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|Print is not dead and neither is gay media|
|by Laura Douglas-Brown|
|March 18, 2011 00:00|
There is line from the 1985 movie “Mask” that sticks with me, though I haven’t seen the film since I was a preteen.
Told once again that her son’s medical prognosis is dire, the besieged mom, played by Cher, retorts, “If I’d dug his grave every time one of you geniuses told me he was gonna die, I’d be eating [expletive] chop suey in China by now!”
She could have given up on her son as an infant. Instead, she kept doing the work of caring for him, and the two had years of happiness together.
I think of that quote every time I see another headline about how print media is dead, or how gay media is dead, or how at least gay print media is dead.
Had we believed those predictions, well, we wouldn’t have dug a grave all the way through the earth to end up in China — but we wouldn’t be celebrating the first anniversary of the GA Voice, either.
The last 12 months have been filled with hard work, busy production days and plenty of deadlines. But for me and the rest of the staff of the GA Voice, they have also been filled with the joy of helping tell the stories of the many dedicated activists, talented artists, and fascinating individuals who make up Georgia’s LGBT communities.
It’s a similar mission to the old Southern Voice, where most of our staff members got their start in LGBT media, but with a new mindset that I think is key to our not only surviving, but thriving, in a difficult media climate.
When I started my career at Southern Voice in 1997, the website was just a place to dump the weekly newspaper content. While that of course evolved through the years, when the doors were locked on us in 2009, print was still the main product. Improvements to the website could take months of wrangling through layers of bureaucracy and competing priorities.
In founding the Georgia Voice, we were very intentional about the fact that we were creating a new LGBT media outlet that would publish in two equally important ways: daily online for breaking news, evolving stories, and top events; and biweekly in print for in-depth analysis, investigative reporting, features and “big picture” stories.
If, like Chris describes in her column, you love the constant interaction of the internet and social media, we provide that. But if, like Chris also describes, you sometimes suffer from attention deficit and distraction in your online life, we also offer the print version, which is easier to sit and savor.
To be certain, some of the web content makes it into print — sometimes in a shorter version that gives you just the most salient facts, other times in longer versions that offer more analysis, depth and story-telling than is often possible in the fast-paced world of the web. And all of the print content eventually makes its way to the web, including in page-by-page format.
Judging from our growing readership and revenues, both online and in print, readers and advertisers respond to both formats.
So when I read yet another article about how print is dead and no one cares about news, or hear more people complaining about how gay Georgians are too apathetic, I won’t get out my shovel.
Instead, I’ll think about the hundreds of comments we’ve gotten on articles via Facebook and our website, the tens of thousands of page views we’ve received and print newspapers we’ve distributed, and the countless stories of our community that are still to be told.
And then I’ll get back to work.
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