Reporters covering LGBTQ people are encouraged to go beyond umbrella statistics, become familiar with appropriate terminology and avoid framing stories in ways that further stigmatize the community.
Those are just a few of the key takeaways from the “Covering the LGBTQ+ communities: Anti-LGBTQ+ measures, COVID-19 and reporting insights” panel at Health Journalism 2022. The presentation also focused on health care inequities and discriminatory legislation like Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
The panel — moderated by Naseem Miller, senior health editor for The Journalist’s Resource — also included Brad Sears, executive director and associate dean of the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, Daniel Downer, executive director of The Bros in Convo Initiative, Dallas Ducar, CEO of Transhealth Northampton, and Jen Christensen, a CNN producer and immediate past president of the National Association of LGBTQ Journalists.
Panelists urged reporters to get it right. “As health journalists, we have an opportunity to educate people in a really straightforward way,” said Christensen, “It’s exciting to think that you get a chance to talk about something a lot of your audience hasn’t heard about before.”