Joe Coscarelli: Pop Culture and Clever Writing

I have been following and researching Joe Coscarelli and I must say, he is witty and entertaining, yet has the ability to be helpful and informative when he needs to be. He focuses on pop culture and current events and isn’t one to write hard news stories. He pulls from other sources often, commenting on their pieces, but also writes longer articles, depending on what site the work is for. His writing is mostly featured online and has a strong voice; he is a writer that is easy for the reader to get to know and connect with.

Joe is a 24-year-old living in New York City. He graduated from New York University with a BA in Journalism and Politics. His resume boasts published pieces in Rolling Stone, Salon, The LA Times, and Blackbook, as well as working as an editor for LIFE.com and Mediaite, NYU Local and The Deli Magazine. He has written as a staff writer for the Village Voice and currently works as a staff writer for ROOKIE and as an editor of the Daily Intel for New York Magazine.

He creates posts frequently for New York Magazine, averaging between 5 and 12 posts a day. He makes up for the few days off he takes every now and again, like from September 12-16 when he didn’t post anything new.

His posts mainly consist of very short comments on current events and pop culture.  Much of the content for these posts come from other news sources and multimedia that he embeds, and then shares his opinion on. His posts can be as short as one line but have on occasion neared 1000 words, like this article about how Occupy Wall Street is Skeptical of Bill de Blasio. In his post, possible reasons Caroline Biden and her roommate were fighting that could’ve caused her arrest, his tone is comical, which is similar to the majority of his work. In others his tone is more serious, like in this paragraph where he gave readers basic information about the Fifth Avenue building that is secretly owned by Iran.

In Rollling Stone and Salon, his work also revolved around pop culture, but focused on celebrities. He wrote an article about Taylor Swift, discussing her twitter, family, friends and lucky number for Rolling Stone in 2010.  On Salon, his posts were longer than those that he currently writes for NY Magazine. He wrote a celebrity gift guide, describing presents you could buy a person in your life who similar to each celebrity. His work for Salon also included a regular news roundup of pop culture events you may have missed, and some other trendy articles, like 5 movies that understand your post grad life.

ROOKIE is an online magazine geared towards young women, and the pieces Joe writes here are longer and more thoughtful than those he has written for other publications, in my opinion. Although much of his work still revolves around pop culture, he doesn’t simply comment on current events. He writes detailed articles about a wide range of topics, including music and tv, life, just for fun, advice, books, and other miscellaneous things. He offers serious advice, like in this article about finding a job, as well as fun pieces where he reviews different cereals, talks satirically about Miley Cyrus, lists the books he tells people he’s read but hasn’t and shares funny and important links with his audience along with other staff writers.

On his Tumblr, he pulls quotes and pictures from outside sources and comments on them, for the most part. After this quote from Miley Cyrus telling a story about a woman trying to sell her wrinkle cream, he comments “she’s full of stories, this one”, as if he knows Miley Cyrus on a personal level. The comments he makes are subtle, like after this photo of Reese Witherspoon, he references the film Legally Blonde and writes, “Harvard Alumni!”. One of my favorite posts on his Tumblr that I’ve come across is  this photo of Beyonce driving Jay Z and family home from the Hamptons, when he comments, referencing The Great Gatsby.

Not all of Joe’s readers love his work, but most of the comments I’ve seen from readers have been frivolous. I agree, or I disagree, I love this, or I hate this.  They are very common and none of them truly stood out to me as anything more than unimportant and mostly irrelevant.

His job is definitely one that I would like to have. He writes about anything and everything he wants to write about and gets to share his opinion on what is going on in the world. He can speak to a whole base of young readers from New York and do what he loves. He has done much of what we have and will do in class this semester, through his blog and other publications. He uses multimedia effectively and blogs about popular things going on the world, in a short and direct format.

Joe has a good sense of humor and his age definitely shows in his work. This makes it easy for him to connect with young people on a variety of topics. He almost always has something to say that is worth listening to, whether it is sarcastic, serious or funny. I think young people enjoy the commentary because it presents the information in an interesting way and gives them a different perspective, even if it is news they have already heard about. Joe voices his opinion and is full of pop culture references and I feel he speaks to a good chunk of our generation with his easygoing and comical writing style.

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