James Poniewozik’s “Tuned In”

James Poniewozik lives the life.


I mean really. Tell me a profession that sounds better than getting paid to watch television shows and critique/praise/say whatever comes to mind about them. Maybe being a professional athlete trumps that? Maybe being a movie star? Maybe being a super hero with web slinging abilities and super senses? Outside of those, nothing. Poniewozik is an entertainment blogger and TV critic for TIME. He has his own blog called Tuned In where his television knowledge is carefully crafted into words. I’ll admit it. I’m envious of Poniewozik. You can admit it too, it’s okay.

Now the fact that Poniewozik “lives the life” doesn’t mean that his job is a cinch. Make no mistake, your average Joe Schmo couldn’t do what Poniewozik does. His work is truly impressive and captivating. In Poniewozik’s latest post, TV Tonight: The New Normal, he writes of the mediocrity of the pilot episode for the NBC show The New Normal. In fact, he rips it: “The New Normal, on the other hand, has too many shrill, irritating characters to appreciate it as anything other than a statement about How Parenting Is Changing Now”. What makes Poniewozik’s writing so effective is how he intertwines social issues with the shows that he watches. He blends his own thoughts with the social issues he brings up while offering suggestions along the way. That makes the fluency in his blogging seamless and pleasing to the reader’s eye.

Poniewozik is a pro when it comes to linking and researching. Linking, as candidly stated by Steve Fox in Why Blog? A Guide for Students, is vital to blog success: “providing a thoughtful, credible series of links will help create an audience that will come to your blog for your expertise and perspective”. In Poniewozik’s past three blog posts he has had no less than two links in each post. He doesn’t simply chuck links in his posts for the hell of it, he inserts them with the intention to entice readers and keep them coming back. Meanwhile, Poniewozik knows his stuff. He does his homework when it comes to research. His blog post What We’re Learning from the Convention Ratings (Or Lack Thereof)  is essentially all research and reporting. He gives specific numbers of both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions and how they differ from the 2008 conventions.

Combine the style of writing with the mastering of blogging fundamentals linking and researching and you have James Poniewozik, not only living the life, but living his life, as the TV critic for TIME.


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