This study documents the results of a longitudinal content analysis of television news about LGBT people in terms of visibility, active representation, tone and framing in Flanders (1986–2017). While attention for LGBT issues has increased over time, LGBTs are not more likely to be visually represented or granted a voice. Gay men are more often actively represented than lesbians and transgender people. News remains negatively biased, although news stories in which LGBT people are depicted as the cause of negativity have become less prevalent. Patterns in framing have shifted: Deviance and abnormality frames have decreased in favor of a rise in equal rights and victim frames. Patterns in tone and framing were similar for gay men, lesbians and transgender people. Results suggest that journalists have shifted from problematizing homosexuality to problematizing homophobia. Implications of news as a source of mass-mediated contact to promote tolerance toward LGBT people are discussed.

framing, LGBT people, longitudinal content analysis, mass-mediated contact, media, television news, tone, transgenders,
Journal of Homosexuality
Department of Sociology

Jacobs, L. (Laura), & Meeusen, C. (Cecil). (2020). Coming Out of the Closet, Also on the News? A Longitudinal Content Analysis of Patterns in Visibility, Tone and Framing of LGBTs on Television News (1986-2017). Journal of Homosexuality. doi:10.1080/00918369.2020.1733352