John Shields

The Leading Edge

Filed By John Shields | June 01, 2009 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Media, Politics

First off, let me state for the record that the newspaper, as we now know it, will cease to exist in the next few years. I'm thinking it's going to hit - or actually not hit - your driveway or doorstep around 2011. And I'm not the only one that believes this.

Secondly, don't shoot the messenger. As much as anyone else, I love to read the morning papers with a cup of coffee. As you flip through the pages, you find out things that you didn't even know were on the radar screen. You can't google that, and the feeling is priceless.

And finally, before I hit the "meat" of my article, the LGBTQ community typically leads - in everything from the neighborhoods we choose to live in to the way we process information to how we live our lives. That said, let's rumble. After the jump...

The New York Times is about to close The Boston Globe, which it owns. The Los Angeles Times is in a fight with itself about the best way to proceed. Rocky Mountain Times? Toast. Seattle Post-Intelligencer? Poof~!

How does this relate to the gay and lesbian community? Pretty simple, as it's a dog-eat-dog world out there, but let's break it down.

Gay and lesbian 'zines across the country are in a fight with each other. It's not personal, but there's an ever dwindling advertiser base and something's got to give. Again, our community usually leads on many levels, and so this is not surprising.

What is surprising is how we don't recognize the trend away from a physical product and towards the web, and how gay and lesbian egos can sometimes get so inflated that no one is aiming - they're just grabbing darts to pop each other's balloons.


This concept of the physical news product being replaced by a virtual one is not new. We've seen this coming for a long time. What is surprising is how vitriolic it is becoming. At one of the defining moments of the LGBTQ movement, we're eating our young.

As the new Managing Editor for Bilerico-DC, I was wondering what I should write as my first "official" post. This is it.

And it has to do with being proud of being part of the leading edge of the Bilerico family, of how news is produced and disseminated, how the gay and lesbian community deals with the "new" information age, and whether we destroy ourselves and our community in the process. Or find a new way.

We need to stop thinking about the future of publishing and start thinking about the future of reading.

Ichigo Ichie.

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