Us gays and the News
For as long as we can remember there have been various techniques utilized by man to ensure news travels from the scene of the event, to the mass audience. For a long time this was done by word of mouth. When we became a little bit more sophisticated we took to carving things on walls and large stone slabs until the invention of the printing press created a new form of news delivery – the newspaper was born.
In the Newspapers lifetime it has had various “threats” to its survival. Firstly, economic crashes such as the great depression of the 1930’s in which more people were burning them for warmth or using them for insulation than reading the content or the television, which gave us another platform on which to provide people with news.
As history will tell you the newspaper survived these threats, the economy got better and Television news focused on the main stories you could find in a newspaper. These two platforms seemed to work in unison. But then came the 1990’s.
It was at this time that the News industry (in particular Newspapers) faced a threat like no other before it – The Internet.
Thanks to Mr. World Wide Web, the content of newspapers and televised news was made readily available online 24 hours a day.
At this point I hear you ask, “is this a history lesson, how does this affect us?”
And the answer is simple, when it comes to us gays; the Internet was our liberation.
For too long minorities like the LGBT community were repeatedly under represented in traditional news. Until this point, the news was in the hands of large corporations. At the time much of what newspapers had to say about us gays circulated close to what the government had to say, so you can imagine what type of things were being said. But then came the Internet, the news was thrust into the hands of the people. We set up online communities, LGBT news websites, politically acknowledged campaign websites… the list goes on.
For the first time in history our news was being broadcast and it was available for many to see (now we just have to get rid of those access barriers…)
My point is simply that taking the power off of the governments and oligopolies, which once controlled the news, and giving it to freelance bloggers and journalists was possibly a large contributing factor in the fight for gay rights. Since the invention of the Internet, more countries than ever have legalized gay marriage, outlawed hate crimes and given us the right to have children or adopt. I believe having the ability to represent ourselves in online news has been a big part of helping us achieve these milestones.
When it comes to the news world, the invention of the Internet has caused many problems, but when it comes to us gays, it has been amazing.