Friday, May 4, 2012

Beyonce's Writing Award Prompts Backlash

So, singer Beyonce wrote an article for Esquire Magazine about the nine months she spent staying home to have a baby. Now she is being given an award for her article by the New York Association of Black Journalists.

Interesting. I didn't know one feature article qualified you to be a journalist, but then again, I'm not Beyonce.

Another curiosity for me is whether or not Beyonce actually wrote her own article or had a ghostwriter do it for her as is often the case with celebrities. I wouldn't mind seeing her rough drafts, hand written notes or something to prove she actually wrote the article in the first place.

Of course the the New York Association of Black Journalists has defended its decision saying that since she was published Beyonce had as much right to win as anybody and that her article was worthy of the prize. Which is exactly what they would be expected to say in the face of mounting criticism by just about everyone who has heard the news.

In the meantime, while Beyonce collects her award and bats her eyes and talks about how humbled she is by the recognition, actual black journalists are struggling to report actual news both domestically and internationally; fighting against racial bigotry and social injustice. But that's ok, they are so busy writing actual news they probably won't even notice they've been snubbed in favor of someone with more name recognition.

Once again I am appalled at the lack of respect shown to an industry(writing) which is at the cornerstone of human civilization. By overlooking the contributions of reputable black journalists in favor of a feature story written by a celebrity, the New York Association of Black Journalists has shown it is no less culpable in the downfall of our industry than someone willing to pay $5 for a 1000 word article. In fact, more so because we would all expect them to show the most respect for the industry they allegedly represent.

I am sorely disheartened that an organization committed to honoring the best in black journalism was unable to recognize the harm they would cause by undermining their own institution with a supercilious action and not being willing to defend itself with a presentation of facts demonstrating that indeed, no other black journalist was worthy of the prize they just handed to Beyonce.

As far as I am concerned awards handed out by the New York Association of Black Journalists are no longer worth the paper they are written on. All their credibility is now gone, wasted on an obvious publicity stunt. I hope it was worth it.


Aura Borealis said...

She steals so many song-writing credits, somehow I don't think she wrote that article.....a very badly given award.

christine benjamin said...

I have to admit when I first heard she got an award I believed it was a joke. In my mind no one would seriously give her one for a note to the First Lady, much to my chagrin I was wrong. It is a sad day when a respected recognized institution stoops so low for publicity, forgetting its greater purpose of celebrating Black journalists in an arena were the ceilings still exists.

Nakeesha said...

Seriously? I cannot believe they even considered her for an award. How did she even come up in a conversation about black journalists? She is a talented as a pop star, that's it. Leave the acting and the writing to people who are talented in those areas. SMH