Where are All the Voices? Texas LGBT News
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An important medium for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people is extinct in Texas: LGBT newspapers. One LGBT news institution continues publishing, but, as this research documented, the publisher of the Dallas Voice (Voice) has transformed his publication from a weekly newspaper to a weekly news magazine. Through in-depth interviews and a content analysis, I documented how this publication evolved as economic and technological pressures affected the entire publishing world. Previous research has documented the importance of LGBT media; it helps individuals cultivate their identities and gain an understanding of themselves and the social-political landscape around them. LGBT publications also facilitate these individuals to speak to each other and the mainstream society around them. Voice’s history mirrors a documented transformation among many of the country’s notable LGBT publications: a move away from functioning as an “alternative” medium to operating as a “niche” publication. Such a change means the Voice had to revamp their content in order to attract mainstream advertisers and stay in touch with a changing audience. The difference between operating as an “alternative” versus “niche” publication is important to understand because it means the difference between functioning as a “public service” versus a business. My research also details how the Voice’s publisher and senior news editor envision their publication in the 21st century. They also discuss how Voice must continue to evolve and adapt to a readership that is also undergoing enormous transformations.