The Australian Press Council has released an Advisory Guideline for editors and journalists reporting on persons with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics.
This guideline is intended to help publishers and journalists report on people with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics and the issues which affect them, with appropriate consideration of a range of sometimes sensitive factors.
The Press Council also aims to promote the understanding that unfair or inaccurate reporting about these individuals can have serious adverse mental health outcomes for them.
The Advisory Guideline is not binding on the Press Council’s constituent members, but it provides guidance for:
- Reporters interviewing people with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and/or sex characteristics
- Press Council adjudication panel members and staff.
There are numerous other national and international media reporting guidelines, which are linked to within the Press Council’s Guideline.
How the guideline was developed
The guideline is the culmination of 12 months’ research and community consultation with editors, journalists, peak community and health organisations, mental health specialists, people with lived experience, police and academics. The Press Council said that the process included roundtables in Sydney and Melbourne, as well as a number of individual consultations with stakeholders.
“Freedom of speech and freedom of the media are essential to democracy and central to keeping the community well informed and able to deal with complex social issues. With these freedoms come important responsibilities for the media,” the Council said in its release.
“The Press Council’s General Principles, which all publisher members are obliged to comply with, reflect an appropriate balance, acknowledging the importance of reporting and expression of opinion in the public interest.”
About the Australian Press Council
The Press Council promotes high journalistic and editorial standards, community access to information in the public interest, and freedom of expression through the media.
It is also the principal body with responsibility for responding to complaints about Australian newspapers, magazines and associated digital outlets.
To access the guideline, visit the Australian Press Council website.