Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / MATT offers LGBTQI “sensitivity” training for journalists, declines to “point fingers”

MATT offers LGBTQI “sensitivity” training for journalists, declines to “point fingers”

“Rather than point fingers at media houses or individuals, MATT has taken the decision to focus on increasing sensitivity and awareness in coverage of LGBT issues in the media.”

The following media statement on LGBTQI sensitivity training for journalists was issued by the Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT):

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye prepares to compete in the heats of the women’s 100 metres event at the 2015 IAAF World Championships at the “Bird’s Nest” National Stadium in Beijing on 23 August, 2015.
(Copyright Greg Baker/AFP 2016/Wired868)

The Jones vs the State case has pushed LGBTQI issues into the national spotlight and has resulted in increased media coverage.

While most of this coverage has been generally fair, some editorial decisions have resulted in heated debate and even outrage.

Rather than point fingers at media houses or individuals, MATT has taken the decision to focus on increasing sensitivity and awareness in coverage of LGBT issues in the media.

To this end, MATT has arranged for representatives of the Silver Lining Foundation, CAISO, and the IGDS to assist us with a media workshop to be held at 10am on 28 April at Costaatt’s School of Journalism and Communication Studies, Alcazar Street, Woodbrook, POS.

These groups will address their concerns about existing coverage and work with MATT towards developing guidelines on the reporting of LGBT issues. We may also hold a follow-up event to present the guidelines coming out of this workshop.

Photo: President Paula-Mae Weekes (right) exchanges pleasantries with Chief Justice Ivor Archie during her inauguration ceremony at NAPA on 19 March, 2018.
(Copyright Office of the President)

MATT takes this opportunity to remind media professionals of the need to observe journalistic principles of fairness and accuracy in all reporting.

Editor’s Note: Controversial recent Trinidad Guardian articles, which addressed the sexual orientation of then president-elect Paula-Mae Weekes and 2018 Commonwealth Games 100m champion Michelle-Lee Ahye, were both written by MATT vice-president Joel Julien.

About MATT Executive

MATT Executive
The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago is the authorised representative body for local journalists in all formats.

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8 comments

  1. Poppycock why they eh give them sensitivity training.
    Not to publish victims and witnesses names in the name of headlines and sales, only failure and lack of tact

  2. Sensitivity my ass… another set of bullshit all over again….
    What we need is SENSE….The Media seems to have an agenda to spread bad news…dirty people’s character….delve in political nastiness and all kind of jackassness…
    These people dont need training….they need putting in their blasted place….

  3. I feel for a cup of coffee from Starbucks

  4. Though I am somewhat cynical about the long term effectiveness of sensitivity training when the more experienced practitioners may be making FINANCIAL decisions more than decisions governed by ethics or empathy……but for the novices in the field this may be useful

    • Excellent point there. But notice the desire for change seemed to have been sparked by the public outcry rather than the offense itself.
      The positive side of that is our culture might be changing and dragging the Media along with it.

    • From your mouth to God’s ears, with that business of culture change influencing change in institutional practice. It DOES happen, so there’s hope.

    • I just wanna see the culture change

    • Is it a real or significant change of culture or is it activism when it’s in vogue? Clamouring for rights for various marginalized groups is the “in thing” globally but here in TnT we need more than that for a better life. Are these same SJWs giving an honest day’s work?