The Front Page: How The New York Times bolsters anti-trans campaigns

This is not the first time the Times has normalized the othering and demonization of trans people.

It’s Friday, July 15th.

This month, The New York Times published a column by Pamela Paul that suggests trans people are to blame for threats against women (and trans people). Obviously, the group of people that cis women should be most concerned about aren’t trans people. (Hint: It’s the people intent on taking away your bodily autonomy.) Paul’s commentary normalizes transphobic rhetoric that causes serious harm. 

Notably, and unfortunately, this is not the first time the Times has normalized the othering and demonization of trans people, putting them at risk. 

For the last several years, explains ACLU Deputy Director for Transgender Justice Chase Strangio, the paper of record has regularly elevated and perpetuated transphobic views under the guise of objectivity. These stories and opinion pieces offer legitimacy to violence against trans people and serve as another example of powerful media that can negatively impact the mental health of young trans people.

Here’s a more straightforward connection: Another Times article was used as a source for anti-trans in Texas policy that advocates for investigating gender dysphoria as child abuse. 

Related: A bad op-ed is more than just a bad take

In response to the column’s entry as evidence, U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib released a petition that asks the Times to stop platforming hate and propaganda and start prioritizing trans writers and sources. 

As Juwan Holmes writes: “Mere visibility, especially in as large a landscape as media, is not the cure-all to issues facing non-cisgender journalists.” However, Holmes reports, hiring trans journalists is proven to improve coverage, and could be a meaningful first step for many newsrooms and opinion desks — the Times’ included.

— Holly Rosewood


A Bit More Media

Q&A: Gabe Schneider — For our latest Q&A, we spoke with one of our founders, Gabe Schneider, about The Objective’s origins, his introduction to journalism, and his hopes for the future. “I hope that we are making folks more comfortable in their criticism and in their media reporting, and …  talking about the injustices that they see in newsrooms.” 

News Nerd survey — To better understand changes within the journalism industry and the people within it, OpenNews has launched the 2022 News Nerd survey. Responses will be shared with the organization’s community in a census this fall. OpenNews will offer gift cards to three survey respondents.

“Countless other stories will never be told” — Abortion stories are only becoming more common, and journalists will need to challenge their longstanding beliefs to cover the issue appropriately, writes Nieman Lab’s Laura Hazard Owen. “If performing or receiving an abortion now counts as activism, well, then journalists will need to be okay quoting ‘activists,’ unless they only want to tell the anti-abortion movement’s side.”

AIR announces 2022 New Voices — The Association of Independents in Radio announced their 2022 class of New Voices, a group of 16 “underrepresented and early-career media makers.” Scholars, including Objective editor Janelle Salanga each receive a stipend and receive a wide range of support during the five-month program. Meet the New Voices here.

Gannett reviews employee feedback — Following a flood of criticism regarding its social media policy and response to the Roe v. Wade overturn, Gannett is allegedly reviewing employee feedback, reports Digiday. In an email sent on June 24, the company told staffers to refrain from taking a political stance and to report colleagues for related behavior.

Language, Please — This week, Vox Media launched “Language, Please,” a wide-ranging resource complete with style guides, an inclusivity reader directory, and editorial tools. Style guidance is organized into six categories, from Gender and Sexuality to Race and Ethnicity. As the name suggests, the creators are open to audience input on the living resource.


Stay Up To Date 

5 days until … Live With The 19th: Securing Disability Rights. U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, American Association of People with Disabilities president Maria Town, and The 19th’s Sara Luterman join this virtual event.

11 days until … Black in the Newsroom. This documentary screening and panel discussion takes place in Morgantown, West Virginia, and is co-hosted by Media 2070 and 100 Days in Appalachia, among several other partners.

12 days until … the 2022 National AAJA Convention. ($$$) This year, after back-to-back virtual conventions, attendees will meet in Los Angeles. Registration ends tomorrow (Saturday, July 16).

19 days until … the 2022 NABJ-NAHJ Convention and Career Fair. ($$$) Pre-registration for this year’s conference, held in Las Vegas, closes today.

What else should we feature? You tell us. Send an email to [email protected].


A few more resources

Looking for a job? Here are a few places to look: INN | ONA | JournalismJobs.com | 10 Jobs and a Dog | NABJ | AAJA | NAHJ | NLGJA | @WritersofColor | MEO Jobs | Freelance Journalist Rates | Source Jobs | Opportunities of the Week ($)   

How about a style guide? Trans Journalist Association | Diversity Style Guide | Tribal Nations Media Guide | NABJ Style Guide | Disability Language Style Guide | AAJA Guide to Covering Asian Pacific America | NAHJ Cultural Competence Handbook |  SPJ Race & Gender Hotline | AMEJA Media Resource Guide | The Press in Prison

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We’ll have more for you soon. 

This issue is by Holly Rosewood with editing by Curtis Yee.

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