Disasters, Queer Narratives, and the News: How Are LGBTI Disaster Experiences Reported by the Mainstream and LGBTI Media?

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The research is relevant to humanitarian practitioners because it highlights the effects of disasters on the LGBTI community and the ways in which media can represent the LGBTI community in times of disaster; in doing so, it demonstrates the importance of equitable reporting.

The article investigates how LGBTI media and mainstream media reported or neglected to report the experiences of lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and intersex (LGBTI) people and communities during environmental disasters in Brisbane, Australia, and Christchurch, New Zealand. Disasters in other regions like Haiti and New Orleans are also significant examples featured in the paper. The following three areas are highlighted:

  1. The construction of natural disasters in and by media reporting;
  2. The place of LGBTI populations in media discourses, including both the LGBTI and mainstream media
  3. Research into vulnerability and resilience as experienced by LGBTI populations in disasters

The authors pinpoint the importance of the media during any pre-event and post-event awareness.  The paper underlines the issue of LGBTI inclusion and representation, and how lack of representation in the media perpetuates exclusion. Overall, the paper found that the mainstream media did not include the experiences of LGBTI people or mention the needs or concerns of this population in their reporting, nor do they use or include LGBTI informants or reporters.

[Quote]

"[T]he exclusion or absence of queer disaster narratives may contribute to marginality through the media's construction of disasters as exclusively experienced by heterosexual family groups."

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The article investigates how LGBTI media and mainstream media reported or neglected to report the experiences of lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and intersex (LGBTI) people and communities during environmental disasters in Brisbane, Australia, and Christchurch, New Zealand. Disasters in other regions like Haiti and New Orleans are also significant examples featured in the paper. The following three areas are highlighted:

  1. The construction of natural disasters in and by media reporting;
  2. The place of LGBTI populations in media discourses, including both the LGBTI and mainstream media
  3. Research into vulnerability and resilience as experienced by LGBTI populations in disasters

The authors pinpoint the importance of the media during any pre-event and post-event awareness.  The paper underlines the issue of LGBTI inclusion and representation, and how lack of representation in the media perpetuates exclusion. Overall, the paper found that the mainstream media did not include the experiences of LGBTI people or mention the needs or concerns of this population in their reporting, nor do they use or include LGBTI informants or reporters.