This was a highlight of my fall … a 45 minute discussion with Tony Norman (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), Chris Potter (Pittsburgh City Paper), Aria Charles (Best Buddies) and Chaz Kellem (Pittsburgh Pirates) about fairness & accuracy in social media. And it was an honor that Jon Delano of KDKA attended and made some excellent points.
So … many months ago PG columnist Tony Norman used the term “sexual preference” in an otherwise positive column. When I called him on it, he explained that it was simply a matter of language evolving and that sexual orientation was the newest terminology. After some back and forth, he agreed to take a gander at the GLAAD media guide.
A few weeks later, PG columnist Sally Kalson used the term “homosexal sex” in an otherwise positive column. When I called her on it, she was flummoxed – wasn’t sex between two men technically sex between homosexuals? I explained and also asked her to read the GLAAD media guide. She agreed.
Prior to that my interactions with local media have ranged — reporters covering transgender issues who are willing to talk with GLAAD on the spot, reporters who take umbrage with me for criticizing them because they have gay friends and reporters who simply think homosexual is fine and have no plans to change.
I personally have a problem with homosexual because I think it is neither fair nor accurate. So I had an idea – why not bring together some diverse media experts to talk about these issues at Podcamp? Podcamp has moved to a more professional social media user – a group that should be very attentive to issues of fairness and accuracy in their communication. It seemed like a good fit.
They thought so, too. So please join us on Saturday, October 27 at 10 AM for a Panel Discussion
- Aria Charles – human services professional, board member of Best Buddies @unocalfan76
- Chaz Kellem – Diversity Manager for Pittsburgh Pirates and motivational speaker@chazkellem
- Chris Potter – Editor in Chief at The City Paper @cpotterpgh
- Tony Norman – Columnist and part of the Editorial Staff at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette @tonynormanpg
I will be moderating. @pghlesbian24
[They] will join moderator Sue Kerr to discuss fairness and accuracy issues when covering issues related to diverse communities and issues. Is this just about being “PC”? Who decides what’s fair? Where do you turn for help with the language and acronyms? Do the same rules apply to MSM and social media?
Most important … why does it matter? Panelists will draw on their professional expertise as well as their personal experiences as the subjects and loved ones of social media coverage of issues pertaining to race, sexual orientation and gender identity, disability, mental health, religion and more.
What are three key takeaways attendees will learn from your session?
*Links to professional, credible guides and resources you can consult when creating content related to diversity.
*Fairness & accuracy vs political correctness.
*Style guide suggestions for unique social media challenges ie “How to tweet about issues with really long words”
This is not about being PC. I’m using LGBTQ examples because I know them well, but that’s why I invited a diverse panel.
Here’s two examples of why I think this is important
- It not accurate – it is a dated medical term that describes sexual attraction, not the whole person. Referring to me by my sexual attraction is not respectful or remotely complete. It is also only applicable to gay men and lesbians. Bisexual men and women, transgender men and women and queer men and women are not homosexual (necessarily.)
- It is not fair – the term has been co-opted by the right wing to intentionally reduce us to sexual behavior, not portray as a whole human being with lives far beyond our sexual attraction. It doesn’t include the people we love, the commitments we make, the experiences we have and the contributions we make. You can’t separate your personal use from this larger cultural shift. And you rarely if ever use the term heterosexual to describe anything BEYOND comparisons to homosexual. I quote “Marriage is between a man and a woman. Homosexual activists want to …” Now that’s now a fair use of language.
This panel is not just about gay stuff. We are going to talk about Jim Roddey’s use of the “r” word, discuss how to access a style guide, consider is black v African American is the same thing as Latino v Hispanic. We’ll also talk about the pressures journalists face both in terms of mastering ever changing language as well as the realistic deadlines they face.
See how I used gay when I was just complaining about homosexual? We can talk about that!
Podcamp takes place at Point Park University Center.
414 Wood St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
The Keynote Speaker is Pittsburgh Dad in Room A
At 10 AM, we’ll be rolling in Room C. This is a panel, not a lecture. So we will start right in with questions. You can submit questions the old fashioned way by waving your hand frantically in the air or by twitter to me @pghlesbian24 with the hashtag #pcpgh7 While we can’t promote to get to every question, we will try.
There are several panels on similar topics. I want to give a little shout out to the Old Media/New Media discussion at 11 AM featuring Jon Delano of KDKA and David DeAngelo of 2 Political Junkies.
Hope to see you Saturday!
Greetings from Providence. It is somewhat chilly here, but what a beautiful town. We are near the capitol building in a fancy, schmancy hotel with a great view and no vending machines (i know, i know.) After a 15 hour travel saga that was mostly uneventful thanks to Megabus, we made it here and spent ten hours today in the official LGBT Pre-Conference.
Over 100 leaders from the LGBTQ community turned out. Computer cables were everywhere – I brought a power strip so I quickly was adopted by Joe Jervis, Todd Heywood and company. Joe blogs at JoeMyGod.com (highly suggest you check it out) and Todd is actively involved in tracking HIV policies (we had a good chat about the Corbett budget.) Its my kind of conference where I can tune in and out and no one admonishes me for using my laptop or my phone. Or both.
Both? Well, yes … twitter was very much part of the dialogue today. There’s a twitter list of attendees as well as the hashtag #nn12lgbt so I had both my phone and laptop open to track those lists and the multitude of replies to my own tweets. Plus, I hit the top of the pile on Early Returns so my blog traffic picked up a bit today. THEN there was breaking news involving Miss Pennsylvania. You can see how my multitasking skills were put to use. And why I’m exhausted!
I was asked to participate in the morning’s opening session which was a table discussion of how we blog and why do it. I talked about the Pirates “It Gets Better” video and the response for a local LGBTQA youth filmed right at the stadium that night. Because she was rejecting the message, it might seem my advocacy was invalidated – but not so. Her advocacy was a little twist on the Hegel thesis-antithesis-synthesis.
Highlights from the day
- Pam Spaulding of Pam’s House Blend spoke about building her audience. Lots of good practical tips. Pam is so honest about the toll blogging has taken on her health – I admire what’s she accomplished, but I admire more that she continues to live so authentically by sharing her health challenges and the erosion of some of her physical abilities in a way that illustrates her advocacy skills.
- Meeting several “opposition research” professionals – I had no idea how prolific they are, but I’m now on their lists for anything PA related. It was actually poignant how they all said that we need to write about the hate they spew so when folks google for them, our pages will come up with facts. We need to showcase their inaccurate research.
- Blogging and posting on social media 7 days a week will increase your reach by 18% compared to those who do these things 5 days a week. I’m pretty successful with this on Facebook and Twitter, but I’ve slacked on the blog.
- Much division on marriage equality. Few argue its a good thing, but strategically and tactically — big gulf. Finding a way to bridge the issues and energize allies to advocate for ENDA as well as marriage equality as well as funding our eternal defense against “marriage amendments” are huge challenges that could not be resolved today.
- A panel on immigration was very insightful especially the unabashedly undocumented queer folks who spoke out. This is a topic I’m going to explore in more detail – one of the presenters said we tend to define queer immigration issues as American married to European and gloss over the serious issues of undocumented workers and queer persons from other cultures for whom marriage is neither an option nor a solution.
- Finally, a great session on health. It was difficult to hone in on “the” most serious issue because every subcommunity has unique issues – be it the increasing cases of HIV or low rates of lesbian gynecological care or informed trans health care – still someone did nicely summarize that extending health care to our entire community should in and of itself be a priority. I was also please that someone brought up the nasty issue of smoking and its impact on the LGBTQ folks.
A busy, busy day. I met up with folks that I’ve worked with long distance – Bilerico bloggers, Change.org and others who helped with the Pirates video and some of the great folks at GLAAD who are engaging more Pittsburgh media types. There’s energy around organizing LGBTQ youth which is exciting. Also, met a great blogger from Seattle who is concerned about hunger justice (first time I’ve heard that phrase) so that caught me up in another part of my identity.
Other plans this week include a stint staffing the LGBTQ table in the exhibit hall (swag! tote bags!) as well as a session on a PA Caucus, twitter, more LGBT sessions and a panel on transit as a social justice issue. I’m also looking forward to the keynote speeches from Elizabeth Warren and Paul Krugman. Plus, there’s a party every night. I’m not much of a partier, but hopefully we’ll enjoy some good seafood and perhaps see a few sights.
It is pretty exciting to be here and I’m looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings. And who!