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STUDY: Fox News Didn't Host A Single Transgender Guest Over Nine Months Of Coverage

September 15, 2015 10:24 am ET

Though Fox News regularly features segments and news headlines covering stories related to the transgender community, the network rarely hosts people who openly identify as transgender during its news programming. In nine months of covering transgender issues, Fox News didn't host a single openly transgender guest to speak during nearly thirty transgender-focused segments between September 1, 2014 and June 1, 2015.

Fox News Didn't Host A Single Openly Transgender Guest In Nine Months Of Segments

Fox News Regularly Covers Transgender Issues Without Including Transgender Voices. Between September 1, 2014 and June 1, 2015, Fox News aired 44 news alerts and 27 segments focusing on transgender issues. Of Fox's coverage, only two news alerts included commentary from a person who openly identifies as transgender.

Two News Alerts Included Trans Commentary, But Both Featured The Same Pre-Recorded Nine Second Clip. A nine second clip of Kris Hayashi, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center, was aired twice on April 4, 2015 in news alerts covering gender-affirming surgery for a transgender inmate in California.

Fox News Didn't Host A Single Transgender Guest Over Nine Months Of Transgender Coverage.  Between September 1, 2014 and June 1, 2015, Fox News aired 27 segments featuring guests discussing issues related to the transgender community. Not a single guest was transgender.

Methodology

Media Matters used IQMedia and Nexis to search Fox News between September 1, 2014 and June 1, 2015 for the terms "transgender!," "gender identity," "sex change," "cross-dress!," "transsexual!," "gender neutral," "genderless," "male-to-female," "female-to-male," "male to female," "female to male," "Manning," and "Jenner." 

To assess total coverage on Fox News, Media Matters tracked both segments and news alerts that focused on transgender issues. Segments were defined as substantive discussions between at least two speakers about the topic. News alerts were defined as an intentional, network-prompted mention of a transgender news story or individual, but without a substantive discussion between two or more speakers. Reruns and teases for upcoming segments were excluded. Mentions after midnight but before the beginning of the next day's news cycle were excluded. Passing mentions, like remarks about Caitlyn Jenner's transition during segments about her car accident, were not included. Discussions about broad LGBT protections, like the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, that were not primarily focused on protections for transgender people were not included.

To document the guests invited on Fox News, Media Matters tracked all segments focusing on transgender issues that included commentary from at least one guest who wasn't the show's host or anchor. Segments that aired pre-recorded interviews were counted. Network reporters and correspondents providing news updates or packaged reports were not counted as guests. Reruns and teases for upcoming segments were excluded. Mentions after midnight but before the beginning of the next day's news cycle were excluded.




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