8: Urban and Rural Media Reporting on Violence Against Transgender People

This chapter examines news coverage about transgender people murdered in Louisiana from 2010 to 2020. We present a content analysis of 84 articles about 16 victims in rural and urban markets. Specifically, we ask, how does community context influence the quantity and quality of reporting on murders of transgender people? Overall, we found that most articles included in this study did not deadname, misgender or otherwise stigmatise victims. However, we found that misgendering and/or deadnaming is more likely to occur when articles are reporting on official sources such as police reports or court records. Additionally, family members also contribute to confusion in media reports about an individual’s name and gender identity. In terms of community context, we found that a larger proportion of rural publications deadnamed or misgendered victims compared to urban publications. Finally, we observe that rural publications may be more likely to engage in deadnaming and misgendering due to a lack of resources and reliance on wire services for content. However, we argue that such articles can and should be edited to avoid othering transgender people.

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