Best Gay + Lesbian Journalists

The award winners will be honored next month in Philly

LZ Granderson

Never before have gay issues made the headlines they’re making this year. Thanks to reporters who bring important stories to the forefront and editors who produce pieces that spotlight sometimes marginalized voices, coverage of LGBT issues has reached a mainstream pitch. That’s why recently, The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) announced the recipients of its Excellence in Journalism Awards, which will be presented at NLGJA’s National Convention & LGBT Media Summit in Philly (Aug. 25-28).

LZ Granderson of ESPN and CNN is being honored as Journalist of the Year. The Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Media will also be awarded to freelance journalist Michael Luongo this year.

The organization describes Granderson’s work on sports, race, gender and sexual orientation as “being topical and profound, often spurring water cooler (and social media) conversation.” He’s regularly investigated the relationship between race and sexual orientation in sports, making him an authoritative voice on the issue, especially in light of the recent – sometimes heated – discussion about coming out in the professional sports world.

Michael Luongo

Michael Luongo is known more as a travel writer with a social consciousness, delving into the gay world in the Middle East in several books and magazine pieces for The Advocate, Gay City News, Out and the Gay and Lesbian Review. His portraits of the gay Middle East provide readers from around the world with a glimpse into gay life in a region few LGBT people actually visit.

“With a huge increase in entries, the 2011 awards show the depth of quality journalism reporting on LGBT issues and lives. From legacy media – like Jeff Sharlet’s stunning reporting on homophobia in Africa for Harpers – to online citizen journalism – Bil Browning’s heartbreaking saga of Betsie Gallardo chronicled at Bilerico Project – NLGJA’s excellence in journalism awards recognize a variety of media and journalists who exemplify NLGJA’s commitment to fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues,” says David Steinberg, NLGJA’s National Board President.

Here’s a full list of winners:

NLGJA Journalist of the Year
Winner: LZ Granderson, ESPN and CNN
Honorable Mention: Chris Johnson, Washington Blade

Sarah Petit LGBT Journalist of the Year
Winner: Michael Luongo, Freelance Writer
Honorable Mention: Chris Geidner, MetroWeekly

Excellence in News Writing
First Place: Chris Geidner, MetroWeekly, Body of Work on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal
Second Place: Steve Freiss, The Daily Beast, “Sharron Angle’s Gay Campaign Cash Hypocrisy”
Third Place: Diana Scholl, City Limits, “For Transgender Homeless, Choice of Shelter Can Prevent Violence”

Excellence in Feature Writing
First Place: Jeff Sharlet, Harpers, “Straight Man’s Burden”
Second Place: Jeff Sharlet, The Advocate, “Dangerous Liaisons”
Third Place: Kate Brodoff and Ginny Graves, Glamour, “Meet My Two Moms”

Excellence in Network Television
First Place: CNN, Gay in America,  “Gary and Tony Have a Baby”
Soledad O’Brien, Reporter

Excellence in Local Television
First Place: “Gay in America: Tensions and Tolerance” – WTIC-Hartford, Conn.
Sarah French, Reporter
Sarah Aaskov, Producer
Charles Carter, Executive Producer
Ryan Wark, Editor
Matthew Nodland, Editor
Daniel Putnam, Editor

Excellence in Radio
First Place: State of the Re:Union, “Bayard Rustin: Who is this Man?”
Al Letson, Host-Executive Producer
Ian DeSousa, Executive Producer
Tina Antolini, Senior Radio Producer
Taki Telonidis, Senior Content Editor
Second Place, NPR, All Things Considered “Word Is Out: A Love That Dared Speak After All”
Neda Ulaby, Reporter
Tom Cole, Editor
Third Place, NPR, Weekened Edition Saturday, “Express Yourself: A Major New Showcase of Gay Portraiture”
Neda Ulaby, Reporter
Tom Cole, Editor

Excellence in Photojournalism
First Place: James Kirchick, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, “A Battle for Gay Rights in Belgrade”

Excellence in HIV/AIDS Coverage Award
First Place:  Jacqueline Gares, Series Producer, In the Life, “Legalizing Stigma”
Second Place: Trenton Straube, Poz, “Thou Shalt Not Fear AIDS”

Excellence in Online Journalism
First Place: Bil Browning, Bilerico Project, “A Christmas Miracle for Betsie Gallardo”
Second Place: Chris Geidner, MetroWeekly’s Poliglot blog, Proposition 8 in Court
Third Place: Cyd Ziegler, Outsports, “Kye Allums First Transgender Man Playing NCAA Women’s Basketball”

Excellence in Multimedia Journalism
First Place:
Kellee Terrell: News Editor/Project Manager

Excellence in Student Journalism
First Place: Newscene, iTV, “Day of Rememberence”
Alex Miller Pastore-camera and editing
Steven Commer – reporter/track (San Diego City College)
Second Place: Meredith Bennett-Smith (New York University), Pavement Pieces, “Transgender Rights Still Uncertain After DADT repeal”
Third Place: Laura Murray (Columbia University),, “Willing to Die for Equal Rights”

Excellence in Opinion Writing
First Place: Jonathan Rauch, The Advocate, “The Majority Report”
Second Place: Sean Bugg, MetroWeekly, “Learning Experiences”
Third Place: Alfred Doblin, The Record, “The Tragedy of Tyler Clementi”