Newsworthiness: A simple guide for the relevance of sexual orientation

Ask yourself: if this person were straight, would his/her sexual preferences in any way make a story?

If the answer is no, then there is no story. Find a different story.


Situations in which sexual preference is newsworthy:

  • A person who campaigns heavily against a certain orientation turns out to be that orientation.
  • A person is doing harm to the non-consenting, or is claiming consent from parties unable to give it. (Animals, children, some plants.)
  • A person has built a career around presenting an aggressive persona of one orientation, and is actually the other. Example: Neil Patrick Harris, on How I Met Your Mother. It underscores his acting ability, and/or exactly how stupid a subset of straight men act.


Unless these specific situations come up, a person’s sexual orientation is not newsworthy. If a person is out and it genuinely informs the work s/he does in the public eye, it may be something to account for but is not and should never be the core of any news coverage.