Beyonce winning a journalism award is like a one-legged man winning an ass-kicking contest

Journalism- /ˈdʒəːn(ə)lɪz(ə)m/ (noun) The activity or profession of writing for newspapers or magazines or of broadcasting news on radio or television.

Apparently Beyonce is a better writer that all of us in the journalism field.

Over the weekend, I saw that singer Beyonce Knowles won an award from the National Association of Black Journalists for an article she wrote that was in Essence Magazine called “Eat, Play, Love.”  Click here.

Beyonce is no more a journalist that I am a singer. Does she even own a copy of the Associated Press Stylebook?? Probably not

As a member of National Association of Black Journalists’ Facebook group, I was completely shocked and appalled that this was allowed to happen. Giving an award to someone who does not work in this field sends the wrong message to all journalists out there.

Basically, it is a slap in the face to all journalists.

The question I have is this: Was this done for publicity?

Journalists who weighed in on the matter left several posts on the National Association of Black Journalists’ Facebook page.

“This was not a PR move. The previous board sent the submissions to the Dallas chapter to be judged. Essence submitted Beyonce and the chapter seemed her writing to be the best in the category.” A board member of the National Association of Black Journalists stated on the organization’s Facebook page.

Another member of the group shot back: “We'd be fooling ourselves not to believe that celebrity has some influence.”

As a journalist, this is extremely disheartening. Some of you out there may that think that I am a “hater.” My rebuttal to that notion is this: If someone in your chosen profession got an award for doing what you do despite the fact that they has never honed their craft like you did how would you feel?

Ask a Chicago Police Officer how they felt when their superintendent (Jody Weis) had no experience in being a police officer.

Ask a teacher how they felt when Ron Huberman became CEO of the Chicago Public Schools even though he had never been a teacher.

Maybe this definition can explain what is going on here:

Yellow journalism. n. Journalism that exploits, distorts, or exaggerates the news to create sensations and attract readers.




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  • Considering others who post on Chicago Now as "journalists,"* and even work at "the newspaper," Beyonce may be an improvement.

    I also thought that journalism dealt with reporting on "who what where why and how" instead of publishing "Report:--" with no verification. Similarly, while there is no right or wrong opinion, apparently now opinion can be based on the opposite of the facts or ignorance of how something, like law or medicine, really works.

    In that Medill changed its name from Journalism to something like "integrated communications," maybe even the academics realize that journalism is dead.

    *I am not saying anything about your background. But I do have in mind Byrne, Chicana, and Muck.

  • The mistaken assumption is that Journalism, or reporting of facts, is something to be studied and learned in a formal setting. What did the world of reporting do prior to J schools?

    Most reporters, most those working in legacy media (and new media) are not concerned with the facts, but with an agenda, be it left or right. Nothing wrong with that, so long as it is stated.

    Most media are themselves celebrities, and most only talk amongst themselves. Chicago is a good example of the "reporter" as media star. Chicago does not have movie and rock stars running around generally, so the default status goes to the talking heads on TV, who are mostly empty suits, along with the info chicks, who wear big hats with not much underneath but a huge ego.

    Beyonce vs Geraldo vs Barbara Walters vs Travis Smiley -- no difference, really.

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