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CNN's latest 'Great Big Story' features KARE 11's Jana Shortal

She's helped redefine what it means to be a woman in local news.
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A familiar face on Twin Cities television, KARE 11's Jana Shortal will find herself being broadcast into homes nationally this coming Friday.

That's after she was interviewed as part of CNN Great Big Story's "SHINE" series, which focuses on "women who build community and celebrate identity through beauty."

The short video, titled "How a News Anchor Broke the Unspoken Dress Code," focuses on the personal and professional conflict Shortal has faced during her TV career.

She told Great Big Story that the norms for women in the TV news industry were at odds with her identity and sexuality, and forced her to make compromises for the first 15 years of her career.

"As a girl growing up in the world, there was a code. And in this industry, at least this code was very easy to see and follow: pretty hair, perfect makeup, and their outfits look like they do in the magazines.

"That was internally difficult, but I knew how to do it."

Shortal truly announced herself to her regular viewers when she started presenting KARE 11's new show, "Breaking The News," in January 2016, sporting clothes and a hairstyle that were very much herself.

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"I felt confident enough to wear this hair and a David Bowie t-shirt," she said. "And I was so scared that the minute I got off there would be like this group of people who would beat me up or send me mail to say take her off the air."

That fortunately didn't happen, and while she has had to deal with her fair share of trolls from time-to-time, she has become one of the Twin Cities most prominent and popular local media personalities.

"This is me, this is always who I have been," she added. "I'm sad that I'm an anomaly, It seems goofy because I know a lot of people who look like me.

"But I'm sure you could call news directors all over the country that would say my hair's a problem."

KARE 11 notes that Shortal will feature on TNT's International Women's Day coverage this Friday, with her segment airing at 11:14 a.m. 

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