A Day In My Life Teaching Journalism at Spelman College

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Monday, a journalist visiting my journalism students at Spelman College snapped this photo of me leading a discussion about the impact celebrity blogs/bloggers have had on media outlets and readers. A high point of our discussion was focused on accessing creative writing skills exhibited by bloggers, many of whom media elites assume have little to offer journalism as a an art form. We discussed how these bloggers build budding readerships using accessible language, comedy, narrative and honesty. Of note was Black celebrity blogger Luvvie, who runs the blog Awesomely Luvvie. While I frequently read established publications focused delivering insightful human interest stories and investigative reports such as the Atlantic and the Washington Post, when I want to tune into gossip and hear a straight and clear opinion of contemporary affairs, Luvvie hits the spot. Her blog has long been a guilty pleasure of mine; however, recently, while laughing out loud of one of her many jokes laced throughout each piece, I thought, she’s a great writer. Her style is unconventional, yes, however, her delivery connects and pulls through easily from beginning to end. So, what’s the draw? What’s so great about Luvvie and other bloggers like her? Perhaps in discussing responses to this question, we can better understand why many publications have extended their mastheads to include bloggers, major corporations advertise on their sites and readers add them to their bookmarks. To begin to respond, we read Luuvie’s latest article aloud. As I predicted, my students laughed as we read the work, some often groaned when they felt Luvvie was telling a truth we needed to know (she often gives readers indirect advice), and others focused intently on how she weaved together her special writing skill and the news of the day. It was very interesting. As listed above, the conversation concluded with the students highlighting Luuvie’s skillful use of comedy, accessible language, narrative and honesty.

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