Trans Media Watch is a small volunteer run organization that is dedicated to improving media coverage of trans and intersex issues. Trans Media Watch helps people in the media to understand these issues and produce clear, accurate, respectful material. Trans Media Watch also helps trans and intersex people who are interacting with the media to get results they are comfortable with. Trans Media Watch hopes to end prejudice, bigotry, and hate towards trans and intersex people and wants the media to play a role that does not negatively represent trans people.
Trans Media Watch challenges problem coverage but their first goal is to prevent things from going wrong in the first place. They offer services to media organizations to help them do a good job and they provide resources and training. The website is a great resource for everyone to better understand trans people and the media.Overall I really like the message of positivity that Trans Media Watch displays. The website provides lots of links for additional resources outside of their area of expertise. Through the website you can also access their social media sites, and there is also a section for you to donate money to support their cause.
The reason I chose an organization like this is because it is so important for the media to accurately and positively represent trans and intersex people. I am a senior in the broadcasting and electronic communications department and we study how the media can send a message and influence viewers. One thing we learned about was the social learning theory and it states that we learn by observing others. We often see trans people negatively represented in the media. Stories about trans people in the news often involve sex, drugs, crime, and violence. Even media professionals like Katie Couric treat trans people with little respect. Katie Courics’s interview with Laverne Cox and Carmen Carrera was extremely aggressive and disrespectful. Viewers of all ages and especially young people see these negative representations of trans people and see the way that trans people are treated in the media and will begin to think that its acceptable. Simple representations of trans people in the media can have a profound impact on the viewers and that is why it is so important for the media to accurately portray trans people. If the Trans Media Watch were a part of all types of programming and media, instead of only those who reach out to the Trans Media Watch, then the media would be more accurate and respectful, and we would be able to prevent many of these instances from even occurring.
Vik Lewis’s article “Forging Moral Geographies” brought up a great example of how the media effected the people of Tecate. The newspapers started publishing articles on how the transvesti were a threat to the youth, that they were immoral, and that were a risk to public health. The newspapers were able to publish these articles with no supporting evidence, yet the readers took it as truth and new regulations and laws were established because of it. Not only were newspapers used to influence the brainwash and persuade the public, they were used for political purposed and to influence the laws. I believe that if the Trans Media Watch were able reach out to Tecate during this time, they would have been able to clear up a lot of the misunderstandings and prevented the misrepresentations in the media.