At its annual Los Angeles summer fundraiser, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) announced the four dates and venues for the 19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards taking place in 2008. The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBT community and the issues that affect their lives.
‘Fair, accurate and inclusive media images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people change hearts and minds.’
— Neil Giuliano, president of GLAAD
The first event will be held in New York at the Marriott Marquis on March 17. The Los Angeles celebration will return for the seventh consecutive year to the Kodak Theatre on April 26. San Francisco’s presentation will take place May 10 at the San Francisco Marriott. For the third consecutive year, GLAAD’s event honoring LGBT images in Spanish-language media will be held in South Florida on April 12 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
“Fair, accurate and inclusive media images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people change hearts and minds,” said Neil Giuliano, president of GLAAD.
“The GLAAD Media Awards are our way of recognizing the outstanding work of journalists and entertainers who share the truth of our lives and our stories.”
At the event Giuliano also announced that GLAAD had conducted its annual review of the rules and procedures for the GLAAD Media Awards and GLAAD’s Board of Directors approved two significant changes to the submissions process. Effective immediately, GLAAD is opening its call for entries and will be accepting submissions for the GLAAD Media Awards on a year-round basis from this point forward.
The second change enacted at the Board’s June 2007 meeting is the decision that LGBT media images appearing in media created by and for the LGBT community are now eligible to compete for nomination in the existing categories.
“With the expansion of cable channels and niche programming, LGBT created and consumed media is more readily available than ever before,” stated Giuliano. “Our Board has decided to incorporate LGBT media submissions into the existing competitive categories. We welcome the opportunity for LGBT media to submit their journalism and programming for consideration.”
To ensure the integrity of the GLAAD Media Awards in a dynamic media environment, GLAAD reviews its nomination rules and procedures on an annual basis. In the 1990s, the GLAAD Media Awards had specific LGBT media categories. Due to a lack of submissions and a tension arising from the LGBT media that did not want to be judged and evaluated by GLAAD, the categories were eliminated in 2000.
In 2001, GLAAD created the Barbara Gittings Award to recognize those who have made substantial contributions to the development of LGBT media. This honor is not awarded annually, but is presented to worthy candidates when warranted. Recipients of the Barbara Gittings Award have included LOGO, here!, The Advocate, PlanetOut, In the Life, and, in 2001, Gittings herself.
The reincorporation of LGBT media into the GLAAD Media Awards is one of several systemic changes the organization has made. Last year, the organization added the “Outstanding Digital Journalism — Multimedia” category to reflect the increasing use of video and photography in online journalism. In 2003, GLAAD created the “Outstanding Reality Program” category and added Spanish-language categories to reflect GLAAD’s work in Spanish-language media.