Journalists discuss entertainment reporting and its future

Thursday, September 11, 2008 | 7:54 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — As part of the MU School of Journalism's centennial celebration, Jann Carl led a panel discussion centered on the question "What is entertainment journalism?" She told the story of her personal journey through the field and how her education from the Journalism School prepared her for her future career.

"How do you make a call on what you can or can't run?" Carl asked. She said her time at MU allowed her to answer tough questions like this, as well as many others she has faced while reporting.


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Kitty Bean Yancey, a travel reporter for USA Today, discussed her take on journalism's influence.

"As a journalist, you have the power to affect reputations," Yancey said.

Although she's an active writer in entertainment journalism, she had one piece of advice for all journalism students: know everything. All members of the panel emphasized the value of creating journalism from every angle — writing, reporting, and producing multimedia.

Other panelists included Kimberly Nordyke, a reporter at The Hollywood Reporter; Lindsay Powers, staff writer and editor at Us Weekly; and Leah Sanders, a producer of E! Entertainment.

"If I can be the light in peoples' lives ... that's what I take away from it all," Sanders said while describing the personal dimension of her career. "Learn as much as you can here. Hang onto that, and be proud."

The panel also discussed how to relate to the ethics of entertainment journalism, the future of Web-based journalism and the importance of balancing the audience's interest with the lives of the subjects being reported.

"There is no story without people behind them," Carl said.

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