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Mission & History

Our Mission

We foster fair, inclusive LGBT narratives through peer-to-peer empowerment of journalists and other storytellers.

Our Vision

We have a dream that our expertise as LGBT journalists will be valued as thought leaders in all media, across beats and in other industries.

NLGJA at a Glance

Founded in August 1990 by the late Leroy (Roy) F. Aarons, NLGJA is an organization of journalists, media professionals, educators and students working from within the news industry to foster fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues. NLGJA opposes all forms of workplace bias and provides professional development to its members.

NLGJA's National Board of Directors, chapter leadership, and members come from rural to major metropolitan print, broadcast, and online newsrooms, as well as community-based LGBT media, academic institutions, and the public relations and communications profession. Our strength and respect in the industry comes from the diversity of our membership.

NLGJA is a 501 (c) 3 organization.

NLGJA's History

In April 1989, the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) mandated that ASNE conduct its first ever survey of LGBT journalists in American newspapers. In April 1990, Roy Aarons presented the results of the landmark survey, Alternatives: Gays and Lesbians in the Newsroom, at ASNE's national convention in Washington, D.C. and simultaneously came out publicly.

Inspired by the report, LGBT journalists from across the United States and across media platforms expressed a desire to create a professional organization. Under Roy's guidance, NLGJA was formally incorporated in 1991 and chapters were formed throughout the country.

True to its founders' goals, NLGJA is a strong voice in the news industry, educating newsroom decision-makers about coverage of the LGBT community, promoting non-discrimination policies and the establishment of equal benefits, and creating educational opportunities to support the next generation of LGBT newsroom leaders. The dramatic positive shift in the quality and quantity of news coverage of the LGBT community is due to members working within their newsrooms to educate peers about fairness and accuracy.

NLGJA's Goals

  • Enhance the professionalism, skills and career opportunities for LGBT journalists.
  • Strengthen the identity, respect and status of LGBT journalists in the newsroom and throughout the practice of journalism.
  • Advocate for the highest journalistic and ethical standards in the coverage of LGBT issues.
  • Collaborate with other professional journalist associations and promote the principles of inclusion and diversity within our ranks.
  • Provide mentoring and leadership to future journalists.