The first part of the training was essentially just a summary of what GLAAD does and why. I would encourage you to click around their website a little bit to get an idea of it, but the general idea is that they want to ensure news stories are fair (reporters contact LGBT people or allies, not just anti-gay people), accurate (factually correct, and not defamatory), and inclusive (including LGBT people even in stories that aren't directly about them, when appropriate). Next, they went into more detail about specific words that should be used/avoided by reporters. If you don't think words matter, take a look at the numbers from this CBS news poll from a few months ago:
The other good/bad word pairs I managed to jot down were "adoption by gay people" (good) vs. "gay adoption" (bad) and "sexual orientation" (good) vs. "sexual preference" (bad). Lots of other word-choice recommendations can be found in GLAAD's official Media Reference Guide.
Because the media works on a 24-hour news cycle, information and stories are constantly being written and published, which is why it's important for organizations like GLAAD to react quickly. If a story appears on the AP wire this afternoon, GLAAD can act and possibly get parts of it reworded before it goes to print in newspapers the next morning. Even after something goes to print, it's important to act quickly. Newspaper editors aren't interested in complaints about stories posted several weeks ago.
The direct action that volunteers take, is filing incident reports. All this really means is sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org telling them about anything defamatory that you find in the media, including where you found it (whether it's a newspaper, magazine, internet, TV, etc.) and why you think it's defamatory. There was a little more information given in the training (for example, noting that you have to treat a news story different from the way you treat an opinion piece, although both can be defamatory) but really, that's basically it!
The trainers mentioned that GLAAD also has a guide about how to write effective letters to the editor (of course, most of the information would also apply to blog posts and comments, etc.)
Anyway, if you find yourself fighting defamation against GLBT people or anyone else, let me know! And I will keep you updated on how this goes for me.