Because we now live in the ‘Alternate Universe’ of the Trump Administration and their continued war on the free press it is more important than ever we have an abundance of media outlets with excellent independent journalism which informs the public. It is also abundantly clear due to the continuing attacks on minority communities by both the Administration and the Republican controlled Congress how crucial it has become for underrepresented communities, like the LGBTQIA community, to have their own robust news outlets.
It is in that spirit The Washington Blade, the nation’s first and most acclaimed LGBT newspaper, announced plans to launch the Los Angeles Blade on March 24. Founded in 1969, the Washington Blade, the nation’s first LGBT newspaper, has been dubbed by the New York Times the “newspaper of record for the LGBT community.”
In making the announcement the owners of the Washington Blade, Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. named Troy Masters, a veteran of LGBT media, publisher and editor of the new venture. Veteran Los Angeles journalist Karen Ocamb was named senior contributing writer.
Upon his appointment Masters said “More than ever before, the health, safety and well-being of every LGBTQ American and immigrant depends upon media outlets dedicated to finding and reporting the most important LGBTQ news. For that reason I am now working with the Washington Blade, an internationally respected and LGBTQ-owned media brand that has served and supported the community for nearly 50 years.” He added “With exclusive access to the best and brightest LGBTQ writers and reporters in the nation, the Los Angeles Blade has us covered from WeHo to Dupont Circle, and from freeway to Beltway.”
Masters has worked in LGBT media for nearly 30 years. He founded Lesbian and Gay New York, (LGNY) in 1989. It was relaunched as Gay City News in 2002. He left Gay City News in 2015 where he worked as associate publisher, to relocate to Los Angeles and launch The Pride LA.
The Washington Blade currently has robust coverage of LGBT news around the world. In recent years there has been in-depth reporting on the LGBT community in Cuba and Latin America. The Los Angeles Blade’s focus will be on covering Los Angeles and California news, politics, opinion, arts and entertainment. It is important to recognize California is the home of 39.5 million Americans and often leads the nation in moving forward progressive ideas in all areas. In addition to its focus on California the publication will also include national and international coverage from the Washington Blade’s award-winning reporting team.
Washington Blade editor Kevin Naff, who will serve as national editor of the Los Angeles Blade said “We’re excited to bring the Blade’s nearly 50-year commitment to journalistic excellence to Los Angeles. We’ve assembled a top-notch, experienced team that knows and loves L.A. and they will deliver compelling stories, breaking news and focus on advertising solutions for local businesses.”
This new publication is an exciting step forward for LGBT journalism. The owners of the Washington Blade in recent years have set up the ‘Washington Blade Foundation’ whose mission includes expanding opportunities for aspiring LGBT journalism students who will now have the chance to intern at a great publication on both coasts and give LGBT journalists another outlet for their work in these difficult times.
The first edition of 20,000 copies will hit the streets March 24 at Los Angeles-area bars, restaurants, gyms and other locations popular with area LGBT+ residents. It will begin on a bi-weekly schedule with plans to publish weekly in the near future. For more information call Troy Masters at 917-406-1619.