Soundout

Posted on 14 Dec 2006 at 7:40pm
By Beth Freed

5 questions with Ian McCann



Ian McCann writes an LGBT weekly column, Orientations, for Quick. He also covers local politics for Rockwall and Rowlett as a staff writer for The Dallas Morning News. McCann currently serves as the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter president of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA).

How did you get started in journalism, and why did you choose it for your career?
I figured out that I was going to do journalism back when I was in high school. I graduated from Southern Mehtodist University and started on the night Metro desk at The Dallas Morning News in December 1999. Even today, when people have such limited time to read news, journalism is tremendously important. I’m still in it for the same reasons I started in the first place to tell people what’s going on in their world, both good and bad.

Why is it important to have LGBT coverage in the mainstream press?
Covering LGBT issues is necessary because we’re everywhere a Harris Interactive poll this year said that 70 percent of straight people knows somebody who’s gay. Also, we contribute so much to the world in just about every arena. Finally, issues that affect LGBT people affect society as a whole. And there’s no better way for people to know about all of this than through seeing it in the mainstream media.

What are your duties and goals as NLGJA chapter president?
I’m local members’ primary contact when they need anything from NLGJA, and I work with the rest of the NLGJA leadership to serve our members. We’re here to foster fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues, to improve the working environment for journalists and to provide professional development for members. My primary goal is to have our members get together at least once every other month, whether socially or for programs that support our mission.

What challenges do LGBT journalists and stories face today?
For journalists, they’re the same challenges everybody else in the media is facing job cutbacks, consolidation and the ever-changing ways we deliver the news. LGBT stories have to compete against every other story that’s out there for people’s attention people are so busy these days, they can’t read every story that comes along. So journalists have to become better at ensuring those stories are relevant to people’s lives.

With all this working, what about your personal life?
I’ve been in Dallas for 10 years now, after growing up in Orange County, Calif., where my parents and little brother still live. I’ve lived in Oak Cliff near the Bishop Arts District for about two years, and absolutely love it. (And, yes, I’m single!) Between work, trying to get back into running shape and NLGJA, I unfortunately don’t have much time for community involvement!

Soundout is a weekly column featuring people whose jobs and interests have an impact on the daily lives of members of the GLBT community. It features those who often go unnoticed by the press and community. If you’d like to recommend someone to cover in this column, contact staff writer Beth Freed at freed@dallasvoice.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 15, 2006

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