The Times issues corrections after publishing misinformation on Trans community

The paper was forced to make the first correction following a ruling by the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

A pile of news papers, as The Times issue two corrections.
Image: Pexels

This week, The Times in the UK has issued two corrections for articles published with misinformation on Trans people and the Trans community. In a statement published in mid-December, the paper said: “The Times takes complaints about editorial content seriously. We are committed to abiding by the Independent Press Standards Organisation rules and regulations and the Editors’ Code of Practice that IPSO enforces.”

The first correction was made on January 4, 2022, for an article published almost a year ago in February 2021. In the original piece, the author claimed that “Trans-friendly midwives” in the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust were being told to replace the term ‘breastfeeding’ with ‘chestfeeding’.

It was later revealed that this was not the case, with The Times saying: “In fact, Brighton and Sussex University Hopsitals NHS Trust’s guidance did not advocate the universal substitution of the term ‘breastfeeding’ with ‘chestfeeding’, rather that the term ‘breast/chestfeeding’ should be used instead in the Trust’s literature and communications.”

The Trust explicitly stated within the aforementioned guidance: “We are taking a gender-additive approach to the language used to describe our service. For us, a gender-additive approach means using gender-neutral language alongside the language of womanhood, in order to ensure that everyone is represented and included.”

It continues by noting, “If we only use gender-neutral language, we risk marginalising or erasing the experience of some of the women and people who use our services,” and at no stage does it mention replacing existing terms.

The first of the two corrections made by The Times came following a ruling by the Independent Press Standards Organisation, who forced the publication to admit the story’s inaccuracy.

The second correction was made on January 5, 2022, for an opinion piece written by Alex Massie which claimed in relation to rape statistics that “In England and Wales 436 male-bodied sex offenders were classified as women from 2012 to 2018”. The opinion piece appeared to insinuate that all women convicted of rape were Trans women, which The Times has now corrected.

In response to the article published in December 2021, the paper admitted that: “Under English law, accessories to a crime are charged as principal offenders, and therefore women can be charged with rape. How many female defendants were ‘male-bodied’ is not recorded.

“We are happy to make this clear,” The Times concluded.

The Times being forced to make corrections for publishing misinformation on the Trans community comes as the Trans Writers Union continues to boycott the Irish Times. In an article for GCN, the union stated: “We will not write for, pay for, nor read the Irish Times until these demands have been met. We as writers will not add prestige or financial support to a paper publishing anti-Trans rhetoric, and we urge others to refuse with us.”

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.