EIJ16: Session to address challenges of transgender community; educating media

Transgender symbolBy Ireal James, SPJ Region 3 intern

The transgender community faces daily challenges. According to transequality.org, transgender individuals endure hardship as victims of violence, healthcare discrimination and even the questionable use of public restrooms, as seen in recent discussions in today’s media.

This year at the 2016 SPJ Excellence in Journalism national conference (EIJ16), there will be a session to address what transgender individuals face in American society and how the media should cover them. Transgender individuals do not identify themselves as their original gender at birth. The EIJ16 program will be listed as “Covering the Trans Community.”

Jason Parsley mug
Jason Parsley

“The trans community is one of the most marginalized communities in America … it’s especially important to make sure journalists are educated and really understand the community that they’re covering and understand the issues that trans people face on a daily basis.” said Executive Editor of South Florida Gay News Jason Parsley. He also serves as the membership chair at SPJ Florida.

He called on Investigative Executive Producer at NBC 7 in San Diego, Lynn Walsh, for help on planning and organizing the program. She is also the president-elect for the Society of Professional Journalists and will be entering her duties after the 2016 national convention. 

Lynn Walsh mug
Lynn Walsh

“I felt it was important to make sure we have voices from all communities and all types of individuals,” said Walsh in an email.

Selecting panelists for the “Covering the Trans Community” are still in the finalization process. Parsley said with this session he hopes to involve the LGBT community into a conversation with journalists.

“Last year I noticed that there was not one LGBT focused session in the entire convention… I wanted to make sure that there was some type of diversity,” he said.

The EIJ16 conference will be held on Sept. 18-20, 2016, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Join journalists from all over the world in New Orleans at EIJ16. Register at http://excellenceinjournalism.org/