Gay print media needs to look to non-gay online hybrid media

by: Adam Bink

Wed Jun 23, 2010 at 12:30

Every time I read another piece lamenting the death of print media- the latest being Michael's piece today in the Village Voice lamenting how people like me are killing gay print media- I wonder why more traditional media outlets haven't taken on a hybrid Talking Points Memo approach. To me, the genius of TPM is having what the lamenters want- "serious/hard-nosed/chasing after a scoop" journalism- along with what increasing numbers of the public want, which is up-to-the-minute news that is accessible where people want to read it, be it on TPM's website or one of their reporters' Twitter feeds or whatnot.

I see this already in Kerry Eleveld's coverage in The Advocate. Kerry has a seat in the White House briefing room, asks excellent questions of Gibbs and explores a lot of critical stories. Pieces like her recent one exploring GetEqual are great. At the same time, Kerry live-tweets events like Congressional hearings and yesterday's Pride reception at the White House. I also see online gay media colleagues like John and Joe at AMERICABlog at Pam at PHB linking to her stuff constantly, driving up their pageviews and ad revenue. I don't know what The Advocate's books look like, and Kerry hasn't been there long, but if I had to wager, it would be that they're going to be around a lot longer than other print media that don't pay nearly as much attention to the "up-to-the-minute" aspect of reporting as much as they do in caring about their print editions. That, to me, is the critical balance that outlets like TPM and Kerry strike.

The other thing I would say is that sooner or later, the lamenters are going to figure out that there are online outlets like TPM and Huffington Post whose correspondents do as good, or better, "serious journalism" as I've seen in print media. And there are a number in online-only gay media, too. I've even received some compliments for some longer, in-depth pieces I've done on LGBT topics with a critical lens and all parties weighing in. Nothing is going to replace the feel of a newspaper or magazine- I still get the WaPo and NYTimes every Sunday morning just for that- but when it comes to the "oh for the lack of 'serious journalism' online!" argument the lamenters make, that is starting to run thin.

Adam Bink :: Gay print media needs to look to non-gay online hybrid media

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