Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ethical Coverage of LGBT

By: Erika Barth 
I feel like lately there has been a lot of push toward the LGBT community as far as news coverage. While there have been many strides for the community as a whole such as gay marriage becoming legal in the US this summer, the news community must be careful to present information about the LGBT community in as unbiased a way as possible. This includes the balance of covering these events more often than other events. While everyone deserves to be heard and covered in the news, it just seems more and more that the news media as a whole is bound to get everyone on the rainbow bandwagon so to speak.
Personally, growing up in a Christian household, I was not exposed to this lifestyle until more toward my high school years. It was always a somewhat conflicting subject for me due to my upbringing. Do I support what I don’t believe to be true or do I just stay quiet when the issue comes up? Those who grew up in similar situations might understand well how hard that is.

Although I still do not support this lifestyle, everyone deserves a right to be heard and live the way they want to live as long as they are not hurting others in the process. After listening to all that Parvez Sharma had to go through to make his film A Jihad for Love, I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to go to a country where you could be killed for your sexual orientation. While people are becoming more accepting in the US, places like Saudi Arabia have a long way to go.

One piece of information that I find very interesting is that Sharma still chooses to identify himself as a Muslim. Knowing a little bit about the religion, it does not accept homosexuality as being a lifestyle that is ok to live by. I just wonder why he still wants to be part of the Muslim community knowing that the very people he wants to be part of could kill him.

Besides for this, I found his story to be a very interesting perspective, and a new take on a group of people whose story has not been told. This is more of the type of coverage we as journalists should be covering. It should not matter what sexual orientation the person is. This story represents a minority group that needed to be heard. Instead of focusing solely on the fact that someone is part of the LGBT community, there should be more journalists trying to discover cases of all minorities that need represented.
For this reason, journalists might have to reevaluate the way that they cover the LGBT community in the future. It would be nice to see an article that didn’t focus just on this community, but the person outside of their sexual orientation. In the case of this article the LGBT community was essential to the story. But until this issue is fixed, we will never have true equality in this country.

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