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NLGJA Announces 2010 inductees to LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame

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Washington, D.C. – Today the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association announces the 2010 inductees into the LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame.

Lisa Ben, pseudonym for the editor of the first lesbian publication. From June 1947 to February 1948, a lesbian who used the pseudonym “Lisa Ben” wrote a small newsletter in Los Angeles called Vice Versa.  She relied on a laborious process at her office at the RKO Movie Studios where she would type one original with four carbon copies, then reload her typewriter, and repeat the process until she had ten copies. Initially, she relied on the postal service for delivery but learned that it was illegal to send material about lesbians through the mail, so she began to deliver them by hand. After nine issues she left RKO and Vice Versa ended. But her newsletters continued to circulate for several years providing news and information to women who had never seen any other information about lesbians.  In doing so, “Lisa Ben,” whose real name is Edythe Eyde, became a pioneering lesbian journalist.  NLGJA is proud to welcome Edythe Eyde into to the Hall of Fame.

Hank Plante began his journalism career as a copy boy for the Washington Post, a job he took for money rather than interest in news. Plante developed a love for journalism there, worked on the city desk, and became managing editor at Sentinel Newspapers. He then moved to television, in which he worked at KHJ-TV (Los Angeles), KRIV-TV (Houston), KMSP-TV (Minneapolis), WVEC-TV (Norfolk) and, in Washington, D.C., as assignment editor at WTTG-TV and news editor at WRC Radio. In the mid-1980s, Plante moved to San Francisco, where at CBS affiliate KPIX-TV, he covered the AIDS epidemic, work for which he earned a Peabody Award and local Emmy Awards. During 25 years at WPIX, Plante—one of the country’s first openly gay TV journalists—worked as a reporter, anchor, and political editor. At age 60, Plante was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle, and in March 2010, Plante retired from WPIX.

Richard Rouilard, one year out of law school, co-founded in 1979 the National Gay Rights Advocates of San Francisco, which was the first public interest law firm for lesbians and gay men in the United States. In 1981, he moved to Los Angeles, and began a journalism career that included being editor-in-chief of The Advocate. As editor-in-chief, Rouillard nearly tripled circulation, and upgraded the magazine’s layout and journalistic standards. He also worked as society and style editor for the now-defunct Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, and as a senior editorial consultant and contributor to the Los Angeles Times Magazine. Rouillard also was a founder of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. He died in 1996.

Founded in 1990, NLGJA is the leading professional organization for LGBT journalists with 20 chapters nationwide, as well as members around the globe.  This year, NLGJA celebrates two decades of advocating for fair and accurate reporting on LGBT issues.

More information on the 2010 National Convention and 7th Annual LGBT Media Summit in San Francisco is available at: http://www.nlgja.org

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