Channel 4 has signed an agreement to treat transgender issues sensitively and accurately.

The broadcaster is the first media outlet to sign Trans Media Watch’s Memorandum of Understanding.

The document calls on the media to use the correct definitions for trans people, to work to eradicate transphobia and ensure that positive and realistic depictions of trans people are shown.

It also asks the media to help end misinformation and ensure that trans employees are treated with the same respect given to non-trans people in the same positions.

Trans Media Watch says it is against censorship but wants to “encourage responsible journalism and to assist people working in the media who wish to achieve a better understanding of transgender and intersex issues”.

It is asking other media outlets to sign the document.

The memorandum was developed after the group published research which found a link between harassment of trans people and negative portrayals in the media.

Channel 4 bosses signed the document at an event in central London last night.

Stuart Cosgrove, Channel 4 director of creative diversity said: “Channel 4 recognises and respects the ambitions of Trans Media Watch, and its core values of accuracy, dignity and respect.

“Our editorial independence always come first; but it is part of our remit to reflect the diversity of the UK, and in this context we have said we would be delighted to become signatories to Trans Media Watch’s aims to work towards great tolerance and improved representation of transgender people.”

The broadcaster has also commissioned a research project to help it learn more about transgender people.

The project will study the lives of ten trans people, who will be interviewed, asked to keep a week’s diary and invited to discuss trans portrayal with Channel 4 programme-makers.