#MuckedUp chat: Covering transgender issues with accuracy and respect
From actress Laverne Cox on the cover of TIME to Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair fanfare, transgender issues have earned a place at the very forefront of news coverage, and with good reason. Journalists who mean well, however, often get it wrong, committing every sin from obsessing over an individual’s transition to misgendering to revictimizing someone. “You can still be insensitive using the right words … You can still completely be dehumanizing using the right words,” former People journalist Janet Mock once informed Poynter. Given journalism’s long and spasmodic track record mishandling this very subject, it behooves us as reporters to determine what we can do to improve on it.
For next week’s chat, we are delighted and truly privileged to welcome pioneering and award-winning journalist Eden Lane, the creator, host and producer of In Focus with Eden Lane, a Colorado Public Television weekly program celebrating arts and culture, and who has made recent appearances on CNN Tonight and Entertainment Tonight. Now in its seventh season, this weekly series has already featured over 250 original episodes spotlighting local and national music, theatre and arts, earning Lane many accolades, including a recent Westwood “Best of” TV personality award. Considered the first transgender reporter on mainstream TV, Lane repeatedly has made a name for herself as a “warm,” “classy,” “well-researched” and just plain “good” journalist who simply happens to have a unique back story. "I wanted to be a journalist, not the 'first trans journalist,’” she recently told People. “I didn't have an agenda. I wanted to – and still want to – do good work. I never hid who I was, but I didn't lead with it, either. I am just another journalist who wants to be good at what I do.” Do you have a question for our guest about covering issues of gender in 2015? Then email or tweet it to me before noon PST/3 p.m. EST on Monday, and we will send it to Eden for consideration! Then tune into #muckedup on Tuesday, June 23, for what is certain to be our best chat yet. Oh, and as usual … please tell others who would like to join in and learn more!