to approve marriage equality by a popular vote.

PPQ: Do you see yourselves as “activist journalists” and if so, why?

Taylor: The fact that we are an independent newspaper, owned and operated independently, we can freely tell the truth and not have to worry who we offend. We can tell the truth, period.

PPQ: What's the most surprising feedback you've received from a reader?

Taylor: Having people from out of state commenting about how they enjoy and look forward to reading each issue of the paper.

PPQ: What advice do you have for others working in LGBT media?

Taylor: When we started the paper 10 years ago, we were told that we would not last even three months. We are as strong and united as we were in the beginning. Unfortunately, one of the editors has passed away. Nothing that has happened hasn't happened for a reason. We've learned from everything and our paper is growing.

PRESSING QUESTIONS
Volume 15
Issue 12

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