Report shows lack of network news coverage of transgender stories

This week, Media Matters for America released a report on the lack of coverage from national media outlets on transgender-related stories. Specifically, the report looks at coverage over the first two months of 2015 from cable, broadcast, and Spanish-language news networks, and goes into further detail about the content that specific outlets covered. During this time period, eight transgender women and gender non-conforming people, most of whom were transgender women of color, were murdered in the U.S. Most networks completely ignored this matter.

Over the course of those two months, in cable news, MSNBC devoted sixty-one minutes of news coverage to transgender issues, followed by CNN at forty-six minutes, and Fox News at eleven minutes. Among broadcast news, CBS had ten minutes of news coverage on transgender issues, while NBC had six minutes and ABC had two minutes. Spanish-language network Univision had six minutes of news coverage on transgender issues, and Telemundo had two minutes. Media Matters also noted the lack of transgender people of color as guests on some networks, and the lack of transgender guests all together for others. Looking at the topics discussed, some outlets featured a wider range of transgender-related stories than others.

Transgender and LGBT organizations, including GLAAD, are calling on networks to improve their coverage of transgender issues. Nick Adams, GLAAD's Director of Communications, said:

"The violence against transgender people, especially transgender women of color, must not be ignored. The stories of transgender people who face staggering levels of violence, poverty, and employment discrimination need to be told, as well as the stories of resilience and advocacy work coming from within the trans community. By telling these stories, the media will educate lawmakers, social service providers, and everyday Americans about the urgent need for trans-inclusive legal protections, competent social services, and widespread acceptance."

Read the full report from Media Matters for America here.