A letter from the publisher of Dallas Voice

!Leo-30th-publishers-photo_8386Screen shot 2014-05-15 at 8.55.34 PMBetween 1984 and today, the way we communicate has advanced in ways we could barely have imagined  just a few decades ago. Technology has evolved from rotary phones to smartphones, and savvy media companies have quickly adapted to harness the potential that grows each time a social media platform or app is developed. It’s an exciting time to be in media, and Dallas Voice knows it.

Our 30-year history is one of evolution, and we know our readers get their news from multiple sources. Today, our offerings to LGBT Texans include print, online, mobile, eblasts, a directory and social media. Our growth is nurtured by the relationships we build with the community and our communication with its members. By developing strategies that use that new technology, we invest in our future.

The LGBT press has played a major role in the community’s growth for 30 years, and Dallas Voice, through its coverage, has created change. When Robert Moore and Don Ritz launched the publication in 1984, they had no idea how important and powerful LGBT media would become. They focused on creating a newspaper that spoke for the community, and through the years the community has used Dallas Voice as a switchboard to communicate its messages. Our founders’ focus has become our passion.

In addition to providing a voice for our community, we are very proud of the role Dallas Voice has played in increasing LGBT visibility and in driving changes for equality. Our reporting contributed to Omni Hotels decision to offer domestic partner benefits to employees at the Dallas Convention Center Hotel. We also were instrumental in helping DART and Dallas County amend their nondiscrimination policies to include transgender employees. As a result of our coverage, the Dallas Morning News agreed to begin publishing same-sex marriage announcements, and DISD approved an LGBT inclusive anti-bullying policy. Dallas Voice has played a decisive role in building LGBT organizations, strengthening our community and in fostering political mobilization.

As we turn the page on our 30th anniversary, we’re reflecting on what we’ve accomplished and on our vision for the future. With gratitude as a core value, we continue to honor the people who make Dallas Voice successful. To our readers and advertisers, we say thank you. Whether you pick up the paper every week or visit us online, we depend on your active engagement and loyalty. We thank our advertisers for giving us the resources to deliver in-depth, comprehensive coverage of the stories that matter most to our readers. I’m also thankful for our dedicated staff for living our mission to deliver relevant news with a passion. I am so proud of the work each member of our team delivers every day, every week from daily blogging to delivery on the street.

The next chapter for Dallas Voice includes exciting changes in our print format. Our vision is to evolve from a newspaper to a news magazine and eventually to a magazine. We’re also energizing our website with the addition of CommunityTEA, a blog where readers will be able to write and join in the discussion of community topics.

We’re tapping into the power of social media, and we’re excited about the packaging of those platforms with our print and online products. It’s an exciting time to be a member of the LGBT community, and it’s an exciting time to be a member of the LGBT press.

Throughout our 30-year evolution, we’ve remained true at Dallas Voice to our passion of being a media source that speaks for the LGBT community. We don’t know what the next 30 years will bring, but you can bet we’ll be there every minute of it to tell you about it — just as we always have.

Leo Cusimano
Dallas Voice
Publisher and Co-Owner

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 16, 2014.