IN THE LIFE MEDIA | itlmedia.org | 09/25/12
ITLM ANNOUNCES A NEW DIRECTION
September 5, 2012
In The Life Media was founded in 1992 on the belief that real stories about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are our greatest asset in the fight for equality. By bringing those stories into living rooms across the country for the past 20 years, ITLM has shattered stereotypes and helped pave the way for today’s LGBT movement. In the process, we have evolved into the most honored and respected producer of LGBT journalism on television and online.
Much has changed since our programming first premiered. LGBT people now figure prominently in television news and media. Lesbian and gay soldiers serve openly and proudly in the military. A majority of Americans, including our President, support marriage equality. Studies show that visibility is the driving force behind this rapid shift in cultural attitudes toward the LGBT community. As the media organization that pioneered LGBT visibility on television, we believe ITLM played a significant role in this historic progress. Today, we pause to celebrate ITLM’s remarkable legacy and announce a conclusion and a new direction.
In December, we will broadcast the final episode of our Emmy Award-nominated, signature television series, IN THE LIFE.
Creating high quality, in-depth journalism is expensive. However, we are committed to using our available resources to reach the broadest possible audience. New digital technologies provide the way forward for ITLM’s work to live on. ITLM has entered into conversations with other organizations to create a web-based, open-source repository of our video archive documenting the LGBT movement. We plan to make available thousands of hours of incomparable and never-before seen footage chronicling the evolution of LGBT rights in America. Our aim is to provide access to this material so that it will continue to be used to advance equality.
This media and its powerful impact would not have been possible without the unyielding support we’ve received from thousands of friends, donors and colleagues over the years. Your generosity has had a daily impact on thousands of LGBT individuals. Our programs have helped change lives and, in some cases, even saved them — providing media that helped set legal precedents for same-sex married couples, educating political leaders, preventing teen suicides and providing a lifeline to the larger community for isolated LGBT youth. We couldn’t be more grateful or proud to have had your partnership in our important work.
This announcement is bittersweet, but also exciting. We will have additional details that we can share soon regarding how ITLM’s archive will continue to help shape public dialogue, fight anti-gay media and inspire a new wave of compelling and provocative LGBT stories that will change hearts and minds.
In the meantime, we hope many of you will join us in celebrating ITLM’s legacy and hearing more about our future at our annual awards gala honoring Tim Gill, Jane Velez-Mitchell, and Paris and Christopher Barclay on Monday, October 1st at the beautiful New-York Historical Society in New York. The event will have the special significance of commemorating the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.
From the bottom of our hearts, and on behalf of the ITLM Board and staff, thank you for so many years of encouragement, collaboration and support. We could not have accomplished all that we have without you. We hope to see you on October 1st!
If you have any questions regarding the gala event or this announcement, please do not hesitate to contact our Interim Executive Director, Ellen Carton, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Henry van Ameringen
Jayne Baron Sherman
In The Life Media produces change through innovative media that exposes social injustice by chronicling lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender life and providing our audiences with effective ways to advance equality within and beyond our communities.
In The Life Media was founded in 1992 on the premise that visibility in media is vital to achieving equality and social justice for LGBT people. IN THE LIFE, produced by In The Life Media, was the first and remains the only national LGBT issue-oriented television program to feature the faces, voices and stories shaping the gay experience.
Today, In The Life Media counters injustice and misinformation through dynamic, responsive and compelling use of both traditional and new media, including social networks, video sharing, online community organizing and blogs. We are powered by the private funding and generosity of our members and supporters.
In The Life Media is a two-time Emmy Award nominee, a 15th Annual Webby Award nominee and the recipient of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Ribbon of Hope Award, the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association’s 2011 Excellence in HIV/AIDS Coverage Award and 2006 Seigenthaler Award for excellence in network television and a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding TV Journalism-Newsmagazine.
In The Life Media is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.
ABOUT THE SHOW
IN THE LIFE, produced by In The Life Media, premiered on six public television stations on June 9, 1992 and remains the only independent voice for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community on mainstream television. This 30-minute public affairs program on public television and worldwide via the Internet is now the longest running national television show documenting the LGBT experience.
For most of the history of broadcast television, gay men and lesbians were virtually invisible. If they appeared at all, they were portrayed as effeminate, flamboyant “sissies” or depressed, depraved, dissolute sociopaths. There was no Will & Grace, Queer As Folk or The L Word. Print media wasn’t much better.
It was in this climate that John Scagliotti, Producer of Before Stonewall, had a pioneering idea to bring real gay and lesbian stories to television. In pursuit of his vision, Scagliotti gathered friends and colleagues around his kitchen table, literally. The initial concept of IN THE LIFE was developed as a variety show, a vehicle to represent the diversity of the gay community. First titled OUT On TV, the program was finally renamed IN THE LIFE, from the Harlem Renaissance “In the life,” a euphemism meaning a prostitute or a homosexual.
In 1991, armed with only enthusiasm, energy, and a vision, Scagliotti began advertising for staff. Charles Ignacio, who was then working at HBO, responded to an ad in the now defunct magazine Outweek. Together, they searched the television landscape for an outlet that would air this first program by and for the gay community. They found it in public television, with its mandate to reflect diversity in our culture and reach under-served populations.
Despite right-wing opposition, IN THE LIFE premiered on six public television stations on June 9, 1992 with comedian Kate Clinton as the first host. The pilot episode featured a diverse group of performers: dancers, comedians, folk singers and the New York Gay Men’s Chorus. Still, the program faced significant resistance from many local public television stations.
First produced under the fiscal umbrella of the Media Network, the series matured considerably in its first three years, moving from an independent film production model (with deferred salaries and pro bono work) to operations befitting a professional television show. In 1994, In The Life Media was incorporated, in 1995, the organization received 501©3 nonprofit status, put together a board of directors, and began serious fundraising.
Since 1992, IN THE LIFE has been a pioneer on the media landscape, chronicling lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lives on television. We’ve documented the full spectrum of LGBT life, from the historic National March on Washington and AIDS Memorial Quilt to profiles of Matthew Shepard and the Stonewall Riots to personal stories of discrimination and triumph experienced by gay icons, leaders and “everyday” Americans. In The Life Media is not only a media pioneer, but also the keeper of a vital historical record.
Today In The Life Media remains at the forefront of LGBT journalism. Our media can be viewed online 24/7 through video-streaming and downloadable podcasts. Not only does web-technology put the viewer in control of what/when/where to watch, viewers are no longer dependent on program managers who schedule our show erratically or not at all.
Although LGBT issues are front and center in today’s cultural and political dialogue, we are far from achieving full equality. Until we do, In The Life Media will be there to help shape engaging, informed and in-depth programming on issues critical to the LGBT community and allies.
Together, we will continue to produce media that produces change!
SUPPORT THE CA– USE
In The Life Media impacts LGBT lives and policy in profound and personal ways. We help countless men and women embrace their sexuality and gender identity. We expose discrimination by elected officials and raise the nation’s consciousness on issues critical to LGBT individuals. We provide audiences with powerful tools to advance equality within, and beyond, their communities. And, we do it all without any funding from public television.
Join us in this important work!
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Become a major donor with an annual gift of $1,000 or more. Read more
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To speak to someone in our Development Department, please call 212.255.6012 ext. 310 or email email@example.com.
In The Life Media, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.