Mission & History

Mission Statement

We are a journalist-led association working within the news media to advance fair and accurate coverage of LGBTQ+ communities and issues. We promote diverse and inclusive workplaces by holding the industry accountable and providing education, professional development and mentoring.

Vision Statement

We envision fair representation and respect of diverse LGBTQ+ communities in newsrooms and news coverage.

NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists at a Glance

NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists’ National Board of Directors, chapter leadership and members come from rural to major metropolitan print, broadcast, and online newsrooms, as well as community-based LGBTQ+ 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: The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists History

In April 1989, the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) mandated that ASNE conduct its first ever survey of LGBTQ+ 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, LGBTQ+ journalists from across the United States and across media platforms expressed a desire to create a professional organization. Under Roy’s guidance, NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists was formally incorporated in 1991 and chapters were formed throughout the country.

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

NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists Goals

  • Enhance the professionalism, skills and career opportunities for LGBTQ+ journalists.
  • Strengthen the identity, respect and status of LGBTQ+ journalists in the newsroom and throughout the practice of journalism.
  • Advocate for the highest journalistic and ethical standards in the coverage of LGBTQ+ 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.