Newsquest reporter launches LGBTQ+ journalists network

Oxford Mail digital journalist Sophie Perry tells why she’s started up a supportive community and network for journalists who identify as LGBTQ+…..

For many journalists the high pressure nature of our jobs — from long hours to tight deadlines — means the comradery of community is an exceptionally important thing.

Connection, support and network are vital for our industry and enable us to learn from each other, tell stronger stories and be better than we were the day before.

As a young, LGBTQ+ journalist working in local media, I was on the hunt for a community specifically for LGBTQ+ journalists.

Sophie Perry

During my time as a Digital Reporter I have covered a number of LGBTQ+ stories including a little bit of LGBTQ+ history when I reported from the very first Bicester Pride event.

In my opinion, LGBTQ+ stories are not separate from local news — they are local news — and I wanted to connect with people who thought the same.

I was already part of a few small group chats for queer journalists and had a number of connections across social media but I wanted to be a part of something much bigger.

Seeing the brilliant work of groups such as We Are Black Journos and Women in Journalism made me want to join a thriving community made up of like minded queer people.

There was only one problem: there was not one.

A search on Google and social media turned up relatively empty, with the only similar group being an American organisation based in Washington D.C.

Honestly, I was shocked.

I could not believe in 2022 there was not a single public group for LGBTQ+ people in our industry to meet and connect with each other.

Thus, the LGBTQ+ Journalism Network was born.

The group aims to be a supportive community and network for people who identify as LGBTQ+ and work in, or are studying, journalism in the UK.

The LGBTQ+ Journalism Network is open to students, entry-level journalists, senior editors and absolutely everyone in-between.

I hope the group will be a positive place for people to share their success stories and big wins, job opportunities, best practice for telling LGBTQ+ stories as well as a space where people can advise and support each other.

Going forward I am hoping to run events for the group including social meet-ups and panel discussions, to further unite LGBTQ+ journalists across the industry.

Response to the group so far has been absolutely phenomenal and more than I could have ever expected. This is perhaps down to the fact that there was, and is, a need for such a group to exist.

The LGBTQ+ Journalism Network is live now and you can join the group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lgbtqjournalismnetwork

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The stories behind the stories, from the regional press in the UK

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