PA Diversity Guidelines, Mission, Principles, and Resource Requirements
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Valley Gay Press

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Deadlines for Publication: click here
Notes and Information: click here
General Guidelines and Principles: click here
Press Release Format Guidelines: click here
Guidelines for Columns: click here
Advertising and Classifieds: click here
TO SEE CURRENT AND ARCHIVED COPIES OF THE VALLEY GAY PRESS CLICK HERE


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Notes and Information

Please note that the Valley Gay Press type is small in order to include as much information as possible, keep costs down and to facilitate mailing. Making the type larger would cut articles and raise costs.

1000 to 1800 VGPs are printed each month. At least 500 issues are mailed out. The rest are distributed to drop-off places.

Current production and mailing costs far exceed membership revenue.


General Guidelines and Principles

The Valley Gay Press works to bolster and encourage local GLBTA not-for-profit organizations that are working for the equal rights, health and welfare of the GLBT community, by helping to circulate event and program information for these groups, at no cost to the group.

In return, VGP hopes that local GLBTA groups reciprocate by including information about the VGP and PA Diversity Network in their publications and email circulations.

Valley Gay Press will also circulate information about for-profit business events if they benefit not-for-profit GLBT groups in a significant way. VGP does this to encourage businesses to support the not-for-profits working for GLBT equality, advocacy and support. VGP especially supports businesses that have a history of supporting local GLBT not-for-profits.

Some restrictions apply to the publishing of press releases. PDN / VGP reserves the right to reject certain press releases.

The Valley Gay Press does not publish fiction or poetry at this time.

VGP does not support organizations that refuse to sign on to the VGP/PDN statement of Non-Discrimination**.
Click here to see statement of non-discrimination information.

Though VGP supports organizations that have missions of support in favor of disenfranchised classes, VGP will not support organizations that discriminate against minorities and/or women by excluding classes of people from participation due to prejudice. VGP supports equal rights for all people.

VGP recognizes that some religious organizations and churches have long histories of discrimination against the GLBT population, but may still say GLBT people are welcome. VGP also recognizes that a growing number of churches and congregations do fully include the GLBT population. Therefore, VGP will only support churches or congregations that ordain non-celibate GLBT clergy, and that perform same-sex marriages.

VGP expects employers to have explicitly stated non-discrimination statements that include sexual orientation and gender identity and expects businesses to give equal benefits to same-sex domestic partners. VGP supports groups working to encourage businesses to achieve those policies.

Press releases, columns and information for each paper must be to the editor by the press release deadline.

Valley Gay Press does not publish negative or critical articles or columns about local GLBT organizations, even if VGP disagrees with the way the group or organization is going about their efforts.

VGP does not support or publish information from groups that work against the GLBT community. PDN / VGP reserves the right to reject certain articles or columns.

In all cases the Valley Gay Press begins with the premise that being Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and/or Transgender is a healthy, normal, positive way to be.

The VGP presumes that writers and those submitting press releases all agree that the GLBT population is entitled to equal rights and protections under the law and that people who do not agree with these basic principles of fairness, are wrong.

Further more, the Valley Gay Press strongly believes that while people are entitled to believe in prejudice and discrimination, to worship in congregations that support discrimination, ignorance and hate, to have negative opinions about the GLBT community that result in marginalization, and while Valley Gay Press/ PDN would never advocate for the removal of equal employment, housing, or marriage rights of people who feel this way...
There is no moral or ethical requirement to respect discriminatory choices or opinions.

Valley Gay Press supports education and information that dispels ignorance, hate, and unfairness.

Valley Gay Press encourages all GLBT people to be out and honest about their lives and feels that it is the safest way for GLBT people to live. VGP feels that encouraging people to stay in the closet is negative for the GLBT community.

Please note that all GLBTA not - for- profit organizations and groups need volunteers, donations, support, workers, board members, membership, and contribution. Please limit requests for this kind of support to parts of articles or press releases with details about actual events. In other words, please do not submit press releases that contain only general requests for volunteers or contributions. Instead, add requests for volunteers for specific events to the end of the press releases about those events.

VGP recognizes that the adult GLBT population has a moral obligation to provide support and role models for GLBT youth by being out, being honest, being healthy, being informed and voting in every election for the equal rights of GLBT people.

These guidelines are subject to change



Press Release Format Guidelines

1. Write Press Releases in third person format. That means sentences should say things like:
“The Rainbow Group is holding an event.”
“The Lavender Organization invites you to a special fundraiser.”
“Join the Rainbow Group for an exciting evening.”
“This is the Lavender Organization’s 5th anniversary.”

Do not write press releases in first person format. Do Not write sentences like:
“We are holding an event.”
“We invite you to a special fundraiser.”
“Join us for an exciting evening.”
“This is our 5th anniversary.”
In other words do not use first person pronouns: We, our, us, I, my, me... in press releases.

Press releases should not be written in first person “we” format, because readers will assume that events are being put on by the Valley Gay Press or the VGP’s parent organization, PA Diversity Network. Press releases written in first person will have to be edited and changed by VGP editors. This means your press release will be altered, possibly in an unwanted or confusing way.


2. Do not send press releases in files. Press releases should be submitted to the Valley Gay Press in the body of an email as text rather than in a file, PDF or other format.

Releases that are sent in graphic Word formats, with colors and fancy text, will lose that format during editing, and each part of the stylized text will become a series of text characters that will have to be removed. Fancy formatting makes editing harder for VGP volunteers. Please send text in the body of an email without text styling. Send releases to:
lbradbury@padiversity.org.


3. Make press releases as short as possible.

The Valley Gay Press has 12 pages, and no ads. Average VGP’s sport over 60 articles in very small type in each issue. To fit every organization’s press releases into the paper, all press releases must be short and concise.

Avoid sentences like:

The Rainbow group is proud and pleased to announce that their next fabulous Youth Support fundraiser Is coming up. This fundraiser will be at the incomparable and stylish Colors Banquet Hall. The Colors Banquet Hall is conveniently located at 3042 Main Street in beautiful Hamilton Park. Be sure to join us the evening of April 22, 2007. The time of the event will be between the hours of 7pm and 10pm.

Write instead:

The Rainbow Group - Youth Support Fundraiser will be Saturday, April 22, 7pm to 10pm at Colors Banquet Hall, 3042 Main Street, Hamilton Park.

Valley Gay Press press releases should be less than 100 words. Concise press releases are the easiest to read and remember.


4. Though VGP often does investigative reporting on GLBT issues, VGP editors will not be responsible for searching for current event press release information in web sites or newsletters, ferreting out press releases in long general circulation news emails or for calling groups to get info. VGP editors rely on event information, sent by organizations in appropriate press release format, via email. If organizations want coverage of their events, please email the information to the paper by the issue deadline.

5. Events that occur every month, or events that are covered in the paper for more than one month prior to the event date, should be updated by the sponsoring organization regularly.

6. Press releases that do not comply with guidelines, that require significant editing, or that come in after the VGP deadline -- may not be included in the paper.

These guidelines are subject to change


Guidelines for Columns

There are currently 8 regular opinion columnists in the Valley Gay Press. Their columns usually range from two hundred to six hundred words. The optimum length for columns in the VGP is 400 to 450 words.

Columnists are encouraged to make their columns informative, personal, funny, shockingly interesting and of particular concern and relevance to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender population. Research on an issue is greatly encouraged.

Making the column “GLBT” is key. Columns that are mainstream, and do not mention or consider the GLBT population, are discouraged. After all, general information columns can be found in 100s of local publications. This GLBT newspaper has limited room and therefore concentrates on journalism and news for the local GLBT population.

Columns may be edited for length, copy and sometimes content..

Inappropriate or gratuitous language is discouraged.

The ideas and opinions expressed in columns are of the columnists and not necessarily of the VGP or PDN.

Inclusion in the Valley Gay Press should not be construed in anyway as an indication of sexual orientation or gender identity.

In some cases guest columnists are included in the Valley Gay Press. Writers who have an idea for a column are encouraged to contact VGP editor Liz Bradbury: lbradbury@padiversity.org.

There is no financial compensation for columns published in the Valley Gay Press.

These guidelines are subject to change


Advertising and Classifieds

At this time the Valley Gay Press does not publish advertising.

In some cases businesses that have given significant contributions for special events are included in a separate “Thank You” section of the paper.

One-time news articles about for-profit businesses - particularly new GLBT
owned businesses in the community -- may be included because they are news of interest to the community.

GLBT people seeking employment, housing, or GLBT friendly services may be included in the What's-That-About section of the paper.