Christian Boone, a reporter for the AJC, took to the comment section as “atlmalcontent” of the CL article to defend his paper’s lack of coverage of Pride.
“Taking the paper to task for failing to cover Pride overlooks the fact that this is a festival/parade that doesn’t merit coverage. You can argue the paper fails to adequately cover the GLBT community, but what’s newsworthy about Pride?”
This year’s festival was important, and coverage worthy, for many reasons. Atlanta Pride celebrated its 40th anniversary this year (there’s your headline right there) while politicians like Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) spoke at the festival and its many affiliated events during the weekend.
Oh, and did I mention that Pride brings in a lot of money to the city?
In early October, Boone also took the Creative Loafing’s comment section to defend the AJC’s decision to exclude Pride from its coverage in a similar post.
“Breaking News: Gays Celebrate Pride!
“The AJC, like many other publications, could stand to bolster its coverage of the gay community. But a festival isn’t news, and failing to cover it is hardly some conspiracy to appease conservatives.”
That argument, though, overlooks the fact that the AJC routinely includes festivals much smaller than Atlanta Pride in its blogs and print editions. To see for yourself, search “festival” on ajc.com.
The AJC did cover Marietta Pride, though only with a 150 word preview. Still, that’s 150 more words than Atlanta Pride, a much larger festival, received in the days following this year’s festival. Maybe if Atlanta Pride were moved to Kennesaw, the AJC would send a reporter or two.
Shawn McIntosh, AJC’s public editor, said at the time that the paper “overlooked” Pride. We weren’t too thrilled with that response and neither were our readers.
And I’m definitely not happy with Boone’s assessment that the festival was not newsworthy.
Top photo: Tens of thousands of attendees gathered in Piedmont Park Oct. 8 – 10 for the Atlanta Pride festival (by Sher Pruitt)