An interesting article appeared recently in the San Francisco Bay Times suggesting there was a crisis in gay journalism as evidenced by the decline of local and regional gay newspapers. The article, written by Tim Vollmer, contends that the GLBT community should be alarmed that gay media on both the local and national level is deminishing.
It’s true that “fag rags” have waned in number over the years, and those that have survived are much more focused on gay lifestyle rather than investigative journalism. However, I’m not convinced the gay media is in decline at either the local or national level as Vollmer contends. In fact, I would argue gay issues are at the forefront of national attention more than ever before. Gay news stories have just become mainstream and are no longer relegated to the pages of newspapers read only by the gay community.
It’s no secret that the national newspaper industry is in serious distress, with smaller, local and regional publications the hardest hit. More people than ever are turning to alternate means, such as internet publications, blogs, podcasts, and social media outlets, to get their news. The fact that so many gay-oriented periodicals have adjusted to changing tastes and survived is a testament to gays’ incomparable ability to adapt.
On a related note, the nation’s oldest GLBT newspaper, the Washington Blade, will begin publishing under its old name again. For the last five months, the publication has been issued under the name D.C. Agenda after its parent company abruptly closed in November. Donations have kept the paper going, and in February, three former staffers bought the name, rights, and archives of the publication in bankruptcy court.