NLGJA Announces Excellence in Journalism Awards & 2008 Hall of Fame Inductees

As the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association kicked off "NLGJA Goes to Washington," its 2008 National Convention & 5th Annual LGBT Media Summit, it presented the first of its Excellence in Journalism Awards.

Winners and honorees in ten categories will be announced as part of the convention, which is taking place August 21-24 at Washington, D.C.'s Hilton Washington Hotel.

NLGJA will also announce the induction of two new members of its LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame. Philadelphia Inquirer Metro Reporter Gail Shister and writer Richard Goldstein join a list of pioneering LGBT journalists that includes NLGJA founder Leroy F. Aarons, filmmaker Marlon Riggs and journalists Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen.

2008 Excellence in Journalism Awards

NLGJA's Excellence in Journalism Awards were established in 1993 to foster, recognize and reward excellence in journalism on issues related to the LGBT community. In addition to Journalist of the Year and the Sarah Pettit Memorial Award, awards are presented for HIV/AIDS coverage, written news, written feature, written opinion/editorial, radio, television, photojournalism, new media and student journalism.

NLGJA Journalist of the Year

Presented to Martha Irvine, Associated Press
Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Media

First Place presented to Laura Douglas-Brown, Southern Voice
Second Place presented to Lou Chibbaro, Jr., Washington Blade
Third Place presented to Kynn Bartlett, Colorez!
NLGJA Excellence in News Writing Award
Sponsored by Hearst Newspapers

First Place presented to Joseph Contreras & Team, Newsweek International, "Legal in Unlikely Places"
Second Place presented to Victoria A. Brownworth, Philadelphia Gay News, "Killing Ourselves with Hate: Suicide in the GLBT Community"
Third Place presented to Chris Johnson, Washington Blade, "Media, Military Kept Soldier in Closet After Death"
NLGJA Excellence in Feature Writing
Sponsored by Hearst Newspapers

First Place presented to Michael Luongo, Gay City News, "Our Man in Baghdad"
Second Place presented to David Whitley, Orlando Sentinel, "A Personal Journey of Self-Discovery"
Third Place presented to Laura Grotz, Renee Fields, Rachel Williams & Dominick Pizorno, RenoOut Magazine, "T is for Transsexual"
NLGJA Excellence in Writing Award Opinion/Editorial
Sponsored by Hearst Newspapers

Presented to LZ Granderson,, "Harrowing Incident a Troubling Reminder of Homophobia"
NLGJA/Seigenthaler Excellence in Network Television

First Place presented to Cory Gnazzo, Caroline Sommers, Keith McKay & Team, MSNBC, "Born in the Wrong Body – Girls Will Be Boys"
Second Place presented to Joseph Kepnes, Tom Goldstone, Kim McCabe, Jeanne D'Agostino & Alison Ginsberg, CNN, "Uncovering America: Transgendered 7 Year-Old"
Third Place presented to Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, Paula Zahn Now: Science of Sexuality: Nature vs. Nurture"
NLGJA/Seigenthaler Excellence in Radio Award

Presented to Madeleine Brand, Nihar Patel & Rick Holter, NPR, Day to Day, "Sportswriter Embarks on New Life as a Woman"
NLGJA/RTNDA Excellence in Online Journalism Award

First Place presented to, "Fighting for Acceptance"
Second Place presented to Nova Safo, Yahoo! News, "Courting the Gay Vote"
Third Place presented to Carl Sullivan,, "Legitimate Journalism or Witch Hunt" (Writers: Chris Crain & Michelangelo Signorile)
NLGJA Excellence in HIV/AIDS Coverage Award

Presented to News & Notes, National Public Radio
NLGJA Excellence in Student Journalism Award

First Place presented to Colin Dugdale, Indiana University, "Black Thongs, Leather Pants & Angel Wings"
Second Place presented to Rachel Abbey, Kent State University, "On the Path to Domestic Partner Benefits in Ohio"
Third Place presented to Adam Griffiths, Kent State University, "Saying No to Domestic Partner Benefits"
LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame

Established in 2005 as part of NLGJA's 15th anniversary celebration, the LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame honors individuals who made exemplary contributions through their careers to NLGJA's mission of promoting fair and accurate coverage of issues affecting the LGBT community.

Gail Shister was among the first "out" reporters in U.S. mainstream news media when she joined the New Orleans States-Item (now Picayune) in 1975 as its first woman sportswriter. Four years later, she broke the same barrier at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Shister was named The Inquirer's television columnist in 1982. Widely recognized as one of the country's foremost observers of the industry, Shister's news-breaking column ran for 25 years and was distributed to more than 500 newspapers. On the Web, she had her own link on the Drudge Report.

Now a metro reporter for The Inquirer, Shister writes profiles for Page One. She is a columnist for and appears regularly on CNN's "Reliable Sources." She teaches writing at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is an adjunct professor in the English Department.

Shister served as vice president of NLGJA and won the Distinguished Service Award in 1997. She and her partner, photographer Penny Jeannechild, have three children

Richard Goldstein has been writing about the intersection of politics and pop culture for more than four decades, starting by covering the 1960s rock scene for New York's Village Voice. He soon became a regular contributor and, eventually, editor and executive editor.

Goldstein was fired by the Voice in 2004, a quarter-century after the first Queer Issue, but is still taking on the establishment. In The Attack Queers: Liberal Society and the Gay Right, and Homocons: The Rise of the Gay Right he unleashed an attack on the growing gay conservative movement led by activists such as Bruce Bawer and Andrew Sullivan.

His provocative prose is accessible in Voice archives and in several books, including 1 in 7: Drugs on Campus, Goldstein's Greatest Hits: A Book Mostly about Rock 'n' Roll and Reporting the Counterculture.

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.