First and foremost, the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) is a professional association and as such has a responsibility to provide members with resources and information to help them do their jobs and advance their careers. NLGJA also serves as both media watchdog and educator. When lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender (LGBT) issues are covered unfairly or inaccurately, NLGJA both points out the problem and teaches journalists how to get it right the next time.
For more than 22 years, NLGJA has been a beacon for LGBT journalists through its education, networking and training programs - most especially its national convention, the largest gathering of its kind. Listed below are the 25 programs NLGJA currently provides to help us achieve our mission. Donate now, or become a member and help support our work.
Professional Support and Development
Providing you the resources and information they need to help you do your jobs and advance your careers. What follows are the professional development programs currently offered at NLGJA for our members.
NLGJA's Excellence in Journalism Awards were established in 1993 to foster, recognize and reward excellence in journalism on issues related to the LGBT community. In addition to Journalist of the Year and the Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Media (named for the late Newsweek journalist and founding editor of Out Magazine), awards are presented for excellence in news writing, feature writing, opinion writing, network television, radio, online, multimedia, photojournalism, HIV/AIDS reporting, and student journalism.
This organization was founded at a grassroots level. Growing to nearly 1000 members before ever hiring a staff person, NLGJA continues to thrive based upon the local volunteer level of its many Chapters across the country. Find out how to get involved today. NLGJA offers leadership training to Chapters, as well.
Since 2004, the LGBT Media Summit has introduced a special emphasis on the challenges faced by LGBT Media outlets. This one day conference serves as the opening forum for the NLGJA National Convention.
The largest program of the year, since 1992, NLGJA has convened an annual meeting of journalists and communications professionals concerned with fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues. With networking opportunities, training sessions, career fairs, and much, much more – find out where we've been and where we'll be next by clicking here.
Established in 2005, NLGJA's LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame honors individuals who made exemplary contributions through their careers to NLGJA's mission of promoting fair and accurate coverage of the issues affecting the LGBT community.
A regularly updated list of opportunities across the country and in all areas of journalism including broadcast, freelance, online media, production and print.
OutNewsWire, in conjunction with Witeck Communications, is a news distribution service dedicated to the LGBT community. Distributed to a growing network of LGBT and mainstream media contacts at regional and national publications and websites, we aspire to make this the most trusted and efficient press release distribution service serving LGBT audiences. TravelOutNewsWire, created in partnership with the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) and Witeck Communications, is designed to efficiently help serve journalists, bloggers, travel writers and industry news outlets that frequently report on industry trends, events and travel developments, as well as news of special interest to travel consumers and businesses.
NLGJA puts emphasis on the education and development of tomorrow's journalists and communications professionals. Not only does NLGJA internship programs in California and DC, but also scholarship opportunities, as well as an opportunity at the student project each year with NLGJA's Summit & Convention. Here's a list of NLGJA's student membership opportunities:
- Student Membership
- Leroy F. Aarons Scholarship Award
- Kay Longcope Scholarship Award
- News Corp Student Scholarship
- Coaching Program
- Summer Student Project
- NLGJA Internship
- Excellence in Student Journalism Award
- Local Level Student Chapters
Our monthly webinar series provides educational opportunities for members from your desk or home. Past topics have included: resume review and covering federal budget issues.
Each Thursday, NLGJA members receive the latest news and announcements from across the NLGJA network.
Fair and Accurate LGBT Coverage
NLGJA serves as both a watchdog and an educator. NLGJA is widely recognized for its work informing our peers on the fair and accurate coverage of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community by the news media.
Sponsored by the Haas Jr. Fund, this project brings together more than 40 journalists from the LGBT blogosphere and print media. The yearly convening enables participants to share their ideas and professional experiences, and identify how to better cover the LGBT community and issues both fairly and accurately.
Covering Diversity in the Heartland
NLGJA has joined with the Asian American Journalists Association on a special project, Covering Diversity in the Heartland. While working with the Ford Foundation, we are developing a comprehensive plan on how to improve and increase news coverage of social justice issues impacting people of color and LGBT persons in the heartland of American that would be useful to media grantees.
With stories about the LGBT community making news in beats from health to education and everywhere in between, NLGJA's Journalist's Toolbox is designed to provide information and strategies to journalists who find themselves seeking creative, unique and accurate means of covering the LGBT community.
Michael Triplett Speaker Series
A keynote series will launch in 2014 and feature notable speakers on the intersection of faith, politics, and the LGBT community. The program will provide an opportunity for journalists and members to hear from prominent leaders on these issues and raise new questions about the complex relationship between support for LGBT rights and free religious expression. The program was designed in memory of the late NLGJA President Michael Triplett, who died in January 2013, and was a strong leader of both our organization and his local Lutheran church.
The official blog of NLGJA, this offers our readers and members an up-to-date feed to keep tab on who in the media is writing well, and who is missing the mark. Our blog authors keep close watch on the latest news and its coverage – click here to see the latest entry.
NLGJA members and staff work daily with our colleagues in the news industry to fulfill the organization's mission of fair and accurate coverage. Sometimes, though, a more targeted response is required to promote greater understanding about how to fairly and accurately cover the LGBT community. NLGJA's answer to this is the Rapid Response Task Force. This panel of working journalists from mainstream and LGBT media answers complaints about reporting seen as unfair and/or inaccurate by readers, viewers, listeners and our peer journalists. Since its inception, the Rapid Response Task Force has not only informed countless newsrooms about appropriate terminology and the appearance of bias, but has also used these contacts to spread awareness about issues facing the LGBT community.
The Rapid Response Task Force depends on the eyes and ears of all media consumers to raise the red flag on problematic coverage. Submit a link to a story that you believe is unfair or inaccurate. The Task Force will evaluate the submission, discuss it, and if appropriate, contact the newsroom in question. If a link isn't available, please provide a written description of the story. Items to which the Rapid Response Task Force usually does not respond include editorials (unless predicated on inaccurate information), op-ed pieces and letters to the editor.
"Gay marriage" or "marriage rights for same-sex couples?" Is there anything wrong with referring to an "alternative lifestyle?" Is using the word "queer" ever acceptable? NLGJA's Stylebook Supplement on LGBT Terminology answers these questions and complements other stylebook resources.
NLGJA offers topical tip sheets by reporters for reporters covering current issues relating to the LGBT community. Current tip sheets include:
The Newsroom Outreach Project is a member-based professional development program that works to further NLGJA’s mission through meetings with broadcast, print and online newsrooms across the country. It's a moderated discussion, designed to help journalists better understand issues that affect LGBT individuals and their community.