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NLGJA Announces the Randy Shilts Award for LGBT Coverage NPR’s Michel Martin to be honored as first recipient

For Immediate Release: October 18, 2012
Media Contact: Bach Polakowski,
202-588-9888 or bach@nlgja.org

Washington, D.C. - As part of a new annual event, the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association will be presenting the NLGJA Randy Shilts Award for LGBT Coverage. The award is designed to honor journalists who consistently bring stories of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to life in mainstream media outlets. The award honors individual journalists and news organizations who go the extra mile to ensure that all Americans are aware of the diversity within the LGBT community, as well as the unique struggles gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people face in the United States and around the world.

The 2012 NLGJA Randy Shilts Award for LGBT Coverage will be presented to NPR’s Michel Martin. The host of “Tell Me More,” Martin has consistently lived up to her program’s title with her coverage of the LGBT community, going beyond the headlines to ask deeper questions – from whether gay marriage might lead to legal polygamy to how gay and lesbian people are reshaping African American and Latino activism. Her regular series exploring “private lives” has brought her listeners voices few have heard before – including persecuted gay men in Africa, people living with HIV and AIDS on Indian reservations and transgender athletes chasing Olympic glory.

This award is named in memory of Randy Shilts, a member of the NLGJA Hall of Fame, who is widely credited with being the first reporter to cover the “gay beat” for a major metropolitan newspaper. His writing in the San Francisco Chronicle brought the stories of gays and lesbians – whether they were living with AIDS or serving in the military – to the attention of millions of Americans. Before his death in 1994, Shilts authored three best-selling books, including the groundbreaking And the Band Played On, cataloguing the rise of the AIDS epidemic in the United States.

The award will be presented at DATELINE-DC, a benefit for NLGJA on Nov. 13, 2012 in Washington, D.C. For more information and tickets, visit www.nlgja.org/dateline-dc.

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About the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association
NLGJA is an organization of journalists, media professionals, educators and students working from within the news industry to foster fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues. NLGJA opposes all forms of workplace bias and provides professional development to its members. For more information on the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, visit the NLGJA Web site at http://www.nlgja.org.

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