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The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) recently announced its finalists for the 2013 National Magazine Awards, which are meant to applaud print and digital publications that have shown excellence in several categories, including reporting, features, profile, essays, and commentary. Though the society honors between five and seven journalists’ articles within each of the above categories, last year, not a single woman writer was noted as a finalist in these key areas, which naturally sparked discussion about gender bias in the judging process. This year, however, in the midst of increasing concerns about unchanging male-female inequality in publications as highlighted in the annual VIDA Count, the finalists were evenly distributed amongst men and women. A closer look at these women can be found here.
Last Wednesday, Mike Rice, the head basketball coach at Rutgers University, was fired after a video aired on ESPN showing him shoving and throwing basketballs at the players during practice, as well as screaming anti-gay slurs at them. ESPN got the video from Eric Murdock, a former employee for the team.
However, the university itself first saw the video back in November, at which point they chose to simply suspend the coach without pay for three games, fine him $50,000 and require him to go to anger management. Since Wednesday, three other employees affiliated with the team have resigned, including athletic director Tim Pernetti. On Monday morning, officials at Rutgers announced that there will be an investigation of the men’s basketball program and how the university chose to handle the situation. Also under consideration from the FBI is whether or not Eric Murdock was trying to extort the university when he made these videos.
On a more sobering note, the renowned film critic Roger Ebert passed away on Thursday, April 3 after announcing the day before that his cancer had returned. Although primarily known for his movie reviews, Ebert was also a staunch supporter of the gay rights movement. In March, he published a column in the Chicago Sun-Times called “How I am a Roman Catholic,” where he discussed how, in spite of his continued identification with Catholicism, he disagreed with the opinion of the Church on several matters, including homosexuality:
“My feeling is that love between two consenting adults is admirable.”
And in light of the controversy surrounding the legalization of gay marriage, it is sometimes difficult to remember that the fight has been won in several states, including New York. On Monday, Christopher Schelling and Augusten Burroughs were married in Staten Island. Schelling founded the Selectric Artists agency in Manhattan, which represents fiction and nonfiction writers as well as musicians. Burroughs, one of Schelling’s clients, is the author of eight books, including the New York Times bestselling memoir, Running with Scissors.
Lastly, after around two years of planning, the New York City AIDS Memorial organization finally announced the final design for the AIDS Memorial, which will be constructed in the heart of Manhattan’s West Village in honor of the 100,000+ men, women, and children of New York City who have died of AIDS related complications and the many individuals who have responded honorably to the crisis. The hope is that the memorial will help to continue spreading awareness about the history of the AIDS virus and the ongoing battle to find a cure.