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Demand IPSO Protect Targeted Groups Against Transphobia In The Press

A detailed report by Hacked Off has found many transphobic and abusive articles misrepresenting the Women and Equalities Select Committee (WESC) Report on Transgender Equality.


It is time for the media to accept the part it has played in fuelling and legitimising the abuse suffered by members of the trans community.

Research by Stonewall suggests that more than a third of all trans people suffered hate crimes or incidents in 2017.  Take a stand against the denigration, abuse, and misrepresentation of the movement for transgender equality in the press and help us fight for a press we can be proud of!

The complete lack of any effective regulation has meant a free-for-all with disregard for the lives of thousands of vulnerable people, let alone their families, friends and colleagues. IPSO's code does not even cover group discrimination complaints, while complaints about accuracy and other areas are routinely dismissed where they relate to transgender equality.

Dear Independent Press Standards Organisation,

 

People are entitled to their views on proposed changes to the law on gender recognition.

But debate must rest on facts, shared respect, and must not deny self-determination for transgender people and their right to exist.  Instead, under your watch, discourse about transgender rights has become toxic and abusive.

In place of facts, newspaper coverage has relied on conjecture and false information. The authoritiative Women and Equalities Committee Report on transgender equality has been widely misrepresented.

In place of respect, coverage has become discriminatory.  The very right of transgender people to exist has been repeatedly questioned and attacked.

It is clear that these attacks encourage the discrimination, harassment and violence that are suffered by members of this minority community every day. Research by Stonewall suggests that more than a third of all trans people suffered hate crimes or incidents in 2017. 

The complete lack of any effective regulation has meant a free-for-all with disregard for the lives of thousands of vulnerable people, let alone their families, friends and colleagues. Your code does not even cover group discrimination complaints, while complaints about accuracy and other areas are routinely dismissed where they relate to transgender equality.

Your recently-announced toothless review of transphobic coverage is no more than lip-service: nothing will change until you adjudicate fairly, order equal prominence corrections and apologies, and allow complaints about the abuse of transgender people as a group.

We write to express our deep dismay and to ask you to address this problem urgently and publicly. While the press must be free to do its job, your implicit condoning of transphobic hate and disinformation must stop.

 

Yours,


Hacked Off  |  Joss Prior - Activist  |  DIVA Magazine  |  Linda Riley - Co-Founder of the British LGBT Awards  |  Kacey de Groot - Co-Secretary (Women’s) of the National Education Union Trans and Non-binary Educators Network  |  Chay Brown - TransActual UK  | Annie Wallace - Actress, campaigner, patron of Mermaids  |  Helen Belcher - Campaigner and Leveson Witness  |  Gemma Thompson - Parent of trans child and trans advocate  |  Helen - Parent of trans child and trans advocate  |  Sarah O’Connell - Chat Show Host and Film Critic  |  Christine Burns MBE - Author and retired trans rights advocate  |  Jennie Kermode - Chair, Trans Media Watch  |  Jane Fae - Writer and Trans Media Watch  |  Trans Media Watch |  Kathy O'Donnell | Munroe Bergdorf |  Lisa Moorish  |   Rhiannon Spear - Chair of TIE Campaign |  Jack Monroe |


Baroness Barker

“We rely on our media to give us accurate information to assist our democracy. When reporting is so obviously one-sided on an issue, as this report demonstrates, it causes harm – as is the case with this vulnerable group of people. The press can, and must, do better – as Lord Justice Leveson noted in his 2012 report.”


Crispin Blunt MP:

"Robust public debate is important to ensure that proposed changes to the law are properly scrutinized, but that debate must be had on the basis of facts.

Regrettably, as this report shows, there has been repeated inaccuracies about the law and proposals for reform in respect of transgender rights and equality in the media. This jeopardizes the advancement of equality for transgender people and risks distorting the development of public policy.

We must protect the press’ right to campaign and editorialise but also ensure newspapers are held accountable for the accuracy of their coverage. This is yet another example which highlights the urgent need for a recognised regulator which is independent of the state and of the industry, as recommended in the Leveson Inquiry following the hacking scandal."


Helen Belcher: 

"Lord Justice Leveson criticised the standard of press coverage of trans issues in his 2012 Report. This Hacked Off report merely scrapes the surface of the relentless, misleading reporting of trans issues there has been over the last couple of years – most of which simply cannot be challenged through IPSO’s processes. Even when IPSO does adjudicate, it seems to bend over backwards to find for the press, creating huge holes in the interpretation of the Editors’ Code as a result. To quote Lord Justice Leveson, “the game needs to be raised significantly higher.”


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