A taste of what’s in store at Montreal convention

aWATERThe August issue of Press Pass Q, a monthly newsletter about LGBT media issues, features two stories about the upcoming NLGJA Convention in Montreal set to take place September 10 – 13.  Reporter Chuck Colbert, who will be moderating a panel during the LGBT Media Summit filed two stories about what to expect during NLGJA’s first confab outside of the states.

Organizers are hoping that the international locale will be a draw in itself, as convention programming co-chair Fred Kuhr explained:

“Montréal is a city like no other in the United States,” said Kuhr, editor of Press Pass Q. “No matter how liberal you think your city is, no city in the? U.S. includes the LGBT community as part of the fabric of its civic being like Montréal.”

Along with a focus on giving attendees skills they can bring back with them to the newsroom, this year’s planners have also taken into account the downsizing of newsrooms all across the country and in all platforms, from radio and TV to newspapers and magazines.

Consequently, organizers are focusing on “the Monday-morning push,” said Tom Avila, convention program manager. “What new skills can I bring back to the newsroom?” In other words, professional development is a major programming piece – all aimed at making sure members have the necessary tools to be an essential employee or freelancer.

“Or to transition out of journalism,” said Jeff Truesdell, programming co-chair. “There are a number of people who have lost jobs or are threatened with losing their jobs. We’ve tried to take that into account,” providing programming “to point people in different career paths if they choose.”

The LGBT Media Summit will also shine a spotlight on the economic woes LGBT publications and news outlets are faced with, with one panel called “The Ad Wars” aimed at sharing best practices on how to drum up advertising and new revenue streams.

It will also further the discussion that took place at the media summit last year in DC on what access – or non access – LGBT reporters are finding in the nation’s capitol now that Democrats are in control.

Already, at least one request for a presidential interview with gay media – that of veteran journalist Lisa Keen – has been “turned down,” she said. Keen, through her Keen News Service, provides LGBT-related content for at least half a dozen weekly gay media outlets, including those in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, San Francisco and Seattle.

For info on how to register for the convention and media summit visit http://www.nlgja.org/convention/2009/index.htm


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