We live in a country that hinges on diversity, yet within the journalism field there seems to be a lack of parallel. Our field is not only lacking in a diversity that fails to mirror the diverse makeup of the United States, but our field also appears to be more often than not helping purport negative stereotypes or reluctant to offer a different commentary.
Christine Haughney’s article “‘He’? ‘She’? News Media Are Encouraged To Change” on The New York Times’ website is a prime example of reluctance within the field to transcend stereotypical vantage points. Her article illustrates that there is a slow movement toward change, specifically relating to the discussion of the transgender community.
The debate over respecting someone’s chosen identity versus what their physical appearance suggests is really not an issue at all. It merely boils down to the fact that journalists need to be respectful of the diversity within the transgender community and not place the public focus on a private, individualized matter. More organizations need to approach the conversation like New York Magazine and help break down the taboos and lack of positive acceptance for the transgender community in the media. If news outlets strive to respect the wishes of transgender individuals, then they hold the power to help take the conversation about this diverse section of our population toward a path of positivity and acceptance.
All three of the articles for today's class address different aspects of diversity within journalism and share in the common theme that journalists possess the power to change the conversation, whether it is about gender, race or class diversity. Whether the news takes the form of a visual image or textual or verbal description, it all boils down to the simple fact that journalists are in the position to offer up a conversation about diversity that diverges from societal norms.
|Image courtesy of http://www.pdxqcenter.org.|