Michael Koretzky of Florida Atlantic University conducted my second session of the day, and he was by far the most engaging speaker I’ve seen so far. I walked in and he had a slideshow playing of funny photos he’s taken of celebrities, set to upbeat rock music. His speech was really comical and visual, and he held the attention of everyone in the room. When people got the answers to his questions right, he gave them such valuable CDs as “Christmas with James Taylor and the Muppets.”
Koretzky said arts and entertainment editors and writers are often the most disrespected people in the newsroom, but it can be one of the most productive ways to a magazine job. He said while there are about 8,000 newspapers in the country, there are 19,000 magazines, so there are jobs out there. But like Benjy Hamm in my first session, he said students probably won’t start out at Newsweek or Rolling Stone but can start at smaller magazines they may not have heard of and work their way up. He also said no matter what they do, students should remember that they’re writing entertainment journalism, not just entertainment.
He said the best entertainment stories involve collaboration between the writer, the photographer and the designer, and that entertainment writers should always be creative with their stories rather than sticking to a prescribed formula. He gave me a lot of ideas about new angles to look for in A&E stories that would really spice up the section. This was definitely my most enjoyable session and one of the most helpful.