Sunday, March 30, 2014

Gay-friendly publication?

At the end of every post in this blog I include a series of tags that indicate the topics. It looks like these are not included for those who get posts through email. For those who are not social media savvy, the blog system allows a reader to click on a tag, displayed on the left side of the webpage, and see all the posts with that tag. I've used over 500 tags over the years and have about 275 in the tag cloud displayed on the page.

Only one of those tags is for a news source. I guess Newsweek was the first such tag and after that I realized if I kept one for every source I would end up with too many of them. Even so, I kept the Newsweek tag pretty much up-to-date. The Newsweek tag in the cloud says it has been used on 118 articles. One of those was posted yesterday.

I began reading Newsweek after college a few decades ago and it was the gay-friendly articles that finally made me realize I'm gay. I was in my mid-twenties by then. I've been reading ever since.

Last year Newsweek went digital and I read it on my little netbook computer. They changed the format of their webpages several months ago and, alas, the pages don't play nice with my netbook, frequently freezing it when a page loads. I read while I eat and I can sometimes eat half a meal waiting for a page to unfreeze. I'm now about 3 issues behind.

Articles have started showing a banner saying my subscription runs out in about 90 days. For the first time I'm beginning to question whether I want to renew. Newsweek did declare the paper edition has returned -- but the price is $150 a year.

Newsweek has gone through a few owners in the last few years. I haven't kept track. I hear the latest owner is IBT Media. The Guardian did a profile of IBT owners Johnathan Davis and Etienne Uzac. And the reason for mentioning this to you is that both of them have strong ties to Olivet University, an Evangelical Christian school. More importantly, they are apparently believers in gay-conversion therapy. That's the treatment that supposedly makes a gay person straight (with a teeny success rate) and that has been condemned by major psychology organizations as being of no help and likely significantly harmful.

Apparently in response to the article Davis issued a note that says there is no link between his personal views and his professional work. He also confirms his commitment to diversity of opinion. I immediately saw through that. Though he claims there is no link, values a diversity of opinion, and may even value his gay employees, will Newsweek continue to publish gay-friendly articles?

With that thought in mind I went looking through the table-of-contents pages for every issue since the beginning of the year. I found one article with a gay angle -- the one about the sport of figure skating being uncomfortable with gay skaters. And these issues included the time in which Utah had that brief span of gay marriage, Arizona finally vetoed the license to discriminate law, and several other states had marriage equality news.

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