Friday, June 11, 2010

LGBT Print Media

Press Pass Q reports this month on the demise of one LGBT paper, The Chicago Free Press (at the end of April) and the launching of another, The Wisconsin Gazette (last November).

It's sad to see the Free Press go; they ran my cartoons from Volume 1 Issue 1 in August, 1999, until sometime in 2009, and featured some excellent news coverage and commentary. I can't do better than columnist Jennifer Vanasco, who wrote:
“And because the Chicago Free Press was a very good paper, a lot of people read it. Not just gay people, but straight as well – and not just folks who had a reason to be interested in gay issues, but anyone who had an interest in [Chicago’s] North Side neighborhoods. When I still lived in Chicago – I moved from there in 2006 – people would stop me on the street to talk about that week’s column, or to ask me about something that had been in the paper. It felt personal – more personal that it feels to run a website, or write the occasional web-hosted blog post.”

Gazette Publisher Louis Weisberg used to work for the Free Press (his departure is not entirely unrelated to its eventual demise), which fills a void left by In Step (1984-2003), Wisconsin Light (1987-2002), and Queer Life News (2004-2008). (I'm not ignoring Quest, which started as a "bar rag" but has done its best to report news in the absence of an LGBT "news" paper.) I was happy to find the Gazette available in an art store in my hometown; the previous newspapers had only been available in the city's sole LGBT bar and a porn shop that went out of business last year, or by driving to Milwaukee.

The internet is a wonderful thing, but I like having a newspaper with my coffee. If I spill on it, I'm not out several hundred bucks.

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