Press Pass Q (PPQ), the LGBT media newsletter, interviews the “Helen Thomas of the gay press” as PPQ describes him, former Washington Blade reporter Lou Chibbaro.

Here’s an excerpt:

PPQ: What have been the biggest changes that you have seen in the development, maturing and expansion of LGBT media?

Chibbaro: I believe the two biggest changes that have had a profound effect in developing and expanding the reach of the LGBT media have been the steady increase in advertising revenue from non-gay businesses beginning in the mid 1970s through the 1990s, and the advent of the Internet from the 1990s to the present.

For the Blade, increased ad revenue from many prominent local and some national advertisers enabled it to expand its staff and hire qualified professional reporters and editors who helped make the Blade a highly respected news organization within the LGBT community and the Washington metropolitan area.

The decision by businesses to embrace many LGBT publications as a site for advertising reflected the growing acceptance of gay people and the LGBT community in American society. In recent years, the Blade, like other mainstream print media, has encountered a drop in ad revenue due to evolving changes in the news business brought out largely by the Internet. Like all other media outlets, the LGBT media must now grapple with this shift in readership from print to online media.

As with many former Blade staffers, Chibbaro can now be found at the DC Agenda.