In the piece, Beyonce justifies her decision to take nine months away from her career to travel and find herself. Award-winning sentences include, “In Capri I ate pizza and drank red wine every Sunday. I discovered I love artichokes and that a salad and fresh fish are not only healthy choices but incredibly delicious.”
Naturally, the decision to give Beyonce a journalism award has come under fire.
Rose reports that doubts were raised about whether or not Beyonce actually wrote the Essence piece herself. While not responding directly to that claim, Essence’s entertainment editor Cori Murray told the New York Daily News, “She’s a real writer. We had to edit her, but everyone gets edited except Toni Morrison.”
Another Twitter user noted, “No, but for real, I love Beyonce..but it’s a slap in the face to journalists everywhere for her to receive that NABJ award for ONE article!”
Michael Feeney, a NY Daily News reporter and NYABJ chapter president, told HLNTV the decision was merit based. “This is one award and I feel strongly that the award was judged on the content and not on her name,” he said. “It wasn’t — I feel — given because it was Beyonce. It was given because it was a well written article.”
Beyonce has, at least, one other journalist in her corner. Katie Couric tweeted, “From 1 journalist 2 another: congratulations to @Beyonce!”
The actual NYABJ awards ceremony goes down May 15. It’s unclear if Beyonce will attend.