Sep. 17, 2020  

SPJ and Trans Journalists Association partner on Race & Gender Hotline

Today the Society of Professional Journalists and the Trans Journalists Association launched a simple way for editors, reporters, photographers and designers to improve their content and coverage – even on deadline.

The Race & Gender Hotline allows any journalist to instantly consult experts on the best ways to tackle sensitive topics ranging from whitewashing to deadnaming. Following on the longtime success of SPJ’s Ethics Hotline, the Race & Gender Hotline is free and confidential. 

Unlike the Ethics Hotline, the Race & Gender Hotline will compensate its experts for their time. 

“Educating all the journalists who seek to improve their coverage is time-consuming, and it’s not fair to ask our BIPOC and LGBT communities to do that for free,” says SPJ National Past President Patricia Gallagher Newberry, area coordinator of the journalism program at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. “SPJ has raised enough money to pay a small fee to these experts, and I think that’s only fair.”

As for the newly formed Trans Journalists Association, it offers a free and comprehensive style guide but believes the hotline can help journalists on deadline who need quick answers to their specific questions. Additionally, SPJ Florida published its own case study regarding recent local LGBTQ coverage and recommended best practices. 


“The need for accurate and thoughtful reporting on the experiences of transgender people has never been greater,” says Gillian Branstetter, a TJA co-founder. “No matter your coverage area, new stories are being led by transgender people throughout public life who are challenging assumptions that have exiled and harmed us, while worsening national crises threaten much of the fragile progress trans people have made. We trust this hotline can serve as an accessible resource to help avoid repeating those assumptions and telling new stories about trans people nationwide.”

Learn more about the hotline and if you have any questions, email here

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