During Oscars, Hampton media brew perked in real time

By Kayla Johnson

On Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015 the 87th Academy Awards took place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles. The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, was presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and honored the best films of 2014.

The 2015 host was Neil Patrick Harris, a talented actor, writer, producer, director, magician, comedian and singer. The nominations have flowed in, and the predictions for the winners have been tallied up. Leading the 2015 nominations were "Birdman" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel" with a total of nine nominations each.

In contrast to their success, some critics said that "Selma," a film that highlighted the life of civil rights leader the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was snubbed in many categories for several Academy Awards. Selma received nominations for Best Picture and Best Song.

When asked if she would be watching the awards this Sunday, Haley Jeffries, a junior strategic communication/marketing double major from North Carolina, said, "Of course! It is a tradition that my family and I share. The tributes to the greats and living legends are the best."

The red carpet coverage is also a highly anticipated part of award season this year. Marisa Tukpah, a senior engineering student from Maryland, explained, "I don't really watch the awards themselves; social media provides me with the winner. I watch the pre-show to look at the fashion and see what trends are in for this season.

Hampton University is getting in on the Oscars action this year through Professor April Woodard's JAC 450-Pop Culture class. JAC 450 hosted a viewing party in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications on Sunday during the show. The party featured a red carpet, photographs, videos, polls on who wore it best and refreshments. About 20 students participated.

After working for "Inside Edition" and covering many pop culture events before joining the Hampton University faculty, Professor Woodard desires to give her class real-world experiences: "My class is producing a show and a blog called The Media Brew which is a real website as well as a real online entertainment show. I wanted to make it as realistic as possible. My students have deadlines, we have responsibilities, and this is another opportunity for us to cover the story in real time.

"Even though we can't be there at the Oscars we still can be all over it, cover it and present in an interesting way for our audience."

Professor Woodard is ready to tune in Sunday as well. She is anticipating the best actor, best actress, best picture, and of course the speeches that will be delivered. Check out JAC 450- Pop Culture's blog at www.themediabrew.com and support The Oscars viewing party on Sunday to see the big winners and fashion trends.

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

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