Best wishes for a happy holiday season from all of us at the Washington Blade and thanks for your continued support of our work. We value our readers, advertisers, sources and community partners. The need for that support becomes more acute in 2017 as we strive to continue our mission of informing the LGBT community in the face of an adversarial new presidential administration. We will continue to hold public officials accountable, investigate and publicize hate crimes, monitor LGBT-related legislation and court rulings and so much more, only we’ll likely be doing it from the outside looking in.
The past eight years have been an incredible journey and we’ve worked hard to bring you all the news from the front lines. For those of us who were around for the George W. Bush administration, we know what’s coming next: news blackouts, unresponsive government sources, attacks on LGBT equality and worse under President-elect Trump, whose minions have hinted at unprecedented efforts to dodge accountability by sidelining the media. There have been threats to do away with daily press briefings and crass stunts aimed at undermining the credibility of journalists, from attacking reporters at Trump rallies to this week Trump posing for photos at Mar-a-Lago with the press pool in an effort to further erode their credibility. Those reporters should stop letting Trump use them and start doing their jobs.
But back to the Blade. In case you missed an issue or two, here are a few highlights from our 2016:
The Blade remains the only LGBT-focused media outlet credentialed in the White House briefing room. We are there each day, so when you hear Josh Earnest and other officials answering LGBT-related questions, it’s often a Blade reporter asking them.
We are also the only alternative media outlet in the White House pool rotation, meaning one day per month, a Blade reporter shadows the president and reports what happens to the world.
The Blade is a member of the White House Correspondents Association; we attend the WHCA dinner each year, again the only LGBT outlet to do so.
We are in the State Department each week, holding officials accountable for U.S. response to anti-LGBT activities abroad.
This year, we sent a team of three reporters and a photographer to cover the Republican and Democratic national conventions.
When news broke of the Pulse nightclub massacre, I jumped on a plane with a reporter immediately to report from Orlando and conducted an exclusive interview with the Florida governor in which he, for the first time, acknowledged our community was targeted.
We conducted an exclusive LGBT interview with Hillary Clinton just days before the election.
Our reporters traveled to numerous international destinations to cover the plight of the LGBT community abroad, including to Cuba, Israel, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and others.
On the corporate giving side, we sponsored a wide array of community events and organizations, from Capital Pride to SMYAL to the DC Gay Flag Football League and many, many others. In total, we gave more than $200,000 in in-kind support to our community in 2016. Giving back is a key part of our corporate culture at the Blade.
This list is by no means comprehensive. There are big changes coming to Washington following the election. Your continued support of our work in 2017 will help ensure our success in fulfilling our mission of informing the LGBT community locally, nationally and internationally about issues important to us.
Again, thank you for supporting the Blade. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly with questions or story ideas. We want to hear from you. And best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season.
Kevin Naff is editor of the Washington Blade. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.