Student Blog: The Dotted Line Reporter

The Dotted Line Reporter was born out of the idea that success comes from forging one’s own path. For five students taking Professor Dougherty’s Entertainment Law course last fall, that meant starting a blog that could contribute to the discussion of the ever-evolving nature of the entertainment industry.

Editor-in-Chief Christoffer Gaddini '15 spearheaded the effort and recruited Edo Azran '15, Kate Brown '15, Danielle Duarte '15 and Johnny Storms '15 to join his cause. “I am very fortunate to be surrounded by amazing people here at Loyola, which made the assembly of our team easy to do,” he said. While the group lacked prior blog experience, they shared a passion for the entertainment industry and its intersection with the law.

“Our mission is simple: to create a space where law students, lawyers and creative professionals can come together to discuss the business and legal developments of the entertainment industry,” said Gaddini. Their innovative approach enables widespread exposure to their writing and the opportunity to pick up new skills in digital media. Through the development of The Dotted Line Reporter, the group became well versed in web design, content marketing, social media and the art of targeting viewers.

“We have a few goals,” said Brown. “One is to just create consistent, quality articles that we believe are interesting and informative. Another goal is to show potential employers that we are creative self-starters. The legal climate is not incredibly hospitable, and we all realize that we have to set ourselves apart from other law students,” she said. Moving forward, they hope to garner advertisers and sponsors to offset the costs of running the blog and, perhaps, even make a profit.

Azran took the lead on the web design, while the others cultivated content in preparation for the launch. As for subject matter, each blogger may write about any facet of the industry that they wish. Each student has a preferred area: Storms for sports; Azran for music; Duarte for social media and privacy rights; Brown for fine art and new media; and Gaddini for modern art and digital media.

Since they are all enrolled in entertainment-focused classes, inspiration for new articles happens in the classroom frequently. “By choosing a topic and then sitting down to research, write and edit an article about that topic, we actually get to master the material. It's much more fun to take what we're learning in the classroom and apply it to real-world scenarios, rather than to just study for a one-shot exam,” said Brown.

“For example, in my Digital Media and the Law class with the outstanding Professor Freed, we discuss new developments in the digital media space on a weekly basis,” said Gaddini. “This sort of educated discussion with my professors and classmates has been the inspiration for many of our articles.” 

They have received support from their peers and Loyola faculty over the blogosphere. Associate Professor Elizabeth Pollman gave The Dotted Line Reporter a shout-out on Loyola’s faculty blog, Summary Judgments. Gaddini wrote a guest post on Jury of Peers, Loyola’s student-run blog, about the group’s motivation behind the project. In addition, many practicing attorneys have expressed encouragement and praise for their thoughtful articles.

“I am continuously impressed by my co-bloggers,” said Brown. “They're all talented and brilliant individuals, and I love working with them. No one has an ego we're more concerned about our effort as a group. We motivate and challenge one another, but we also give each other some grace. After all, we're busy working students, and there's only so much time in the day!”