TJA @ IRE2024: Trans Coverage Track

TJA is partnering with Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) to build a trans coverage and networking track at IRE’s annual conference, scheduled to be held in Anaheim in June 2024. 

TJA is partnering with Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) to build a trans coverage and networking track at IRE’s annual conference, scheduled to be held in Anaheim in June 2024. 

The conference is the largest gathering of investigative journalists in the U.S. In 2023, IRE brought together 1,300 of its members — including some of the most senior and accomplished journalists from the U.S. and around the world — to four days of training, networking and community-building. These include many of the reporters and editors responsible for some of the most read, most visible coverage of trans issues.

TJA is developing a track of panels focused on reporting on trans people and communities.

Want to chat about it? Email volunteer executive director Kae Petrin petrin@transjournalists.org.

What will this look like?

TJA hopes to convene a large number of trans journalists at the IRE conference, where we'll plan a series of trans-focused coverage panels, as well as host networking events for trans journalists.

We'll also help IRE connect with trans journalists to speak on other panels, elevating their expertise on data, public records, and tools for investigative and accountability journalism.

The exact panels aren't set yet, but we hope to at minimum to plan the following:

  • Facts, Fallacies and Frames: getting trans issues right in the 2024 elections
  • Enforcement and Consequences: Following anti-trans policies through courts, schools, and state departments
  • Investigating the groups organizing anti-trans action
  • Mini lightning talks: Trans stories edition

With additional funding, we can get more expert journalists to IRE and potentially offer additional materials on covering sports policies, healthcare, schools, and LGBTQ+ data.

We are also organizing a reception for TJA members and anyone interested in connecting with us, whether that's to talk coverage, chat about job listings, or find candidates for professional development opportunities.

Why are we doing this?

With 75 anti-LGBTQ bills passed into law in 2023, state legislatures and local policymakers have already begun proposing more restrictions on trans people this year. Questions around these regulations and enforcement — and their impact on society — are already a central topic in the political rhetoric around this year's elections. 

Yet many newsrooms have struggled to cover anti-trans political, legislative, and policy trends. Neither trans people nor the broader public are receiving complete, accurate, nuanced, and sensitive information about the issues or the stakes.

The TJA's Trans Coverage Track will help address that problem at a pivotal time.

We plan to also bring in TJA members to attend the conference and speak on both IRE panels and elsewhere; offer training and networking opportunities; organize an in-person TJA membership gathering to build community; and use TJA’s presence at the conference to develop stronger ties with individual editors and reporters responsible for trans coverage in their newsrooms.

This helps establish trans journalists as experts broadly, not merely experts on trans coverage, and helps equip more trans journalists to pursue leadership and decision-making roles in a news industry that currently sorely underrepresents and underserves us.

The goals are fivefold:

  • Educate and expose mainstream newsrooms to nuances and resources surrounding trans issues to foster better coverage
  • Develop stronger ties with newsrooms so we can better offer assistance in such coverage
  • Offer training and networking opportunities for TJA members to help them advance in their careers
  • Build community among TJA members — many of whom are isolated in newsrooms or work as freelancers — and better understand their needs and concerns
  • Raise the profile and awareness of TJA and its role and mission, so that we can have higher impact and broader reach

Event sponsors

Bronze Tier
  • Aron Pilhofer
Silver Tier
  • TBD
Gold Tier
  • TBD

How you can help

Travel funding is often a huge barrier for trans journalists, and especially for trans women and trans journalists of color, who often work as freelancers or at local newsrooms with lower travel budgets. 

We are seeking sponsors and philanthropic funding to help support travel stipends and/or fellowships that would facilitate journalists' attendance.

We are excited to seek sponsorships for: 

  • The Trans Coverage track at the 2024 IRE conference, a first-ever program that focuses on reporting on trans issues. It is co-organized by the TJA and the IRE.
  • Travel stipends and/or fellowships to support the cost of attending the IRE conference for trans journalists.
  • A networking meetup for trans journalists at the IRE conference.

Want to sponsor us more generally and not for a specific event? We’d love to hear from you! Please email us at contact@transjournalists.org.

What are the sponsorship tiers?

We have 3 sponsorships tiers:

Bronze tier: $5,000

For a minimum donation of $5,000, your organization will:

  • Be acknowledged on our website by name and also on our webpage for the Trans Coverage track at the 2024 IRE conference
  • Receive a digital thank you in TJA's monthly newsletter and a special IRE newsletter issue

Silver tier: $10,000

For a minimum donation of $10,000, your organization will:

  • Be acknowledged on our website by logo and also on our webpage for the Trans Coverage track at the 2024 IRE conference
  • Receive a digital thank you in TJA's monthly newsletter and a special IRE newsletter issue
  • Be acknowledged verbally during panels and presentations at the Trans Coverage track at the 2024 IRE conference

Gold tier: $20,000

For a minimum donation of $20,000, your organization will:

  • Be acknowledged on our website by logo and also on our webpage for the Trans Coverage track at the 2024 IRE conference
  • Receive a digital thank you in TJA's monthly newsletter and a special IRE newsletter issue
  • Be acknowledged by logo and verbally during panels and presentations at the Trans Coverage track at the 2024 IRE conference
  • Be acknowledged by logo on signs at the TJA networking meetup for trans journalists at the 2024 IRE conference

How does the process work?

Get in touch, and let's chat! Email volunteer executive director Kae Petrin via petrin@transjournalists.org.

The TJA is fiscally sponsored by the Tiny News Collective, a 501c3 charitable organization. Charitable donations to the TJA go through the Tiny News Collective and are tax-deductible to the extent of the law.

Read our fundraising policy for more information on commonly asked questions.

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