Hey. I was just notified that this little correspondent has been selected to participate in the LGBT Blogger and Citizens Journalist Initiative in DC. I applied in October, but since they planned to pick 35 folks, figured it was not gonna happen. Hurrah, I was wrong!
Here's an article in the Washington Blade about the project.
Mike Rogers, a blogger who gained notoriety for outing closeted Republican officials, is spearheading a new initiative to support training and funding for the next wave of gay bloggers.
Rogers recently established the program, called the LGBT Bloggers & Citizen Journalist Initiative, with a $50,000 grant from philanthropist Jonathan Lewis.
Lewis is the son of Peter Lewis, one of the founders of Progressive Auto Insurance. Jonathan Lewis awards an annual scholarship through the Point Foundation’s National LGBT Scholarship Fund.
Rogers said the goal of the LGBT Bloggers & Citizen Journalist Initiative is to bring the online world together with traditional organizations that are sometimes lagging in the technology department.
Rogers said the initiative’s driving force is best encapsulated by a quote from Pam Spaulding, a lesbian blogger who writes at Pam’s House Blend: “You can ignore us, but we are journalists, we are activists, it’s all one now.”
Rogers said that other progressive movements have been more effective in quickly disseminating their messages.
Citing this year’s killing of Lawrence King, the gay California teen who was shot Feb. 12, Rogers said fewer people online knew about that than last year’s “Jena 6” controversy, in which six black Jena High School students in Louisiana were charged with attempted murder for attacking a white student after a noose was found hanging from a campus tree.
“How do we strengthen our voice so that when one of our young people is murdered, it becomes just as big of a story?” he said.
The initiative will begin with a December summit of 50 bloggers and representatives of gay rights groups, including the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, which are sponsors.
This is interesting timing. My blog post about Cinemark and Proposition 8 was promoted to the front page of Pam's House Blend and Lez Get Real today, drawing a lot of new visitors to this site. When I applied, I submitted samples including my coverage of the Big Gay Meeting organized by the ACDC back in 2006. The concept of journalist-activist continues to resonate with me as many of the promises at that meeting have yet to come to fruition (such as the meeting on the delivery of human services to Allegheny County's LGBTQ population).
We have a long way to go right here in our own backyard.
Now, Ledcat and I have to see if we can make the arrangements to make it happen. Kennel, work, etc. It may not, but it sure is nice to be invited to the party.
And I owe it all to Johnny Mac!