Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Year-in-review issues still relevant in digital age

by Joe Siegel

Many LGBTQ publications create special year-in-review issues as a way to provide a comprehensive overview of the past year’s events.

“We do an annual year-in-review issue, recapping our staff picks for the top local, national, international and arts stories of the year,” said Kevin Naff, editor of the Washington Blade. “It publishes on Dec. 28 so we can all catch a much-needed break.”

Dallas Voice is also publishing a year-in-review issue.

“Years ago, we would choose our top 10 stories of the year and do an expanded recap of those stories, and we would do a month-by-both recap of the year,” said Tammye Nash, Dallas Voice managing editor. “That would include one or two sentences about whatever noteworthy events happened that month. These days, on the news side, we do not necessarily a ‘top 10’ list of stories. Instead, we just recap what we could consider to be our top stories for the year. That might be four or five, or maybe nine or 12 or however many we choose.”

Regarding vacations for the writers and editors, Nash noted, “The owners of Dallas Voice have always worked to arrange holiday deadline and print schedules to give our staff as much time off as possible during the holidays, beginning with co-founders Robert Moore and Don Ritz and continuing today with owner Leo Cusimano.”

On the flip side, South Florida Gay News, based in Wilton Manors, is not planning a year-in-review issue.

“The last issue of the year, we always plan ahead a special photo themed issue ‘A Day in LGBT South Florida,’” said editor Jason Parsley. “[Last month] we asked our readers to submit photos from their day,” as well as assigned photographers all around South Florida, Parsley said.

SFGN does publish a year-in-review type issue at the end of January to celebrate their anniversary.

“So that issue is themed with year-in-review type stories,” Parsley explained. “We will typically recap our biggest stories from the year or update them. I do believe year-in-review issues are still very relevant, more so because of social media. It’s very easy to miss stories because these days we all face information overload.” 

The Los Angeles Blade is publishing their year-end issue on December 21. Editor Troy Masters also believes those recaps are still important even in the age of social media.

Troy Masters of the Los Angeles Blade
“Print is not digital and reverse,” Masters said. “There's much more ancient content online and one can argue that a print environment is more relevant.”

Some publications have opted out of doing year-in-review issues due to financial constraints.

“With our reduced page count in recent years, if didn't make sense to rehash news that readers can find on our website,” explained Cynthia Laird, news editor of the San Francisco-based Bay Area Reporter.

Laird said the paper does not cease operations for the last two weeks of the year. “We do take Christmas and New Year's days off so that does affect our deadline in that stories need to be submitted and edited earlier,” Laird noted, adding the Bay Area Reporter does share its holiday cheer with the readers. “We run a photo of the staff and contributors in our Christmas issue where we wish readers happy holidays.”

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