Of Course Non-Journalist Beyonce Won A Journalism Award
12:45 pm, May 6th | by Laura Donovan
Sometimes I have to stop myself from thinking “stay out of our world” when celebrities invade normal people life on a whim, so I wasn’t exactly cheering singer Beyonce on when I learned that she landed an award from the New York Association of Black Journalists for her summer 2011 Essence article “Eat, Play, Love.”
And obvious nod at memoirist Elizabeth Gilbert’s popular book “Eat, Pray, Love,” Beyonce’s essay follows the Grammy recipient’s nine month hiatus from work to travel the world and have fun, as if it’s not fun enough already to hang out with Jay-Z and live lavishly. Sure it’s admirable for a big time public figure to shy away from fame for nearly a year, but many have said the decision to honor Beyonce overlooks the hard work of daring reporters who risk their lives to deliver the news. One Twitter user encapsulates the common reaction Beyonce’s win: “I love Beyonce..but it’s a slap in the face to journalists everywhere for her to receive that NABJ award for ONE article!” While the essay itself must be applauded for its deeply personal touch, it doesn’t contain award winning writing. Here is the conclusion of her long-form piece:
“My personal retreat gave me strength and a creative reawakening. I returned refreshed, renewed and empowered to reevaluate my life and do things that will make a difference. Because let’s face it, girls, we run the world.”
It kind of brings me back to those awful five-paragraph essays my fifth grade teacher made all her students write. A bit too cut and dry for me. Beyonce put together a nice article, but nothing that changed the face of journalism or inspired a wave of young women to enter the field. Besides, “Eat, Pray, Love” is Ms. Gilbert’s thing, not Beyonce’s, so the “Single Ladies” crooner should have at least come up with an original topic before getting the accolade. Is it OK for us to coast off other people’s ideas as long as we’re famous?