COMM409 – Final Presentation

Trans Misrepresentation
in the Media
Sara Payo
Dr. Vicaro
COMM 409
• Gender Identity – “One's internal, personal sense of being
a man or a woman (or a boy or a girl)”
• Transgender – “An umbrella term … for people whose
gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the
sex they were assigned at birth”
• Transsexual – “An older term which originated in the
medical and psychological communities. While some
transsexual people still prefer to use the term to describe
themselves, many transgender people prefer the term
transgender to transsexual. Unlike transgender, transsexual
is not an umbrella term, as many transgender people do
not identify as transsexual. It is best to ask which term an
individual prefers”
• Cisgender – “is a term used to describe people who, for the
most part, identify as the gender they were assigned at
• Ideological discourse
– “The expression of ideology in discourse is usually more than just an
explicit or concealed display of a person's beliefs, but mostly also has a
persuasive function: speakers want to change the mind of the recipients in
a way that is consistent with their beliefs, intentions and goals” (van Dijk
• Witnessing
– Report on what audience cannot experience first-hand
• Ethical dilemmas/conflicts
– Seek truth and report it
• Avoid stereotyping
• Give voice to the voiceless
– Minimize harm
• Show compassion
• Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity
– Act independently
– Be accountable
• Admit mistakes and correct them promptly
Journalism & Mainstream Media
• News coverage has served to misrepresent and
sensationalize the trans community
Narrow in focus
• Fox News
• Katie Couric “Katie” talkshow
• “Coverage that portrays transgender people in
a negative light is not news, but propaganda
that further stigmatizes a community which
faces horrific violence and discrimination at
alarming rates. Negative and inaccurate
depictions of transgender people in the media
are not only unethical, they are dangerous”
(Maza, “Watch”).
Transpeople in Pop Culture/Media
• Recent news coverage on transgender individuals
Laverne Cox
Carmen Carrera
Janet Mock
Chaz Bono
Chelsea Manning
Violence and Hate Crimes
• “Media Ignores Rash of Assaults on Transgender
Women” - June 6, 2012
• “Transgender Woman Dies in Possible Hate Crime” –
Aug 23, 2013
• “What Grantland Got Wrong” – Jan 20, 2014
Works Cited
Bernstein, Jacob. “In Their Own Terms: The Growing Transgender Presence in Pop Culture.” 12 Mar 2014. NY Times. <>.
Brinker, Luke. “Fox News, CNN Ignore Their Own Advice On Transgender Coverage.” 27 Jan 2014. <>.
Brinker, Luke. “Watch MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry Cover Transgender Issues The Way They Should Be.” 3 Feb 2014. <>.
Dishneau, David and Pauline Jelinek. “Manning Wants To Live As A Woman Named Chelsea.” 22 Aug 2013. Associated Press. <>.
Gilles, Kate. “Gender-Based Violence Against the Transgender Community Is Underreported.” Dec 2011. <>.
Grant, Jaime M., Lisa A. Mottet, Justin Tanis, Jack Harrison, Jody L. Herman, and Mara Keisling. “Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender
Discrimination Survey”. Washington: National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 2011.
“GLAAD Media Reference guide – Transgender Glossary of Terms.” GLAAD. Web. <>.
Hannan, Caleb. “Dr. V’s Magical Putter: The remarkable story behind a mysterious inventor who built a ‘scientifically superior’ golf club.” 15 Jan 2014. Grantland. Web.
Haughney, Christine. “‘He’? ‘She’? News Media Are Encouraged to Change.” 22 Aug 2013. NY Times. Web. <>.
Jones, Saeed. “Transgender People Are Paying The Price For The Media’s Willful Ignorance.” 19 Jan 2014. Buzzfeed. Web.
Matlow, Rachel. “Transgender issues: Public awareness is on the rise.” 4 May 2014. <>.
Maza, Carlos. “Experts: Fox News' Coverage Contributes To Violence, Discrimination Against Transgender Community.” 18 June 2013. Media Matters. Web.
Maza, Carlos. “Watch A Transgender Activist Ask A Television Host To Prove Her Womanhood.” 30 April 2014. Equality Matters. Web.
McBee, Thomas. “How Trans Rights Became the Civil Rights Struggle of Our Generation.” 3 Apr 2014. Policy Mic. Web. <>.
Michaelson, Jay. “Media Ignores Rash of Assaults on Transgender Women.” 6 June 2012. The Daily Beast. Web.
Mendoza, Martha. “Facebook Offers New Gender Options For Users.” 13 Feb 2014. Associated Press. <>.
Nichols, James. “Monica Jones, Transgender Woman, Convicted Of 'Manifesting Prostitution'.” 16 April 2014. Huffington Post. Web.
“NLGJA Programs.” N.d. The Association of LGBT Journalists. Web. <>.
O’Connor, Maureen. “Why Is It So Hard to Call Chelsea Manning ‘She’?” 22 August 2013. NY Mag. Web. <>.
Phillips, Julia. “5 Transgender Victims of Media Violence.” 19 June 2013. PolicyMic. Web. <>.
“SPJ Code of Ethics.” N.d. Society of Professional Journalists. Web. <>.
Ulaby, Neda. “On Television, More Transgender Characters Come Into Focus.” 23 Apr 2014. NPR. Web.
van Dijk, Teun A. "Ideological Discourse Structures." Ideology: A Multidisciplinary Approach. London: SAGE Publications Ltd., 2000. 263-77. SAGE knowledge. Web. 5
May 2014.
Zeigler, Cyd. “How ESPN and Grantland Desperately Failed the Trans Community.” 23 March 2014. Web. Huffington Post. <>.

similar documents