After studying history and journalism as a Penn State undergraduate 40 years ago, one alumnus made journalism history this year.
Jim Buzinski, the co-founder of Outsports.com and a copy editor for the Los Angeles Times, was selected as a 2020 inductee into the NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists Hall of Fame. Buzinski was honored with his Outsports co-founder, Cyd Zeigler.
“It was a total shock, and very meaningful,” Buzinski said. “We started the site as a hobby, and what has made it worthwhile through the years — and respect came pretty quickly — was that what we were doing was worthwhile journalistically. We were breaking stories and getting calls from other media.
“We were treated as reputable, responsible journalists because other media had a blindspot. That validation was appreciated and important, and the Hall of Fame was a special honor.”
Buzinski and Zeigler founded Outsports in 1999. At first, the blog primarily covered the NFL, but it soon became a hub for sports news related to LGBTQ people. Since its founding, Outsports has reported on countless coming out stories, milestones and instances of homophobia and transphobia in sports.
Buzinski earned his bachelor’s degree at Penn State in 1980 and started his career with the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania. A native of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, he has been with the Los Angeles Times since 1999. Before that, he was the sports editor of the Long Beach Press-Telegram for 11 years, and had been at the Pasadena Star-News.
Buzinski and Zeigler were introduced as part of virtual ceremony in September and will be inducted in 2021.
The LGBTQ Journalists Hall of Fame was launched to honor outstanding LGBTQ journalists who have exemplified the association’s mission to advance fair and accurate coverage of LGBTQ communities and issues. To date, the LGBTQ Journalists Hall of Fame has honored 48 individuals, living and deceased, who have left a lasting mark on their profession through their own courage and mastery of the practice of journalism.