The New York Times didn’t quote trans people in articles about trans issues 60% of the time

In a report published on Tuesday, Media Matters and GLAAD revealed that the New York Times failed to get comment from a transgender person in 66% of its stories regarding anti-transgender legislation, pointing to a lack of transgender voices in stories about topics that directly involve transgender people.

The report further detailed that in 18% of its stories on anti-trans legislation, the New York Times presented anti-trans misinformation without clarifying the facts, such as during an instance when the news website quoted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) that gender-affirming care is equivalent to “sex change operations,” something Media Matters pointed out is highly misleading.

“The paper of record has an obligation to present its readers with the full human toll of the anti-trans legislative assault,” said Ari Drennen, LGBTQ program director at Media Matters and co-writer of the Media Matters press release. “Trans people are more than theoretical curiosities to be debated from afar. Each and every anti-trans bill affects living, breathing people whose voices deserve to be heard and whose stories deserve to be told.”

It further found six instances where sources used for the article had their anti-trans background obscured or hidden. An example given for this is when the news site quoted Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie and failed to give notice that she is associated with the Catholic Association, a conservative Christian organization, as well as having given a platform to detransitioner Chloe Cole. Cole is a prominent anti-trans activist who has traveled throughout the country to testify in favor of anti-trans laws, such as when she testified in favor of Kansas’s S.B. 233, a gender-affirming care ban.

This report comes after backlash against the New York Times for allegations of platforming anti-trans voices and for harmful news coverage of transgender issues. GLAAD, alongside over 150 other organizations and leaders, signed an open letter for the New York Times to change course on how they cover transgender issues. Signatories included actress Jameela Jamil, advocate Alejandra Caraballo, WPATH, and the Human Rights Campaign.

A separate open letter, signed by hundreds of contributors to the New York Times, also critiqued their coverage of transgender issues. There has been no indication that the New York Times changed its internal reporting policies after the release of either of these open letters.

Researchers for the report searched through every New York Times story from February 15, 2023, to February 15, 2024 to try and find articles that discussed transgender issues as a main topic. They explicitly only included news articles and did not include things like letters to the editor or op-eds.

The New York Times did not quote any transgender people in a majority of their articles about anti-trans legislation in the past year,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in the organization’s press release. “The New York Times failed that basic reporting lesson 101, and replaced it with a pattern of obfuscating sources’ anti-trans affiliations and allowing their misinformation to go unchecked. Our coalition of more than 150 organizations, community leaders, and notable LGBTQ people and allies remains steadfast in our calls for the Times to improve their coverage of transgender people.”

Originally Published Here.

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