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Earlier this year, we saw the launch of the podcast where Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling finally talks about the controversy surrounding her position in the heated trans debate. Many journalists had tried, but the one who ultimately managed to get her talking was Megan Phelps-Roper, previous member of Christian fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church. After leaving the congregation and her family, also referred to as “the most hated family in America”, Phelps-Roper wrote the acclaimed book “Unfollow”, was portrayed in a BBC-documentary and gave her own TED talk about the experience.
But “The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling” is about much more than Rowling and her views. Through the interviews withRowling and her critics, Phelps-Roper is trying something as rare as to seek the nuances, to find common understanding and show how it’s possible to meet the other halfway on extremely polarizing topics.
Is it possible to do balanced journalism on topics such as trans and gender without feeding an already polarized debate? Does she feel she has succeeded? Or are the critics, claiming that the series is biased and lacking critical questions, right in their views? How has Phelps-Roper worked with her sources – and how much has her own background and experience affected her work?
Megan Phelps-Roper is joining Nordic Media Days together with producer Andy Mills, to share their unique experience and how they have worked with one of the most explosive topics of our time.