TV coverage of anti-trans violence in the United States fell 20% last year, even as 2021 was the deadliest year on record for the country’s transgender and gender nonconforming community.
A shocking new study released Tuesday by Media Matters for America, a progressive media watchdog nonprofit, found that segments about anti-trans violence on major networks, both broadcast and cable, totaled 43 minutes. in 2021 – compared to 54 minutes of coverage the previous year.
The number is particularly troubling given that known cases of violence against members of the transgender community in the United States hit an all-time high in 2021.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, last year was the deadliest year on record for trans people in the United States, with at least 57 deaths – nearly all of them black and Latina trans women.
The previous record was set in 2020, when at least 44 trans people were murdered in the country.
The study, released Tuesday, analyzed news programming on ABC, CBS, NBC, as well as the three major cable news channels, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, and found that they “didn’t not sufficiently reported” on the subject last year, while discussing. in only 19 segments in total.
According to the MMFA, left-leaning MSNBC stories “accounted for more than two-thirds of that coverage,” with all other networks covering violence against the trans community for no more than five minutes each.
The increase in violence against the community comes as transgender rights continue to be a driving force in a renewed culture war in the United States.
According to the HRC, more than 320 anti-LGBTQ bills are currently pending in state legislatures across the country. Of these, at least 140 directly affect trans people. Most of them focus on trans youth, prohibiting children from participating in sports or even receiving gender-affirming health care.
Media Matters searched for relevant terms – such as “transgender”, “non-binary”, “violence”, “murder” – in the transcripts of all original shows on the six networks from January 1 to December 31, 2021. The segments analyzed were to have a “meaningful discussion about anti-trans violence,” according to the report.
“Corporate TV news networks have clearly demonstrated that they have the ability to cover anti-trans violence but continually choose to ignore the topic,” wrote Alex Paterson, MMFA senior researcher and lead author of the article. ‘study. “Every network has a responsibility to inform their viewers with accurate coverage and ultimately improve on this terrible shortage of reporting,” he concluded.