Thursday, March 01, 2012

NYT Omits Gay Ugandan
Names, Quotes from Feb 29 Story

(Mr. Sulzberger, may I introduce you to . . . )

( . . . Mr. Frank Mugisha?)

The following letter was sent today. I'll let you know if I hear from the paper.

Arthur Sulzberger Jr.
The New York Times

Dear Mr. Sulzberger,

Your otherwise excellent story by reporter Josh Kron on February 29 regarding continuing attacks on the human rights of gay people in Uganda omitted crucial details - a quote from a gay Ugandan and the name of the brave activist Frank Mugisha who was recently honored with a prestigious award for his courageous advocacy.

There was plenty of space for Ugandan lawmaker David Bahati's opinions, whose bias against gay people drives his stigmatizing efforts, quotes from his fellow travelers American Christian conservative Richard Carver, Uganda politician Kizza Besigye and the Ugandan ethics minister Simon Lokodo.

But not a single quote from an actual lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex individual from Uganda. A remarkably limited number of words are devoted to the LGBTI community:

The few gay rights advocates in Uganda who work publicly on the issue have seen their own exposure — and support — widen, too. One received the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award last year.

The individual is Frank Mugisha of the Sexual Minorities of Uganda organization, and the Times in December published a bold opinion column from him

I'd like to know why your paper omitted Mugisha's name and a quote from any gay Ugandan citizen, if only to allow the subjects of your story, those citizens, to have a voice and counter what the anti-gay activists have to say.

I expect the Times to include the voices of all persons integral a given story, and in this case the Times' high standards were regrettably not met.

A prompt reply is respectfully requested.

Michael Petrelis

No comments: