Thursday, November 19, 2009

Is Gay Media Dead?

Window Media, the nation’s largest publisher of LGBTQ media has closed its doors and with it, The Washington Blade, America’s oldest gay newspaper.

“The bottom line was they filed for Chapter 7, which means liquidation. I think a lot of us expected a Chapter 11 reorganization … but they didn’t go that route and I guess the creditors wanted out.” -- Kevin Nass, editor for Washington Blade
While the death of print media seems inevitable, and everyone in the print industry is struggling, the loss of The Blade is significant because it caters to a niche market, with no alternatives to turn. With the exception of big national news such as Prop 8, the mainstream media does not report on issues or stories relevant to the gay community, and even less so since the recession.

So, does this mean gay media is dead?

The New Gay: for everyone over the rainbow or TNG thinks it is, and it may not be such a bad thing, or at least it opens the windows of opportunity. TNG is a website/forum that encourages gay people to choose to "define ourselves instead of letting a narrowly defined mainstream gay culture do it for us".

While the creators of TNG all agree that being "gay" is not just about sexual orientation, and they reject the stereotypical, yet embraced idea, that gay is a "white male culture defined by consumerism, superficiality and anti-intellectualism", they don't subscribe to any one way of "being gay". TNG wants to start a "truly representative, broad new gay community based on diversity, compassion and self-reflection".

The Blade's coverage of gay culture, according to Zach Rosen, provided a very narrow view of gay life
"Gay media should reflect the world around it, not the other way around. The Blade’s insistence on only covering the most vapid, the most A-list, the most anti-intellectual, camp-at-all-costs, male dominated aspects of our life have done real and lasting damage to the 90% of us who don’t fit so narrow a rubric." - Zach Rosen
Whatever your opinion of The Washington Blade, it was the official gay paper in the US for the last 40 years, and no other newspaper covers or has the resources to cover American gay issues in the same way.

However, there will be at least one more edition as the former staff of the Blade plans to publish a "revived edition this week, investigating who killed the gay weekly newspaper...and why two offers by prospective publishers to buy the Blade were not accepted earlier this year".

In other news:

Court Upholds Recognition of Gay Marriages in Narrow Ruling

Gay Couple Awarded Benefits Compensation


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