Reporting on the “Summer of Obummer”

PressPassQReporting on the ‘Summer of Obummer’” is the title of an article by Chuck Colbert in the July 2009 issue of Press Pass Q (tagline: “A Newsletter and Trade Publication for the LGBT Media Professional), which is published by Rivendell Media.

The article makes the case that the LGBT media have not only been covering how LGBT issues have been handled by the Obama administration lately, but that the LGBT media have been playing a more active role.

Here’s an excerpt:

“From President Barack Obama’s Gay Pride proclamation to a White House-held LGBT Pride celebration, last month was chock full of headlines, breaking news, and commentary. And LGBT media were all over the story of widespread impatience and increasing dismay with the president and his party over a perceived lack of gay civil-rights progress.

“According to the San Francisco-based Bay Area Reporter (BAR), some are calling it the ‘Summer of Obummer.’ But what role is the LGBT media playing in covering it?”

The article connects the dots between how the LGBT media covered the Justice Department brief upholding the Defense of Marriage Act to the granting of some benefits to federally-employed same-sex couples to the inclusion of Advocate reporter Kerry Eleveld in the White House press corps to the White House 40th anniversary celebration of the Stonewall riots. The premise is that coverage from the LGBT media at each turn influenced the next steps of the Obama administration.

If true, it does pose an interesting question. Does the LGBT media have more freedom than the mainstream media to blur the lines between activism and journalism?

Want to talk to the White House? You need to know this guy” is a sidebar to the article that interviews Shin Inouye. An openly gay Japanese American, Inouye is the official White House spokesperson to the LGBT media. He’s also a former board member of the D.C. chapter of NLGJA.

The sidebar takeaway: “Reporters with questions about LGBT issues should call 202-456-1414 and ask for Shin Inouye specifically.”

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