Journalists to convene in New Orleans, honor Washington Blade

by Joe Siegel
NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists is going to New Orleans for its annual convention from August 29 through September 1. The event will be held at the InterContinental New Orleans. More than 450 journalists, news executives, communications professionals and educators are expected to attend.
Notably for an LGBTQ media outlet, the Washington Blade will be honored by the group with its inaugural NLGJA Legacy Award.
The NLGJA Legacy Award was created this year to recognize an outlet, publication or news organization that has exhibited innovative, high-quality and sustained news coverage of the LGBTQ community over an extended period of time, according to the group. The NLGJA Legacy Award is the association’s only award that is presented to an outlet, publication or news organization to recognize the work of its entire staff, rather than an individual.
“Thank you to NLGJA for this honor,” said Naff. “The Blade team works hard each day to hold this administration accountable, to cover hate crimes targeting our community and to shine a light on the plight of LGBTQ people around the world. We have helped write the first draft of LGBTQ history for 50 years and while much progress has been made, we look forward to the advances of the next 50 years.”
Hall of Fame inductee Lilli Vincenz
Representatives from the Washington Blade will be on hand to accept the NLGJA Legacy Award at the convention in New Orleans.
“We’re very excited to be headed to New Orleans for our 2019 National Convention,” said NLGJA Executive Director Adam Pawlus. “We’re excited to build on the momentum from last year’s convention, which was the largest in a decade. Our co-chairs have worked tirelessly to program the convention. There is truly something for everybody, and I’m confident that every attendee will leave having learned more about our community and developed new skills.”
Convention speakers include financial guru Suze Orman, Senior Vice President for MSNBC & NBC News Yvette Miley, Associated Press Executive Editor Sally Buzbee, and CBS News National Correspondent David Begnaud.
There are more than 30 breakout sessions and five plenary sessions on the agenda this year. Also, more than 25 organizations and companies will be exhibiting at the Career & Community Expo. Work that is produced by the students in the CONNECT: Student Journalism Training Project will be found at
A conversation between correspondent Mo Rocca and CBS Sunday Morning Executive Producer Rand Morrison will be the focus of a Friday morning session. Morrison and Rocca will focus on ways of keeping broadcast news appealing to audiences amid heavy competition from cable news outlets.
Hall of Fame inductee Steve Rothaus
Other plenaries include “Straight Money Talk with Suze Orman,” “Fact Checking in a Trumpian World,” “Driving the Rainbow Wave: LGBTQ Women,” “Perfect Podcasting: Finding Your Voice,” “How I Survived as a Freelance Writer,” “Reporting on Bi+ Identities,” and “Stonewall 50.”
There will also be a New Ways: Reporting HIV & AIDS Today workshop, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control Act Against AIDS program. NLGJA has a partnership with the CDC’s Partnering & Communicating Together (PACT) for the Act Against AIDS program.
Opening and closing receptions will “feature local musicians celebrating NOLA’s rich music tradition,” said Dillon Lewis, NLGJA’s communications and marketing manager.
Ahead of its convention, NLGJA named three new people to its LGBTQ Journalists Hall of Fame. They include Steve Rothaus, who worked at the Miami Herald for over 30 years covering LGBTQ issues; Kara Swisher, an award-winning business journalist who co-founded and is editor at large of the website Recode; and Lilli Vincenz, who co-founded The Gay Blade, a precursor to the present-day Washington Blade. They will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the convention on Aug. 31.
The group has also announced that its 2020 convention will be held in Chicago September 10-13, 2020.
For a complete convention schedule, visit

Volume 21
Issue 5

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August 21, 2019