Thursday, September 04, 2008

Another Transsistah Disrespected By The Media- In My Backyard

Here we go again with a media outlet NOT reading the AP Stylebook when it comes to reporting on transgender people of color.

This time, it's happening right here in my backyard in Da Ville.

I met Nikki when we held the 2005 Transsistahs-Transbrothas Conference here. Contrary to what the person writing up the report on WDRB Fox 41 thought, she ain't no man.

As per my policy on TransGriot when I come across these travesties of reporting I rewrite them using proper AP stylebook reporting procedures. We'll also be talking to WDRB Fox 41 about the shoddy reporting.

Those of us who knew Nikki will miss her. Tonight Terri Vanessa Coleman hosted a special show tonight at the Connection to help kick start a memorial fund being raised to aid the family with burial expenses.

Nikki's funeral will take place on Saturday starting with the wake at 9 AM EDT and the funeral at 11 AM EDT.

In the meantime, here's the contact info for WDRB-TV.

624 W Muhammad Ali Blvd
Louisville, KY 40203
(502) 584-6441

Fox 41 News Department 502-585-0811


This was the e-mail I sent to WDRB-TV

I'm writing this e-mail to point out that the story on Nakhia Williams violated the AP Stylebook guidelines on reporting on transgender persons.

The AP Stylebook states:

transgender-Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.

If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly.

Nakhia was living as a woman, so feminine pronouns should have been used throughout the story.

Nakhia's untimely death was a tragic loss for her friends, family and all who knew and loved her. Was it that difficult for WDRB-TV to pick up the Stylebook and compile a report that stated the facts of the case and respected her as well?


Here's the rewrite of the story the way it SHOULD have been done per AP Stylebook rules

Transgender woman dies from gunshot wounds after home invasion

A transgender woman shot during a home invasion dies ten days later. Detectives, of course, are treating this case as a homicide. Neighbors were afraid to talk on camera because the attackers are still on the loose. But one man said he found 29-year old Nakhia Williams lying on the ground outside her apartment on West Market Street.

Police say Williams was rushed to the hospital the morning of August 20th and died this past Saturday, the 30th. The medical examiner says Williams died from a gunshot wound, which complicated a medical condition she already had. Police say another person was home with Williams during the home invasion.

"There was possibly four black males who had forced the victim and another occupant to the ground, a lot of commotion going on," said LMPD Detective Phil Russell.

No one is saying who this other occupant is and whether he or she was injured.

If you have any information that could help solve this case, you can call the anonymous police tipline at 574-LMPD.


Jackie said...

It makes me crazy when people can't get their pronouns right. There is no excuse for the media doing this. Good that they are called on it every single time.
My condolences on the death of your friend.


Monica Roberts said...

Two other stations were just as bad. They got her name right, but still got the pronouns wrong, and WAVE3 didn't even cover it.

HRC Watch said...

I am very sorry for your loss and for the loss of yet another transgender sister to the horrible violence that plagues our community.
For family and friends to endure such pain is horrible and then to have to deal with such disrespect from the police and media is unthinkable.
Thank you for the work you are doing in your community in Louisville as well as for the work you do nationally.

Peace and love,

Joshua said...

as a friend of nikki's, i just want to thank you for taking on this situation. it is one we really need to pay closer attention to the so called journalist and news reporters when reporting about our lives. nikki was respected as nikki, by her family and all that knew her. she was a fun loving young lady. a poet and an inspiring artist. it was her big heart that got her in trouble, most of the time. unfortunately, that is also the reason she is no longer with us, physically. she will be missed.

Renee said...

I am so sorry for the lose of your friend. It is disgusting that the media intentionally refuses to use the correct pronouns. It is like committing yet another act of violence against her.

Monica Roberts said...

Yeah Renee,
Nikki was a sweet kid with a good heart.

What galls us it that Nikki's dead because she let someone stay with her temporarily tat was involved in some shady stuff she didn't know about, and the people that the person pissed off came for her.

The other thing that pisses us off here is the disrespectful coverage Nikki got.

I'll probably hear about it the funeral