Josh Robbins' HIV blog is nominated for a GLAAD Award
Nashville-based Josh Robbins' popular HIV-themed blog, I'm Still Josh, has been nominated for a GLAAD Media Award.
Recognizing news and entertainment media for their fair, accurate, and inclusive representation of the LGBT community and the issues that affect our lives, the GLAAD Awards have been presented every year since 1990. This is Robbins' first nomination. The I'm Still Josh blog has been in operation since Robbins' HIV+ diagnosis in 2012.
"This is the first nomination for a GLAAD Media Award," Robbins told me. "Imstilljosh.com has been nominated for numerous health blog awards and received recognition that always humbled me, but this nomination really is special to me."
"Since 2012, I have learned so much about what it takes to have a successful independent digital publication," he said, "specifically how to share articles that extend beyond my own personal journey living with HIV and attempting to cover all the issues relevant to others living well with HIV in a unique perspective."
According the GLAAD website, "Nominees are selected by Juries comprised of volunteers with interest and expertise in the particular media category they are judging. All media projects with LGBT images are evaluated using four criteria:
1. Fair, Accurate and Inclusive Representations
2. Boldness and Originality
4. Overall Quality
Nearly 700 GLAAD Media Awards voters contribute to the selection of award recipients in each category via online balloting. Voters are comprised of three groups: GLAAD staff and board, GLAAD Alliance and Media Circle members, and GLAAD volunteers & allies.
Robbins' noted the past year has been a particularly accomplished one for his website. "Over the past year, I had some big scoops including an exclusive Martin Shkreli video interview that broke national news, and capping off my HIV Guides by publishing the first Transgender HIV Guide and the first Bisexual HIV Guide--content that is important in the discussion of HIV, but not personal to my own journey," he said.
"My site is also one of the only HIV publications that holds a Health On Net accreditation for health accuracy--the same standard used for major health information sites. I also have a high threshold for content I include that is merely promotional of any companies or products and of course I haven't had typical display advertisements intentionally. I want to make it cool to talk about HIV online. I'm not saying make HIV cool, but rather make it okay to have articles and videos about the condition be topics of conversation and if not be a big deal. I think the images help too."
As for the run-up to the ceremony itself, Josh is hoping to capitalize on the additional popularity. "I'm going to connect with GLAAD to see what opportunities we can collaborate on surrounding the awards to use this moment to reach a larger population of queer individuals to either encourage them if they are living with HIV too or talk about prevention and education to the rest and see if I can add a few more ally's to the mix for all of us living with HIV."
"I don't really care about the hoopla," he said, "so much as I see it as an opportunity to make some fun content that will resonate with the readership and loyal following I've worked hard to connect with over the past 5 years. But this is a celebration of the experience and nothing I really did. I just love that HIV might get some time in front of the big show."