Good morning Baltimore

IMG_6928While at the National Lesbian and Gay Journalist’s Association meeting in Baltimore, I had enough time to explore two neighborhoods.

First was the Inner Harbor.

Inner Harbor is the redeveloped waterfront. Historic ships including the USS Constellation, a frigate built in 1797, and the USS Taney, the only survivor of Pearl Harbor that’s still afloat, are docked and open to tours. Stores, restaurants, apartments and hotels ring the harbor.

I spent hours exploring a multi-story Barnes & Noble. Remember them? They’re a bookstore. Where they sell books. The kind you hold, not the kind you look at on a screen. What a luxury to walk among the shelves and be able to flip through actual books.

Mount Vernon Historic District is obviously the gayborhood. In addition to bars, shops and restaurants, there are numerous historic churches, brownstones, an art museum, theater and a library. OK, we have a library in Oak Lawn too, but this one isn’t in a Kroger parking lot. It’s in a historic building building.

The monument that serves as the centerpiece to Mount Vernon is a pillar topped by a statue of George Washington. Filmmaker John Waters, who spoke to NJGJA on Friday night, pointed out that from the front, Washington is extending his hand. From the right position from behind, it looks like Washington is better endowed than any of the current presidential candidates claim to be. Several of us walked to the monument and spent quite a bit of time making sure we saw our first president from just the right angle.

We had brunch at Gertrude’s at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Gertrude’s is owned and operated by a gay couple who served a memorable brunch. A plate of cinnamon buns, a basket of rolls and a plate of berries and sliced fruit started the meal. The main course was sirloin steak topped with poached eggs followed by a cookie crumbled cheesecake for desert. We ate surrounded by magnolia trees in bloom. Eat first and walk it off with a stroll through the museum. BMA is known for its collection of Matisses. Among its Impressionist collection were a couple of Monets, Renoirs and a Seurat you’ve probably never seen before.

—  David Taffet

Hey from San Francisco and the NLGJA convention


Lobby of the Westin St. Francis

So, today I am in San Francisco. I have never been here before, and I would LOVE to have a chance to spend the next three days wandering this city with my camera. BUT such is not to be.

I am here to attend the 25th anniversary of the National Gay and Lesbian Journalist Association’s National Convention and LGBT Media Summit. That’s LGBT journalists working in mainstream media and in LGBT media.

The convention is taking place at the Westin St. Francis Hotel, in Union Square in downtown San Francisco. It is gorgeous, by the way. And right now it is full of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender journalists.

This, as I said, is the 25th anniversary, and the convention has returned here to San Francisco, where the first NLGJA Convention was held way back in 1990. So this year’s theme is Coming Home. And a lot of folks have “come home” to the convention this year. There are some big names in the journalism biz here for this event.

coke.webThe first NLGJA convention I attended was back in the early-mid-1990s in New York City. The next year (I think), I went to Miami for the convention. This is the first one I have been to since then. And let me tell you, things have changed.

There are all kind of corporate sponsors this year. Toyota. Nissan. And, my favorite, Coca-Cola.

Anyway. I am in San Francisco this weekend. So watch for updates and photos and anything I decide to share. Because I am in San Francisco. And the weather is wonderful; wish you were here.

—  Tammye Nash

Gay reporter who served as NLGJA chapter president among those laid off by The DMN

We’re sad to learn that gay reporter Ian McCann was among those laid off today by The Dallas Morning News.

McCann, a former president of the Dallas chapter of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, co-authored an LGBT column for the now-defunct Quick and has covered Richardson for The DMN for the last few years.

“I appreciate the thoughts everybody,” McCann wrote on Twitter this afternoon. “Now time to plan the next adventure, almost 12 years after the first one began.”

The blog DMN CUTS is following the latest round of layoffs.

—  John Wright

The Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld receives Award for Excellence in LGBT Media at NLGJA

Kerry Eleveld, whose reporting and commentary at The Advocate are often linked to here at the Blend, received a well-deserved award from her peers. It’s always good to know that she’s in the White House Press Briefing room to show what it takes to get a straight — ahem — answer out of Robert Gibbs. (NLGJA):

Kerry Eleveld of The Advocate has been selected to be honored with the Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Media. Named for the late Newsweek journalist and founding editor of Out magazine, the award recognizes outstanding contributions of a journalist working in the LGBT media.

Of Eleveld’s work, judges said: “Eleveld needs to be commended for pushing for a D.C. bureau for The Advocate,” as well as “From her unique place inside the White House, she’s consistently making news and controlling the direction of news stories.”

Having an out reporter focusing on our issues in that briefing room has made a huge difference in how this administration and the rest of the journalists in the room perceive the community. It inevitably draws more attention and competition for the MSM to cover our issues better — and more accurately. And having spent some time around Kerry, she is never “off-duty.” The above photo was taken in Maine during a party; I don’t think she filed any stories from there.

One thing I’d like to mention Kerry has to walk a fine line; while she is recognized for her reporting with this award, she is equally well-known for her “View from Washington” column, her commentary on issues (including some of the stories she covers), where she is able to give more in-depth perspective. This dual role is actually a more beneficial and honest presentation to the community – the fantasy line of “journalistic objectivity” is crossed all the time by the MSM; why not just do the right thing and label reporting and commentary. What a concept.

Congratulations, Kerry. Don’t let the accolades go to your head – even though Gibbs is still scared of your raised hand in the briefing room. Joe has more, including video of Kerry sparring with Gibbs.

The other award winners are below the fold…


The 2010 NLGJA Excellence in Journalism Awards:

Journalist of the Year Award

Winner: Randy Gener, American Theatre magazine

Honorable mention: Carolyn Lochhead, San Francisco Chronicle

Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Media

Winner: Kerry Eleveld, The Advocate

Excellence in News Writing Award

Winner: Jen Colletta, Philadelphia Gay News, “Researchers: Gays Excluded from Clinical Trials”

Honorable mention: Phillip Zonkel, Press-Telegram, “Suffering in Silence”

Excellence in Feature Writing Award

Winner: Benoit Denizet-Lewis , The New York Times Magazine, “Coming Out in Middle School”

Honorable mention: Alfred P. Doblin, The Record, “Stonewall Started It”

Excellence in Opinion Writing Award

Winner: Maya Rupert , LA Watts Times, “I Believe in America ”

Honorable mention: LZ Granderson , CNN, “Gay Is Not the New Black”

Excellence in Network Television Award

Winner: Bud Bultman, Rose Arce, Dave Timko, Amanda Sealy, and Steve Keller, CNN, “Her Name Was Steven”

Honorable mention: Jacqueline Gares and Amber Hall, In the Life, “40th Anniversary of Stonewall”

Excellence in Radio Award

Winner: Jad Abumrad and Aaron Scott, Radiolab, “New Stu”

Honorable mention: Tim Curran, Aaron McQuade and Dave Gorab; Sirius XM OutQ News; “Stonewall 40 Minutes” series

Excellence in Online Journalism Award

Winner: Dave Singleton and Team,, “The Stonewall Riots: 40 Years Later”

Honorable mention: Jessica Bennett, Kathy Jones, Margaret Keady, Jennifer Molina, Monica Parra and Carl Sullivan ;; “From Stonewall to Mainstream”

Excellence in Photojournalism Award

Winner: Scott A. Drake, Philadelphia Gay News, “PDA With a Purpose”

Excellence in HIV/AIDS Coverage Award

Winner: Michel Martin and the staff of Tell Me More, Tell Me More/NPR

Honorable mention: Jennifer Morton, POZ, “How Stigma Kills”

Excellence in Student Journalism Award

Winner: Todd Cross , Syracuse University multimedia graduate student, “Transgender: The Path to One’s Identity”

Honorable mention: Laura Lofgren, Fusion magazine, “The Importance of Being Aaron”

Founded in 1990, NLGJA is the leading professional organization for LGBT journalists with 20 chapters nationwide, as well as members around the globe. This year, NLGJA celebrates two decades of advocating for fair and accurate reporting on LGBT issues

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright