Eight days ago we learned that Window Media had abruptly shut down LGBT publications including the Washington Blade, Atlanta’s Southern Voice and The South Florida Blade. Miraculously, the employees at The Washington Blade managed to put together a new publication in just one week, and the first issue of DC Agenda hit the streets last Friday. Meanwhile, editor Dan Renzi says the South Florida Blade and its sister publication, 411 Magazine, barely missed a beat because they had long anticipated the collapse of Window Media. The South Florida publications have also relaunched under a new owner, Multimedia Platforms. Finally, just today, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Southern Voice editor Laura Douglas-Brown and the woman who founded the newspaper 21 years ago, Chris Cash, are working to start a new LGBT publication in that city. Cash sold the newspaper to Window Media in 1997 and now lives in Texas. She and Douglas-Brown have received a matching grant of $12,000 to launch the yet-to-be named publication.
All of this is great news for those of us in the gay press and for the LGBT community as a whole, particularly in those cities. At the risk of sounding self-important, I think it’s fair to say that gay newspapers have played and will continue to play a crucial role in the struggle for equality. Besides, if it weren’t for actual reporters, what would bloggers (myself included) have to steal?