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Beyonce Journalism Award Win Attracts Heavy Criticism

Beyonce Knowles, People’s most beautiful woman in the world this year, can add another award to her expansive repertoire. And per usual, she will take that win with a heaping of criticism. Jay Z’s wife of four years was awarded by the New York chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. Blue Ivy’s mom placed first in the arts and entertainment magazine category for her “Eat, Play, Love” piece she wrote for Essence magazine.

The now-awarded piece provided insight into the “Love On Top” singer’s nine-month hiatus from music in 2010 before she returned to the studio to record her successful “4” album.

In part, the megastar wrote for the July 2011 issue: “I had talked about taking a vacation before, but always ended up in the studio after two weeks, so no one believed me. This time, though, I was serious. I was going to give myself a year to do the things I never get to do. Simple things like play with my nephew, pick him up from school, visit museums, go to concerts, see some Broadway shows, learn to cook a meal and spend time with my husband… Yes, I needed some relaxation, but I wanted inspiration too, from regular everyday things. They did not have to be over-the-top productions. I was looking for tiny moments that would speak to my heart and make me smile…”

The recognition is not sitting well with some vocal, rooted journalists however.

“Beyoncé is getting an award along with Robert Naylor, a thirty-year reporter who chaired the Associated Press Diversity Council and founding member of the LGBT Task Force and the late Gil Noble, who hosted “Like It Is” since 1967 and interviewed Adam Clayton Powell, Muhammad Ali, Bill Cosby and Dr. Martin Luther King. Beyoncé wrote an article about a 9-month vacation,” said online columnist Amber Rose for Mused Web site.

Meanwhile, Mr. Feeny, president of the New York chapter, insists the entertainer is being awarded solely for her writing (not celebrity) and that her award doesn’t negate heavy hitters in the journalistic field.

“This is just one award,” he said. “I know a lot of people are upset but we are honoring a lot of outstanding journalists on that night.” He added: “Beyoncé is a role model. I hope this honor will inspire other girls to pursue a career in journalism.”

We agree though that last statement makes him lose some credibility to what he otherwise denounces.

Cori Murray, the magazine’s entertainment director, said that Beyoncé was “a real writer.” “We had to edit her, but everyone gets edited except Toni Morrison,” he said.

Again, not the strongest words to say to further points in why she was awarded.

The Twitter and Facebook outrage is equally strong. Pharoh Martin wrote: “I just threw my journalism degree in the trash.”

Do you think Beyonce should have been awarded though she’s not a journalist? Or do you think the outrage is unnecessary?



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