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Tough but fair

Sixty Minutes broadcast journalist Mike Wallace passed away at 93 this month after a six decade career. His journalistic mantra was “be tough but fair.” That is exactly the philosophy of San Diego LGBT Weekly.

Many in our community think that our role is to protect LGBT institutions and leaders; nothing could be further from the truth. It is the responsibility of a good publisher, editor or journalist to be as unbiased as possible in news reporting. We have watched the concept of objective journalism erode during the last decade; Mike Wallace was the last of a dying breed. The irony is that his son, while the most unbiased of those at Fox News, is now part of the problem.

A publisher or journalist is supposed to ask the hard questions, expose hypocrisy and also provide the public with information that helps them inform their decisions. Whether it is a restaurant review, commentary on a political race or analysis of the spending of an LGBT non-profit, our responsibility is to seek the truth and inform the public.

Unbiased coverage means that sometimes what you print may not be helpful to a particular LGBT institution or leader. I am always shocked when someone asks, “Why did you publish XYZ that was hurtful to ABC?”

Should we not cover the concern over an LGBT organization spending millions of dollars on a building, or a politician that decides we are a “social issue” that he will not be concerned with in his campaign? I think not.

Our focus is upon news and entertainment that is developed by or of interest to LGBT San Diegans. When we cover political races our focus includes the actions of a candidate or his party with respect to LGBT issues. Other media outlets effectively cover issues like pension reform, the federal deficit or unemployment. It is the responsibility of LGBT Weekly and LGBT Weekly.com to cover issues that are particularly germane to LGBT San Diegans.

LGBT Weekly covers whether candidates support LGBT equality; marriage equality, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act or the repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. We also cover actions by candidates that may be offensive or detrimental to the LGBT community. If a candidate is supported by enemies of our community, reporting this information is fair game.

It is our duty to cover the actions of LGBT candidates in the same way that we cover broader community candidates. Recently, we ran a story about the mayoral candidates that have received the most support from those who support anti-LGBT causes. While the story was tough, it was also fair.

One of our competitors says that they cannot cover the mayoral race in San Diego due to a “personal relationship” with one of the candidates, yet they repost positive articles written by the media concerning that particular candidate and not the others.

This is the type of “Fox news coverage” about which you need to be vigilant. Our competitor has an agenda, to get their “personal relationship” elected. Our agenda is to inform you about the actions of the mayoral candidates with respect to the LGBT community. Good, bad or ugly; regardless of candidate.

We know that we are doing a great job when the leading gay candidate refuses to grant us an interview. Why? He knows that he is not going to get a pass on his internalized homophobia or deals he has made with people who are against LGBT equality.

Rest assured that LGBT Weekly has only one objective; to inform you. We will not endorse any political campaign but we will give you information that will help inform your decision. LGBT Weekly knows that our readers are smart and politically engaged people and we respect that.

Thank you for letting us provide you with information that is “tough but fair.” Should you expect anything less?



San Diego LGBT Weekly


Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=23408

Posted by on Apr 23, 2012. Filed under This Week. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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