Newspaper coverage of transgender identity and individuals is very limited, a new study finds. Thomas Billard of the University of Southern California studied 200 articles from 13 daily newspapers in the US.
The presence of “legitimacy indicators” were searched from the articles. These indicators include naming, pronoun usage, past-tense references, proper use of terms, characterizations of transgenderism, name-calling and so forth. The results indicate that mainstream newspaper coverage of the transgender community is very limited.
The coverage studied also included a significant amount of delegitimizing language. The language used heavily impacts the legitimacy of transgender claims in politics and public perceptions of the community, the author concludes.
The article “Writing in the Margins” was published in the International Journal of Communication and is available online.
Picture: Spectrum by Anders Sandberg, license CC BY 2.0