Bil Browning

Introductory Edition [What You Need to Know]

Filed By Bil Browning | February 20, 2012 3:45 PM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: new feature, news analysis, opinion pieces, original reporting

As I mull over the future of Bilerico Project, one of the things that always stands out to me is our coverage of straight news versus our opinion and longer form analysis pieces. Our rise to fame came from our more in-depth posts and we've never been too good at getting breaking need_to_know.jpgnews on the site quickly.

Frankly, my thinking has always been that if 20 LGBT blogs all report the same story with the same facts, who's going to stop and read it on the 21st blog? Since most of the sites usually run with a few sentences and a blockquote from another news source, these type of posts aren't really original, they don't add to a discussion or analysis, and, well, they're boring as hell to write.

I enjoy doing original reporting, but this regurgitation of popular news stories just isn't something I (or most of our contributors) am interested in doing. I'd rather have fewer posts on the site that are more widely read than a ton of aggregated news stories that get no traffic and spur no conversations.

To solve the problem, we're going to try out a new feature called "What You Need to Know." We'll do a simple roundup of top news bits from around the web so everyone can check out the original sources of news stories. This way we can go back to concentrating on what we do best - original reporting, opinion pieces, and news analysis - while still touching on the relevant news and including some space for less popular interesting tidbits. It'll also give us a chance to link to other sites more - especially some of the smaller folks who'd love the extra traffic.

So what do you think of this idea? Do you come to Bilerico for news blurbs or the opinion/analysis and original reporting?

First installment is after the break.

  • Arizona Republican sheriff (and conservative Tea Party darling) Paul Babeu has been outed after threatening his ex-boyfriend with deportation if he didn't keep mum about the relationship. The ex is apparently not an undocumented worker, but he does have a cache of texts and sexy photos of Babeu. Babeu is currently running for Congress. Also running for Congress in Arizona is openly gay Democrat state representative Matt Heinz who is linked to Babeu in the texts in a possibly sexual manner. To his credit, Babeu didn't shy away from acknowledging his sexuality.
  • Westboro Baptist Church supposedly picketed Whitney Houston's funeral and tweeted a photo showing them demonstrating. The pic was Photoshopped; they weren't even there.
  • The Tennessee "Don't Say Gay" bill passed another hurdle in the state house of representatives. Michelle Bachmann's Minnesota school district with basically the same policy has agreed to change it after several teenagers committed suicide over the past few years.
  • The Most Interesting Man in the World has died apparently. No word on whether or not he drank Dos Equis. Still, I'd do anything to have my obituary end with "In recent years, Mr. Browning made his living playing baccarat, the card game also favored by James Bond."
  • ESPN has suspended one of their anchors for asking, "If there is a chink in the armor, where can Lin improve his game?" Max Bretos was suspended for 30 days, but it doesn't seem like he intended anything racial so I'm a little confused why he's being punished. An ESPN writer, however, that headlined an article with "Chink in the Armor" as a joke, deserved to get canned for resorting to racism.
  • Obama's proposed budget "eliminates 12 tax breaks to oil, gas, and coal companies, saving $41 billion over 10 years." Good. They seem to be doing just fine on their own without my money to help them.
  • The Oklahoma house of representatives has beaten back an attempt to reinstate Don't Ask Don't Tell in the Oklahoma National Guard. (No link for this one; news via Equality Network press release)

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