We at PGN grieve the murder of five journalists in Annapolis last week. And we applaud the determination of the staff of the Capital Gazette to carry on and continue what good journalism is: to print the news and community information so that citizens can be informed, regardless of the harm that may occur.
That’s important for you as our readers to know, but our readers, I presume, know our history and what we’ve endured over the years. You may not have contemplated the threat that LGBT newspapers in particular are going through at this very time.
As Trump continues to call out “fake news,” it makes every reporter in the nation a target. The mean-spiritedness and hostility he breaths and the anger he instills in his most fervent of supporters, coupled with the violence he has bull-horned from the podium, ensure that harm will eventually come to journalists.
Journalists are already seeing these attacks. What you are not seeing is how reporters covering the presidential rallies are being hassled both verbally and physically. Reporters do their job — they don’t complain about it.
If and when this pattern continues, those followers will pick targets they feel are against their political grain. LGBT media will be on that list — we already have been. This publication was on the hit list of the KKK.
And this message goes out to our very own community. Our reporters were threatened during the Mazzoni and PhiladelphiaFIGHT problems. We did not shrink from our responsibilities then, and won’t in the future. But we will do something different. When one of our reporters is threatened by a protester, it will be reported in these pages.
While we fight that fight, we are personally as an industry being attacked by Trump’s tariffs. One of his tariffs hit newsprint — the very paper you are reading. This is an attack on the press. Think of how you learned about Trump’s kidnapping of babies: That was a free press. Think of who keeps the light shining on the Nizah Morris case: a free press. It’s a free press he wishes to silence.
It’s a sad week for journalists, but it also serves to make us realize and appreciate our responsibilities. We will not fail you!
Mark Segal, PGN publisher, is the nation’s most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. You can follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarkSegalPGN or Twitter at https://twitter.com/PhilaGayNews.