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Posts Tagged ‘essence’

Earn Up to $1.50 a Word at Essence

Essence-ArticleEssence, which describes itself as the authority on black women, is celebrating 45 years as a newsstand mainstay, thanks in no small part to its loyal readers. As editor-in-chief Vanessa K. Bush puts it: “Black women come to Essence to get inspiration, insight and relevant information about our culture they cannot find anywhere else.”

The mag is 40 to 50 percent freelance written and many contributors are award-winning journalists. No need to be intimidated though — the pub welcomes new writers who can prove they have what it takes to land that coveted byline:

Editors enthusiastically invite new writers to pitch stories because they are, above all, interested in recruiting the right talent to speak to their readers. [They] are looking for writers with areas of expertise to generate compelling service pieces and news stories for each section that impart something — a fact, an anecdote, an idea — readers hadn’t encountered before. Three key elements by which to pitch: research, timeliness and relevance.

For more of what Essence editors want, read: How To Pitch: Essence.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

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Cover Battle: Essence or Billboard

Welcome back to another edition of FishbowlNY’s Cover Battle. This week we have Essence versus Billboard. Kerry Washington is featured on the latest Essence cover wearing a bright, gold dress that no other person could pull off. Rocking that dress is the ultimate trump card. If Washington ever encounters someone criticizing her outfit she can shoot back, “I wore that gold dress on Essence’s cover and looked amazing, so what were you saying?”

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Vanessa Bush Named Editor of Essence

Vanessa Bush is officially taking over editor-in-chief of Essence. Bush had been acting editor since Constance C.R. White was fired in February. Prior to that, Bush served as Essence’s executive editor since 2011. She has been with the magazine since 2000.

“Vanessa’s more than 10 years of experience as an editorial leader at Essence will ensure continued success for the preeminent African-American women’s media brand,” said Martha Nelson, Time Inc.’s editor-in-chief, in a statement. “She has the full support of Time Inc. to execute on her vision to honor this loyal and cherished audience.”

Bush has her work cut out for her, as some have claimed that Essence has been suffering from an identity crisis for several years.

Essence Continues to Have Problems

Essence magazine continues to suffer an identity crisis. Ever since Time Inc. purchased it, readers have accused the title of not addressing black womens’ concerns and including too many white people, in editorial sections as well as ads.

If that wasn’t enough, in April of last year, a (white) managing editor — Michael Bullerdick — had to be disciplined for posting racist images on his Facebook page. And before that, Constance C.R. White had to repeatedly defend the magazine for hiring Ellianna Placas, Essence’s first white fashion director.

The rocky road continued in February of last year, when White was fired for what she claimed was her insistence on Essence maintaining a black woman’s point of view.

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Stephen Hill on BET Experience Vs. Essence Festival

Stephen Hill

The BET Awards are a pretty big deal. Not only is the annual ceremony honoring the best in music, sports and entertainment a ratings juggernaut, but the live broadcast also has a tendency to take over social media on the night it airs. And the network is stepping things up once again for this year’s event, which airs Sunday, June 30 at 8pm ET — the whole thing will be open to the public with special concerts, events and seminars dubbed the BET Experience.

Wait — isn’t that a lot like the Essence Festival?

For its latest So What Do You Do? interview, Mediabistro spoke with Stephen Hill, BET president of of programming and specials about the eerie similarities:

How much did Essence‘s success inspire yours, and are there any concerns that the two events might cannibalize each other?
The BET Experience is really built around the BET Awards, because the BET Awards has been airing on the last week of June for the last 10, 11, 12 years or so. People would come out to L.A. for the BET Awards without a ticket. They just wanted to be around the atmosphere, and it just became a magnet event, just the awards show. So, what we did was organize what was already organic. Take the energy that’s already coming here, add some stuff to it and invite more people and make it the BET Experience. I don’t think we would do this outside of the energy that’s already been generated around the BET Awards.

Read the full interview in So What Do You Do, Stephen Hill, BET President of Programming and Specials?

Serena Williams Graces Cover of Essence

Here’s Serena Williams on the cover of the latest issue of Essence. We’re not exactly sure what she’s doing in the photograph. It could be some sort of dance. No matter. Williams is talented, intelligent, successful and beautiful, so she can do any weird pose she wants. This is fact verified by scientific scientists.

The July issue of Essence hits newsstands June 7.

Constance C.R. White Says She Was Fired Over Clashes with Time Inc. Editor

Constance C.R. White, Essence’s editor-in-chief until she was fired early last month, has some strong words for Time Inc.’s editor, Martha Nelson. White told Journal-isms that she was forced out because she wanted black women to be central to Essence, but Nelson did not.

White claims that she wasn’t given any explanation for being fired, but the main problem was that she wouldn’t tolerate what she considered the minimization of black women in Essence:

When was the last time you saw Essence in the community advocating for or talking with black women? No more T-shirts with a male employee’s face on it being distributed at the [Essence] Festival.

I had a certain point of view about black women being central to this magazine. The boss didn’t agree with me, and the president [Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence Communications] didn’t agree with me. It became an untenable situation.

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Constance White Out at Essence

Another casualty of the Time Inc. cuts is Constance White, Essence’s editor-in-chief. The New York Post reports that White was let go and Vanessa Bush, previously Essence’s executive editor, is succeeding her.

White’s tenure at Essence was a controversial one. She fired the magazine’s first white fashion editor (Ellianna Placas), but in a Mediabistro Media Beat interview prior to that, White said Placas’ hire was not an issue because non-blacks could communicate the needs and wants of black women “If you have that cultural background.” White was also responsible for hiring Michael Bullerdick, who — as managing editor — posted racist comments to his Facebook page.

White had been with Essence since early 2011. Prior to her time at the magazine she was the style director for eBay.

Ellianna Placas, Essence’s Controversial Fashion Director, Leaves Magazine

The New York Times is reporting that Ellianna Placas, Essence’s fashion director, has left the magazine. Ever since Placas was hired in 2010, she was under a storm cloud of controversy for being the first white fashion editor at Essence.

Above is a Media Beat interview with Essence’s editor-in-chief, Constance White, where she discusses Placas and the debate surrounding her employment at the glossy.

As of now, there hasn’t been a successor named.

Most Popular FishbowlNY Stories for the Week

Here’s a look at what FishbowlNY stories made the most buzz this week.

  1. Essence Reassigns Managing Editor after Racist Facebook Page Leaks, April 24
  2. Brian Carter, WBLS Weekend Jock, Dies of Apparent Heart Attack, April 23
  3. Sean Fennessey Leaves GQ for Grantland, April 23
  4. ESPN Radio Switching to 98.7 FM Sunday, April 26
  5. Rolling out the Red Carpet for Time 100, April 25
  6. USA Today Journalists Targets of Online Intimidation, April 20

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