How Can the Bruce Jenner Interview Help Us Better Serve Our Audience

April 23, 2015 8:16 PM

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Media attention surrounding Bruce Jenner is reaching a crescendo with Diane Sawyer's two-hour interview kicking off ABC's sweeps programing. While Jenner hasn't confirmed the widespread speculation of being transgender, that hasn't dampened such expectations, or fears among transgender advocates surrounding the event. The dramatic tone of the promotional spots for the program does more than generate interest in the broadcast; it raises questions about how we as media professionals cover transgender people and their stories. Are we relying on outdated storytelling techniques and false stereotypes about transgender lives to get views?

Newsrooms are always looking for stories their audiences will find interesting, and the idea of a celebrity they have known for decades revealing they are transgender is attention-getting. Can it be told without resorting to sensationalism? Can the tired, old, and exploitive devices e.g. shots of th...

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