The University of Utah Department of Communications will present the “Service to Journalism” award to QSaltLake publisher and editor Michael Aaron at their 59th Annual Communication Awards Banquet April 2.
The Communication Awards Banquet honors students who have won awards or scholarships, and new members of Kappa Tau Alpha, the national honor society for students in journalism and mass communication. In addition, distinguished members of the community are also honored.
The four recipients of the Quintus C. Wilson Alumni Achievement Award this year are: Desmond C. Barker, president, Des Barker Associates, Inc.; Randy Horiuchi, member at-large, Salt Lake County Council; M. Gordon Johnson, chairman of the board, Ensign Properties; and Holly Mullen, executive director, Rape Recovery Center
The banquet will be held Wednesday, April 2, at 6 p.m. at the Little America Hotel Main Ballroom, 500 S. Main Street in Salt Lake City.
Michael Aaron is the editor and publisher of QSaltLake, Utah’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and ally news and entertainment magazine and also publishes the QPages directory of LGBT-friendly businesses. He founded the publication in 2004, seeing a need for professional journalism for the LGBT community as Utah voters went to the polls for Amendment 3, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman and blocked any attempts at civil unions for same-sex couples. Aaron published Triangle Magazine in the late 80s and early 90s.
Aaron has spoken on niche journalism at Weber State University, University of Utah, Utah Valley University and Salt Lake Community College as well as a few area high schools. He is on the Program Advisory Committee for the Salt Lake Community College Media & Web Design Technology Department.
In the 80s and 90s he was a gay activist. He restarted the then-Gay Student Union at the University of Utah in 1982 and served as its president for four years. He also was chair of Gay and Lesbian Utah Democrats, founder and chair of the Anti-Violence Project, founder and president of the Utah Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, founder of the wine group qVinum and currently serves as the marketing director and singer of the Salt Lake Men’s Choir.
Aaron has received the Utah Pride Festival’s Kristen Ries Community Service Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from both the Utah Pride Center and the Royal Court of the Golden Spike Empire, the Diversity is Great Leadership Award, and was chosen by the Community Foundation of Utah as one of the “Enlightened 50” in 2013.
Aaron is a University of Utah alumnus.