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'trans orthodoxy' mentioned on Times Radio

(19 Posts)
MorrisZapp Tue 15-Dec-20 15:46:25

Currently on Mariella. Culture correspondent reporting that Ofcom have met with Stonewall and intend to publish rules/guidelines for discussion of trans rights for all broadcasters.

Was reported with great scepticism I must say, Mariella and the correspondent (Matt Moore I think) both concerned about implications for free speech and expecting MPs to vote against if it comes to parliament. The correspondence used the words 'trans orthodoxy' and how unpalatable it would be to ban J K Rowling from speaking.

Just a short segment but reported in a blissfully open and bullshit free manner.

OP’s posts: |
PlantMam Tue 15-Dec-20 16:58:49

IPSO commissioned and published a 130 page report on trans representation in the media recently:

www.ipso.co.uk/media/1986/mediatique-report-on-coverage-of-transgender-issues.pdf

I’ve only skimmed it but there is some pretty funny commentary from national tabloid representatives re: singular ‘they’ as well as resistance to being expected to print ‘her penis’ in the Karen White conviction of sexual assault coverage.

There is a 3 page summary/response from
IPSO here:
www.ipso.co.uk/media/1985/ipso-mediatique-response.pdf

There are quite a few orgs issuing ‘guidelines’ to media companies over the last few decades. Press for Change/Trans Media Watch and All About Trans being three notable ones.

Here is All About Trans’ ‘guidance’:

www.allabouttrans.org.uk/about/resources/

And Trans Media Watch:

transmediawatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Media-Style-Guide.pdf

Do groups representing people with other protected characteristics issue similar rules? It’s not something I’m familiar with, beyond the campaigns specifically about how domestic violence is reported (far from universal take ups on that advice).

Most of Ofcom’s published policy seems to be about Diversity within Ofcom as a workplace, rather than issuing guidelines:

www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/policies-and-guidelines

Seems a bit odd for Ofcom to get directly involved when there are already so many specialist orgs in the field and most editors are complying with requested guidelines, and have solid rationale for the ones they are choosing not to adopt.

Still, this is 2020, so I suppose it was only a matter of time before we got officially compelled speech, rather than just socially compelled speech.

gardenbird48 Tue 15-Dec-20 17:02:56

MP John Nicolson has shown a recent video meeting on Twitter with Ofcom where he tells them that they shouldn't be talking to 'transphobic hate groups' like LGB Alliance and compared it to discussing racism with far right group. 'Melanie' from Ofcom agreed that when looking for 'balance' in broadcasting they must be careful to choose 'appropriate' groups to talk to and have been chatting with Stonewall.

Rather concerning.

MichelleofzeResistance Tue 15-Dec-20 17:23:31

K, so presumably FPFW will be writing and sharing their personal rules and guidelines for how presenters talk about female people and female sex based issues too.

Can anyone issue rules and guidelines now and just expect everyone else to salute and do what they're told? Or is that just some weird attempt to control the press in a belief of authority and control that.... quite possibly doesn't exist outside of the personal realities of those writing these guidelines? Who/how do they expect to enforce these?

Please let me know, as if this is now a thing, I'm getting on to Boris and issuing him with my guidelines and rules for Brexit.

MichelleofzeResistance Tue 15-Dec-20 17:27:35

It must have dawned on Melanie that 'when looking for 'balance' in broadcasting they must be careful to choose 'appropriate' groups to talk to' means not asking a political lobby on one side of the debate to recommend and approve who they will allow that broadcaster to talk to regarding the other side.

Because that wouldn't be 'balance', that would simply be working as a tool of that lobby wouldn't it? Which kind of blows 'impartiality' and 'balance' and justifying public funding right out of the water. A child could see it.

Ereshkigalangcleg Tue 15-Dec-20 18:07:05

It must have dawned on Melanie that 'when looking for 'balance' in broadcasting they must be careful to choose 'appropriate' groups to talk to' means not asking a political lobby on one side of the debate to recommend and approve who they will allow that broadcaster to talk to regarding the other side.

I can confidently state that this may not have ever occurred to Melanie.

Wbeezer Tue 15-Dec-20 18:13:09

Urggh John Nicholson is my MP but I'm not impressed, he's not endearing himself to eat the moment

highame Wed 16-Dec-20 07:05:40

I get a strong whiff of the suppression you get in countries like Iran, Russia, China et al and I'm not sure this bodes well for free speech. Perhaps Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sports Oliver Dowden may want to hear our views

ArabellaScott Wed 16-Dec-20 09:42:15

How to complain about Ofcom - this is getting a bit meta:

www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/contact-us/complaints-about-ofcom

ArabellaScott Wed 16-Dec-20 09:53:00

I do find this very concerning. Not sure the best way to approach it. How can Stonewall be taken as the be-all and end-all of voices on the matter?

OldCrone Wed 16-Dec-20 11:19:32

This is mentioned at the end of this article:
www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/bbc-maitlis-cummings-barnard-castle-ofcom-b1774336.html

The Ofcom chief also said she wanted the BBC to improve the way it covered trans rights issues so that it did not cause offence. “It’s something we’ve been talking to [campaigning organisation] Stonewall about,” she said. “Can broadcasters [bring balance] in an appropriate way?”

Dame Melanie denied she wanted to push out views from people like JK Rowling, saying: “It’s about making sure we give the right information to our broadcasters so they can steer their way through the debate without causing offence or bringing inappropriate questions to the table.”

Ofcom is a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

ArabellaScott Wed 16-Dec-20 11:51:29

The Ofcom chief also said she wanted the BBC to improve the way it covered trans rights issues so that it did not cause offence

So do they prioritise not causing offence over all other issues?

'appropriate' seems to be doing a lot of work, there. Do they mean 'approved'?

ArabellaScott Wed 16-Dec-20 11:52:10

Stonewall are a partisan lobby group. If they consult with Stonewall, I feel they should be also consulting with, say, Transgender Trend, LGB Alliance, etc.

PlantMam Wed 16-Dec-20 13:32:47

I posted this on the John Nicholson MP thread,
will leave it there as rather than request deletion because it’s somewhat relevant, but it was actually intended for this one! 🤦‍♀️

I’ve just been reading the judgement for Kate Scottow’s quashed conviction.
The judges (The Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Bean and the Hon. Mr Justice Warby) included this quote

‘Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having.’

Someone needs to tell Ofcom.

Quote is from
Redmond-Bate v DPP and the longer version is even better.

‘Free speech includes not only the inoffensive but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and the provocative provided it does not tend to provoke violence. Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having.‘

Decided: 23 July 1999
Court: High Court of Justice
Judge(s) sitting: Lord Justice Sedley; Mr. Justice Collins

Beamur Wed 16-Dec-20 13:41:20

Stonewall are a lobby group. Not an impartial or unbiased source of advice.

TalkingtoLangClegintheDark Wed 16-Dec-20 14:56:25

The Ofcom chief also said she wanted the BBC to improve the way it covered trans rights issues so that it did not cause offence.

And yet causing offence, distress and even material harm to women when biologically male people are routinely referred to as if they’re female - that’s fine?

Any consultations with women’s orgs happening re that aspect, I wonder? (I don’t really. I think I know the answer to that one.)

TalkingtoLangClegintheDark Wed 16-Dec-20 14:57:24

This is really very worrying. Yet more of that regulatory capture that I hoped was beginning to be questioned now.

Wishful thinking, clearly.

ArabellaScott Wed 16-Dec-20 15:05:01

What would work here? A joint letter pointing out what we're saying? A joint complaint? Who regulates Ofcom?

AnyOldPrion Wed 16-Dec-20 15:21:23

From close to the beginning of the three page ipso summary:

Some of the most contentious and sensitive issues handled by IPSO relate to the reporting of transgender matters. Coverage generates wide and sometimes ferocious debate, raising complex questions around balancing the public interest in reporting freely on important societal issues with the potential impact on vulnerable individuals.

I find it odd that these people don’t stop and wonder why this area is so contentious, compared to all others. They’re all so busy trying to manage the situation that they are too busy to stand back and view it dispassionately. They can’t see the wood for the trees.

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