Transgender Europe’s Guide for Journalists is a practical guide on how to cover stories about trans people, or about issues which affect trans people, in a fair and respectful manner.
The aim of this guide is to act as a go-to resource for journalists who are interested in writing stories about trans people in a clear and understandable way. Unfortunately, language about trans issues can often come across as complicated, and difficult to comprehend. This leads to journalists resorting to over simplifications, sensationalist arguments, and stereotypes, often dehumanising the persons involved. For years, the few stories and reports about trans people in the media have focused on medical details about transitions and surgeries. While media outlets have started to challenge this, it remains a norm to overcome.
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This guide brings together examples from other media reference guides and journalist guides. Of particular help and inspiration were guides from GLAAD,[i] Transgender Equality Network Ireland,[ii] TransInterQueer e.V,[iii] Trans Media Watch,[iv] and Transgender Network Switzerland.[v]
[i] GLAAD is an organisation that works with the media to tackle issues and shape narratives that lead to cultural change in the United States of America. See GLAAD’s Transgender Media Program www.glaad.org/transgender
[ii] Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) seeks to improve conditions and advance the rights and equality of trans people and their families in Ireland. TENI is a member organisation of Transgender Europe. See: TENI’s Media Style Guidelines on www.teni.ie
[iii] TransInterQueer e.V. (TrIQ) is a Berlin based organisation which offers educational and awareness training, and community events, for trans, intersex, and queer people. TrIQ is a member organisation of Transgender Europe. See: TRiQ’s “Trans in den medien – Informationen für Journalist_innen“ (Available in German only) on www.transinterqueer.org/unsere-publikationen
[iv] Trans Media Watch is an organisation which aims to improve media coverage of trans and intersex issues. Trans Media Watch is a member organisation of Transgender Europe. See: Trans Media Watch’s style guide, approaches and other information for the media on www.transmediawatch.org/
[v] Transgender Network Switzerland (TGNS), is the Swiss organisation for Transgender persons which raises awareness of trans issues, and does lobby work. TGNS is a member organisation of Transgender Europe. See: “Medienguide” by TGNS (Available in German only) on www.transgender-network.ch/medien/medienguide/