The Power of Spoken Words: Why Video Works For News Anchor Jennifer Livingston

WKBT-TV Anchor Jennifer Livingston received an incredibly hurtful email from a viewer…one who actually claims it is ‘unusual’ that they watch her on the show.  And yet, he felt compelled to write her, not about the stories she reports, not about an actual mistake she had made on air that needed correcting, but about her personally – specifically her weight and how this viewer believes her ‘outside’, what he refers to as ‘obesity’, effects her job as a role model for the community, especially young girls.

He said, in part, “Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain….I leave you this note hoping that you’ll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle.”

As someone who used to have a job like Jennifer Livingston, I know how hurtful those emails and letters can be.  And I am delighted she responded as she has….using her experience as a lesson for greater good.

Livingston could have simply written this viewer a return note, or continued a conversation with viewers on Facebook, but instead, she chose to use her voice and the power of video and media to reply. You can see her brilliant reply here and below. When I first saw her video yesterday it had just over 300 views.  As of this writing, it is just shy of 2 MILLION. Here is why I think it works:

Here is Jennifer Livingston’s actual reply:

This story has touched a nerve with many people. While I am clear on my support of what Livingston had to say, I will say, I did see on my Facebook page, some disagreement.  There were comments that fell into the ‘what’s the big deal’ category and those that believed the email wasn’t actually ‘bullying’.

I would love to know what you think. Share away.  And what do you think about the use of video as a means to communicate a point, an emotion or story?