After reading the DC Comics’ Batman Incorporated #8, in which Robin gets killed off, freshman Michael Moccio said he just had to write about it. So he told his editor Shannon O’Connor — the Editor-in-chief of Emertainment Monthly — that he was already drafting an article about the death. Two days later, the article was posted online, and received the most publicity the site has seen, with nine comments and 900 views in one day.
O’Connor, a former Beacon correspondent, said she founded Emertainment Monthly, an entertainment news website, in September with the hopes of filling a void in Emerson’s array of magazines. A fan of Entertainment Weekly with aspirations to work there someday, O’Connor said she wanted to bring what she loves about entertainment journalism to Emerson. She said she was surprised that a publication like Emertainment Monthly hadn’t been established earlier.
“This is such an artsy school, and everyone’s very interested in theater and film and TV and music, so it wasn’t hard to get a lot of backers on the project,” said O’Connor, a freshman writing, literature, and publishing major.
Emertainment Monthly has a staff of over 40 Emerson students and 16 section editors. It features reviews of TV shows, films, music, theater, ballet, books, and comic books.
O’Connor said she is always looking for free movie passes to the latest films and shows for her staff to review, as the group currently has no source of funding. The site covers events at Emerson, including ArtsEmerson shows, and productions in the greater Boston area.
Originally, new posts were made weekly, but with growing membership and a more organized system, O’Connor said they have been posting daily. O’Connor also said she hopes they can produce an online monthly magazine, in hopes of more fully representing the name “Emertainment Monthly.”
However, O’Connor said it took some serious work to get them from where they were last semester to where they are today.
“It was very unorganized last semester,” she said.
Last semester, O’Connor said she was in charge of editing every single article. With no section editors, most stories were assigned by posting opportunities on Facebook.
O’Connor said that by December she was nearly burnt out, when Moccio, a writing, literature, and publishing major, came to help her with reorganization and apply for Student Government Association recognition for next year.
The two began to draft a constitution, opened up applications for editors, and met with the management team to discuss their expectations and how the editing and posting system would work.
The editors of Emertainment now conduct meetings via their Facebook group. All members of the publication are in the group, but the various sections each have their own groups, where the editor’s preferences and guidelines for articles are posted. This is where ideas are pitched and discussed, and assignments made, according to O’Connor.
“If you have to go to a meeting every single week, it’s kind of like, ‘Oh, I have class at this time.’ But if it’s on Facebook, you can look on your phone while you’re in class and be like, ‘Oh, I’ll do that,’ ” she said. “It gives everyone an opportunity to be able to do whatever they would like to do.”
Now that its expectations have been set, and reached a solid base of around 200 articles online, O’Connor said the publication is looking to receive SGA recognition in the fall so it can produce monthly print issues.
With the recent establishment of Emertainment’s own Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook, O’Connor said things have been picking up in terms of interest, and Facebook has become its predominant way of advertising the publication.
“It kind of started picking up when I got [Moccio] onboard [who] was willing to help and really loved it as much as I did,” O’Connor said. “These people who have been contacting me about the articles or working for Emertainment — they’re really excited about it.”
Moccio, vice president and comic books section editor, said the freedom Emertainment Monthly allows its writers is what sets the website apart from other Emerson publications.
“Emertainment is solely about entertainment,” said the writing, literature, and publishing major. “I really like the structure of it. It’s very free in what topics you can write about. As long as it relates to the entertainment industry, and as long as it relates to whatever section you’re writing for, then you have free rein.”