lgbtmediaconveningWASHINGTON, D.C. — A national gathering of LGBT bloggers and journalists will be held in Washington, D.C., this weekend, with community newspapers and blogs across the country represented at a day-long Saturday seminar meant to increase skills and competencies.

The 2014 LGBT Media Journalists Convening is the fifth annual event and is presented by the The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association and sponsored by the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund.

This writer is attending the weekend conference.

Event organizer Bil Browning says the event is an interactive opportunity for journalists and bloggers to build new skills and learn more about LGBT issues.

“The convening brings together the top LGBT journalists and bloggers every year for a unique chance to network and improve their skills,” says Browning. “Many of the bloggers, for example, don’t have the backing of a newsroom that can help them improve and allow them to meet other professionals. LGBT media isn’t a high paying industry either, so we make sure to pay for all of their expenses so we can make it available to as many of them as possible.”

In addition to qnotes, several other southern LGBT publications will be represented among the more than 70 participants, including Atlanta’s The GA Voice, Out & About Nashville, Dallas Voice and South Florida Gay News.

Matt Foreman, director of Gay and Immigrant Rights Programs at the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund, says supporting LGBT news-media has been important to the foundation.

“LGBT newspapers and blogs are not only critical sources of information for our community, they also play a critical role in driving public opinion and action,” Foreman said in a statement. “The annual convening of LGBT editors and bloggers gives these thought leaders a chance to get in-depth information about leading issues of the day, such as immigration reform, create and strengthen networks and talk about mutual challenges and opportunities. Through the convening, the Haas, Jr. Fund is privileged to be able to support these hard-working and under-compensated journalists.”

The theme of this year’s convening is “Honing Our Game.” The journalists will attend sessions on topics like diversity in LGBT journalism, immigration reform and community writing. Past convening themes have included LGBT youth, immigration and the role of the LGBT community in the electoral process.

The convening will also feature a Friday reception with MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell and a public social and mixer on Saturday evening.

You can follow along with the conference on Twitter using the hashtag #LGBTMedia14.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.