KSAT 12 only Texas TV station to receive ‘excellent’ rating in GLAAD’s Local Media Accountability Index for 2021

GLAAD reviewed 181 newspapers and TV outlets in nine Southern U.S. states

SAN ANTONIO – KSAT 12 is one of three Texas media outlets and the only TV station to receive an “excellent” rating in the latest report from GLAAD, a national media monitoring organization that works against discrimination of the LGBTQ+ community.

The report, released Thursday by the group’s Local Media Accountability Index for the U.S. South, reviewed 181 newspapers and TV outlets in nine Southern states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

In Texas, KSAT 12, the Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram were the only news organizations to receive the top rating. Local media outlets were given assessments of excellent, good, fair or poor.

“Outlets were assessed on a variety of metrics, including fair, accurate, and inclusive reporting, use of accurate terminology, respect in naming story subjects and their families and relationships, refraining from defamatory or offensive terms, refraining from incendiary rhetoric and sensationalistic distortions of LGBTQ people’s lives, coverage of the diversity of the LGBTQ community with an emphasis on local stories, and responsible use of images and video, among other factors,” the GLAAD report reads.

South Texas Pride

KSAT 12 News started its South Texas Pride series in early 2018 to tell more local LGBTQ+ community stories.

The series has covered stories about South Texas’ LGBTQ+ artists, drag performers, sports teams, nonprofit organizations, as well as community members who have made a difference.

“Creating this series has been the highlight of my career and the single most meaningful project I’ve ever been a part of in my community,” said Diana Winters, executive producer of SA Live and creator of the South Texas Pride series.

You can see all the South Texas Pride stories, town halls, and the KSAT Explains special on the Bonham Exchange by clicking here.

“We know how important it is to tell stories that reflect our community. That has to include the LGBTQ+ community,” said KSAT 12 News Director Bernice Kearney. “I’m so proud of the journalists at KSAT who produce the stories that showcase our South Texas Pride.”

Report details

The Google and manual website searches conducted for the report took place between June 1, 2019, and December 31, 2020, which includes news coverage from before and during the pandemic.

The research found that some states fared significantly better than others regarding consistency and high-quality reporting. It also showed many outlets relied heavily on national wire stories or affiliations with national outlets rather than report on the local or regional LGBTQ+ communities.

None of the Texas TV news outlets studied received a “poor” rating, while 50% were “fair,” 37.5% were “good,” and 12.5% received an “excellent” rating.

Out of the 181 outlets included in the report, 39 produced zero or negligible LGBTQ+ content for the length of the study. At least one outlet in the nine states studied failed to report a single LGBTQ+ story.

“Fair, accurate, and inclusive news media coverage is vital to expanding publicawareness and understanding of LGBTQ people,” wrote GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “While recent decades have shown remarkable advancements in accurate reporting on issues affecting our lives andincreasingly nuanced portrayals of the incredible diversity within LGBTQ communities, the fact remains many reporters, editors, and producers continue to face challengescovering LGBTQ issues in a complex, sometimes rhetorically charged climate.”

GLAAD also included its recommendations to make coverage more inclusive, including:

  • Getting more perspectives from local LGBTQ+ community members on issues that affect them
  • Using authentic names and gender pronouns of transgender people
  • Looking for ways to highlight the intersectionality of LGBTQ lives as they are among every race, religion, and ethnicity
  • Report more stories about the latest HIV science to end the stigma fueling infections

KSAT 12 is the ABC affiliate in San Antonio and is owned by Graham Media Group.

See the entire study findings and recommendations in the document below or click here.

GLAAD’s findings and recommendations in the Local Media Accountability Index - U.S. South

About the Author:

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and KSAT.com includes covering breaking news of the day, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" and "KSAT Money" series.