Prez race raises question of objectivity in journalism

by Joe Siegel

A recent poll from GLAAD found that 94 percent of LGBTQ Americans are motivated to vote, with those residing in seven swing states preferring President Joe Biden over former President Donald Trump by a margin of 57 points.

“LGBTQ registered voters are highly motivated as the presidential and key congressional campaigns approach, with 94% indicating they are definitely (83%) or probably (11%) voting this November,” according to the report from GLAAD, released March 7. “… LGBTQ likely voters prefer President Joe Biden over Donald Trump by +53 percentage points nationwide (68% Biden / 15% Trump) and by +57 percentage points in seven current close contest states: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.”

Will such polling data have any impact on how LGBTQ media cover the election? Should Donald Trump be entitled to equal coverage? 

“We mainly focus on Chicago-area stories with original reporting,” said Tracy Baim, editor of the Windy City Times in the Democratic-leaning state of Illinois. “Our national coverage is through the lens of the Chicago LGBTQ community and what it is doing related to that work, whether the presidential race, legislative actions, lobbying, etc.”

Baim added that she believes there is no such thing as objective journalism. “Secondly, there is no such thing as objective when it comes to journalism, or really anything,” Baim added. “The sources you ask, the stories you decide to do, your overall approach … are all subjective things. So we can’t give up something that does not exist to begin with. Coverage of this race will focus on LGBTQ+ angles where we find them, and that tends to be on the Democratic and Independent sides.”

In Republican-leaning Ohio, “I think this is where we always center our mission of amplifying LGBTQ+ Ohioans,” said Ken Schneck, editor of the Buckeye Flame based in the Cleveland area. “Although that does indeed skew our readership, we still stick to all journalistic standards. We are not going out of our way to find Republican voices, but have indeed printed commentary from LGBTQ+ Republicans previously and would do so again if the thoughts contained therein did no harm.”

In Texas, another Republican state, “Honestly, I think it would be really irresponsible, given everything we actually know about Trump and the policies he put in place when he was in the White House, for an LGBTQ media outlet to treat him as a reasonable option in any way for LGBTQ voters,” said Tammye Nash, managing editor of the Dallas Voice. “But I also want to stress that Trump really should not be considered a mainstream Republican candidate. I absolutely do think LGBTQ media outlets should give mainstream Republican candidates attention and report on them in a non-partisan way. But Trump and MAGA extremists should be treated as exactly that — extremists.”

Nash believes objectivity becomes very difficult to maintain when it comes to covering extreme right-wing viewpoints.

“When candidates at any level lie so blatantly, deny proven science and openly promote hatred, bigotry and fascism, it is our job as responsible journalists to call out their lies and to point out their extremism at every turn,” Nash added. “Dallas Voice wants to make room for reasonable conservative LGBTQ voices. But finding a reasonable voice — of any sexual orientation or gender identity — supporting Trump and other MAGAs is, in my experience, impossible.”

The full report is available at

Volume 26
Issue 1

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