Good example of how to structure a trend piece/critical essay/elaborate blog post

This piece in The New Republic on the coverage of Charlie Sheen is almost a textbook example of structure: the anecdote at the beginning, the move to background/context, and then moving into analysis filled with specific examples, inclusion of counterargument (this is nothing new) and conclusion.  The reporting/research done is extensive but probably did not involve going beyond Google.


This piece also blurs boundaries between blog post, essay and trend piece, and this sort of hybrid arts writing is very common now and, I would hazard, will become ever more commmon.


Some of the comments thus far (11:45 am on Wed) add to the discussion and debate, enriching the original post.

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Links can make points

As you all strive to linkify your posts (and avoid making up bad verbs like “linkify”), check out the review of Drivel magazine in OCBooklove. You will get a nice surprise at the end.

Links can do more than refer readers to a place where they can find more information, as Ariel shows. They can also be a form of  commentary upon the post, make a joke, or add a twist. Used in imaginative ways, links can be a way to add voice and tone to your blog writing without using words.


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Journalism Symposium April 7-8

Ta da!

Oberlin College to Host Sixteen Alumni Journalists as Part of Journalism Symposium

Oberlin’s student-run newspaper, The Oberlin Review, is excited to announce its first Oberlin College Journalism Symposium, to take place on April 7th and 8th at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. The symposium will consist of three panels and two keynote addresses featuring 16 different Oberlin alumni journalists. The speakers run the journalistic gamut from reporters and editors of the country’s most respected newspapers to bloggers for internationally read web-only magazines.


The symposium will have two keynote addresses; one on Thursday at 8 p.m. by Peter Baker, OC ’88, The New York Times’ senior White House correspondent, and one on Friday at 4:30 p.m. by David Schlesinger, OC ’82, the Chairman of Thomson-Reuters China and, until February 2011, the Editor-in-Chief of Reuters. Both Baker and Schlesinger launched their careers in journalism while attending Oberlin College in the’80s.


The symposium will also feature three panels. At 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 7th, Tom Rosenstiel, OC ’78, the founder of the Pew Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, will moderate a discussion between Aaron Zitner, OC ’84, politics editor for The Wall Street Journal, Melanie Eversley, OC ’83, of USA Today, Chris L. Jenkins, OC ’93, of The Washington Post, Kate Julian, OC ’00, of Slate and investigative journalist and author Melissa Faye Greene, OC ’75.


At 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, food critic and TIME Magazine correspondent Lisa Abend, OC ’86, music writer Sara Marcus, OC ’99, and NY Magazine TV critic Emily Nussbaum, OC ’88, will discuss culture writing for today’s audiences.


On Friday, April 8th at 7 p.m., Emmy-winning documentary journalist and Oberlin College Director of Cinema Studies Geoff Pingree will moderate a panel between some of NPR’s top hosts and producers: Ben Calhoun, OC ’01, and Alex Blumberg, OC ’89, of “This American Life,” Jad Abumrad, OC ’95, and Robert Krulwich, OC ’69, of “Radiolab” and Chana Joffe-Walt, OC ’03, a reporter for NPR.


“We are thrilled that the Review is bringing such an impressive group of alumni journalists and commentators back to campus for this conference,” said College President Marvin Krislov. “That Oberlin boasts such accomplished alumni speaks to the quality of the liberal arts and sciences education we provide.”


The symposium was organized by three Oberlin College seniors, all editors at The Oberlin Review, with the help of Oberlin Professor Anne Trubek, OC ’88, who is also working as a journalist, and Oberlin Lecturer and Assistant to the President Ferd Protzman, OC ’75, who worked for The New York Times and The Washington Post for years before returning to his alma mater. The Oberlin Review is one of the nation’s oldest student-run newspapers and has a long history of producing accomplished journalists.


For more information contact:

Monica Klein
Commentary Editor
The Oberlin Review
John Light
The Oberlin Review
(609) 240-1812
Beatrice Rothbaum
The Oberlin Review


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Resources and Deadlines

I have started adding local publications to the “Resources” sidebar. These will be handy for finding out what is happening locally as well as pitching reviews and stories. Contact me before you contact them.


And bowing to popular demand, I am hereby adding deadlines. By mid-term, you should have completed your interview with an arts blogger completed (this can count as one blog post) *and* complete a review. For those gunning for top grades, that review should be submitted and published as well (given the lax policies of The Grape and The Oberlin Review, I think we can make publication a requirement).

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Library Thing Early Reviewer Program

This program from Library Thing offers one way to get books from publishers before publication date. Looks promising.

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“This book has an owl in it, and I don’t like owls.”

Here’s a  great essay on what makes a good review and why you should avoid “owl criticism” by Charles Baxter.


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Spiderman and Theater Criticism

Kif sent some links to me today about the onslaught of negative Spiderman reviews and then the review of the reviews…exactly the kind of debate within criticism we’ll be reading this semester. Thanks to him for compiling these (and I’m sure the number of links will grow in the next 48 hours!)

Apparently everyone’s writing terrible reviews of Julie Taymor’s new Spiderman musical.

The spokesperson for the show attributes the terrible reviews to a follow-the-leader mentality, calling it a “PILE-ON.”

(p.s. Note that this blog will be a class blog–referring to each other, what we’re doing in class. But your blogs won’t be!)

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