Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Gay media pioneers honored by NLGJA
by Chuck Colbert
2013-08-26

This article shared 2606 times since Mon Aug 26, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


As a three-day convention of gay media professionals concluded this past weekend in Boston, the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA), in a significant nod to LGBT media, inducted two founders of weekly gay newspapers into its Hall of Fame.

They are Bob Ross and Mark Segal. The late Ross (1934-2003) was founder of the Bay Area Reporter (BAR). Segal is founder, owner, and publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News (PGN).

BAR's assistant news editor, Matthew Bajko, who knew Ross, was on hand at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel to accept the honor during a closing reception and silent auction.

"To say Bob fit the caricature of a newspaperman depicted in old film noirs is an understatement," said Bajko, who joined BAR as an assistant editor/reporter in September of 2011.

Ross, said Bajko, "would sit in his office smoking his beloved cigars working the phones, as he refused to use a computer."

"He was a treasure trove of stories about San Francisco's LGBT community and political infighting at City Hall," Bajko added. "As the news reporter on the beat, I learned quickly that the best way to get a politician or non-profit leader to return my calls was to casually mention to Bob how difficult it was to reach them.

"Within minutes, they were on the phone eager to be interviewed. "

"In terms of his contribution to journalism," Bajko explained, "Bob was truly a visionary. At a time when many gays and lesbians had no voice and were afraid to speak out, Bob saw the need to provide that platform."

Ross, along with Paul Bentley, founded San Francisco's Bay Area Reporter on April 1, 1971. Bentley sold his interest in 1975. By 1979, Mayor Dianne Feinstein was asking Ross and San Francisco Sentinel publisher Charles Lee Morris to investigate the city police department's response to riots following the sentencing of Dan White for the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and openly gay Supervisor Harvey Milk.

Today, BAR is one of three oldest weekly LGBT newspapers in the country. The other two publications are PGN and the Washington Blade.

One of Ross' most trying challenges was how to respond to the AIDS crisis beginning in the early 1980s. He decided in 1983 on extensive coverage. That year, BAR reported that 40 percent of all persons with AIDS were members of minority groups, demolishing the idea of AIDS as a gay white disease. In 1984, as tensions emerged between health concerns and preserving a culture of sexual freedom (the latter supported by his editor, Paul Lorch), Ross sided with health regulations. Subsequently, Lorch left the newspaper.

When Ross died in 2003 of diabetes complications, he left an estate of more than $11 million in addition to the Bay Area Reporter itself.

Before his death, Ross established the Bob Ross Foundation to give money to a wide variety of Bay Area causes, ranging from AIDS organizations to the San Francisco Ballet. Earlier this year, it was estimated that the foundation will give away all of its money by 2023, including proceeds from a legal requirement that it sell at least 80 percent of the Bay Area Reporter by 2016.

NLGJA established the LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame in 2005 to recognized journalists for their commitment, courage and dedication to LGBT issues in the media. Since then, NLGJA has honored a total of 23 journalists in the LGBT community.

This year's other Hall of Fame inductee, Mark Segal, was also in Boston.

A living legend in his own right, Segal recalled the early, struggling days (1970's) of LGBT media and PGN.

"Local LGBT publications were brand new," he said. "In our first office, when it rained outside, it rained inside. Our plumbing was literally jars in the basement of the building."

"It wasn't too long ago," Segal went to say, "when I tried for 15 years [unsuccessfully] to become a member of the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. Today, I sit on their board."

Along the way, he added, "PGN has won awards from practically every major journalism organization, from the National Newspaper Association to the Society of Professional Journalists," among others.

Back in the day, however, when PGN operated "with no toilets and water coming through the ceiling, I realized that newspapers can't be done with volunteers," Segal explained. "That's how PGN became a business because if you want to have good journalists, you have to pay them. That's what being a newspaper is all about. It's about journalism, good journalism."

And Segal left little doubt about the stature of LGBT media vis-Ãï-vis mainstream outlets.

In Pennsylvania at least, "PGN will be treated like you treat the dailies and any other media — and no less," he said.

Segal founded Philadelphia Gay News as a monthly newsletter in 1976, after being inspired by Frank Kameny when they met in 1970.

Before Segal started PGN, however, he was a gay activist. In 1972, after being thrown out of a dance competition for dancing with his male partner, Segal crashed the evening news broadcast of WPVI-TV, in what became known as a "zap."

By 1973, Segal, along with Harry Langhorne, calling themselves Gay Raiders, had zapped "The Tonight Show," "Today," "The Mike Douglas Show," and the "CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite," that time holding a sign saying "Gays Protests CBS Prejudice."

Starting at Segal's April 1974 trial for zapping Cronkite, the CBS anchor asked Segal for details on the gay community's media complaints. As a result, "CBS Evening News" substantially increased its coverage of gay news and Cronkite became a supporter of gay rights.

In 1975, Segal went on a hunger strike and a "sit-in" at the Philadelphia City Council to call attention to the need for a gay-rights ordinance. In 1976, PGN used Pennsylvania Department of Justice memos to show that state police were entrapping gay men seeking sex. In the late 1970s, PGN was publicizing how legislators voted on laws that concerned the gay community.

By 1981, PGN published a series about drug and alcohol abuse within the gay community and was mainstream enough to boast about its straight readership. In 1993, Philadelphia Magazine's "Best of Philadelphia" gave Segal a Clout Award.

"To be recognized by your peers is one of the most wonderful things that can happen in anyone's life," said Segal in a recent telephone interview. "I think it's really a compliment to LGBT media and what we have gone through in the last 40 years or so to build our industry. I thank those in mainstream media for recognizing that."

© Copyright. Chuck Colbert. All rights reserved.


This article shared 2606 times since Mon Aug 26, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

TransLash Media CEO Imara Jones reflects on JK Rowling and 'Hogwarts Legacy' 2023-03-11
- The action role-playing game Hogwarts Legacy has been making big news lately—and it's not just because so many people are playing it. Hogwarts Legacy, inspired by writer J.K. Rowling's wizarding ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Little Richard, Indigo Girls, Rodriguez's honor, dance film, Pedro Pascal 2023-03-10
Video below - Produced by Bungalow Media + Entertainment for CNN Films and HBO Max, in association with Rolling Stone Films, director Lisa Cortes' Sundance opening-night documentary Little Richard: I Am Everything will debut in theaters and on VOD ...


Gay News

WORLD Japanese poll, Sydney Mardi Gras, mpox, rugby study, soccer player 2023-02-19
- Sixty-four percent of respondents to a Kyodo News poll believe same-sex marriage should be recognized in Japan, the media outlet noted. In the telephone survey, 88.4% also said recent remarks hostile to LGBTQ+ people by a ...


Gay News

New York Times publishes transphobic column one day after an open letter condemning anti-trans coverage, HRC responds 2023-02-16
--From a press release - WASHINGTON— This morning, the New York Times published yet another opinion piece attacking the transgender and non-binary community. The piece, "In Defense of J.K. Rowling" was written by Pamela Paul and was published merely one day ...


Gay News

180+ journalists and NY Times contributors join HRC, GLAAD to call out biased coverage of trans people in Times coverage 2023-02-15
--From a press release - (New York, NY — Feb. 15, 2023) — Today GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is joined by hundreds of journalists, organizations ...


Gay News

ABC Audio launches third season of "Life Out Loud with LZ Granderson" 2023-01-19
--From a press release - ABC Audio launched today the third season of "Life Out Loud with LZ Granderson," its award-winning podcast focused on LGBTQ+ issues. The new, six-episode season, hosted by ABC News contributor and Emmy® Award-winning journalist LZ Granderson, ...


Gay News

GLAAD announces nominees for 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards 2023-01-18
--From a press release. Video below - Jan. 18, 2023 - GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced the nominees for the 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. ...


Gay News

Report released on online hate and gender-affirming providers 2022-12-16
- The Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC Foundation) has released "Online Harassment, Offline Violence: Unchecked Harassment of Gender-Affirming Care Providers and Children's Hospitals on Social Media, and its Offline Violent Consequences." ...


Gay News

GLAAD post-election poll shows surge of LGBTQ+ voters in midterm elections 2022-12-09
-- From a press release - (New York, NY, TBD) GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is releasing the findings of its 2022 post midterm election poll of ...


Gay News

Congress passes Respect for Marriage Act, sends to President Biden for signature 2022-12-08
-- From a press release. Video below - (New York, NY - December 8, 2022) — GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act in the U.S. ...


Gay News

Brittney Griner released, national groups respond 2022-12-08
-- From press releases - GLAAD: GLAAD the world's largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, is responding to news that Brittney Griner has been released from prison in Russia. President Biden tweeted with photos of an elated President Biden, Vice President Harris ...


Gay News

Chicago Fire FC wins first-ever Midwest Emmy Award 2022-12-07
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (Dec. 6, 2022) — Chicago Fire FC has been awarded the Club's first ever Regional Emmy Award in the category of "Outstanding Crafts Achievement for Graphics Arts/Motion Graphics/ Art Direction/Set Design" as a part of ...


Gay News

World AIDS Day: GLAAD releases 2022 State of HIV Stigma Study 2022-12-01
-- From a press release - (New York, NY - December 1, 2022) GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is releasing its third annual State of HIV Stigma ...


Gay News

GLAAD responds to renaming of Monkeypox 2022-11-30
-- From a press release - (New York, NY) - GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to the World Health Organization (WHO) announcement recommending a new ...


Gay News

GLAAD responds to mass shooting in Colorado Springs 2022-11-20
-- From a press release - (New York, NY - November 20, 2022) - GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs that killed ...


 




Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.