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Fashion Journalism

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Fashion Journalism

Journalism is generally defined as a discipline in reporting news or events that includes the gathering of relevant data, the writing and editing of the news, and the presentation of articles.  Journalists must report the what, when, where, why, and how of events, and their implication to society in general.  Reporting mediums include magazines, newspapers, television, radio, and the Internet.  While journalism is more known for news-reporting and investigative works, it also covers fashion.  Fashion is not just limited to dresses.

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  It can also be used to describe a kind of journalism.

Fashion journalism is the general term applied to all types of published fashion media.  Those people who are in this industry are called fashion writers, or fashion reporters, or fashion critics.  While this job deals with glamour and style, and may sound easy, there is a lot of hard work involved in this field, especially for assistants or neophyte journalists who are doing this work for the first time.

  The work of journalists in this field can vary from simple to complicated.  From writing simple articles to running from one designer or another for interviews, or attending galas and social events organized by a publication or a fashion house.  This job involves a lot of socializing and dressing up.  No easy feat for anyone who has a limited wardrobe or limited taste for accessorizing and getting made up.

Aside from that, fashion journalists often direct and organize fashion shoots.  Arranging for photo shoots require a lot of preparation and coordination with stores or brand owners.  Clothes need to be borrowed from multiple owners and need to be returned afterwards.  Interviews and researches are required to avoid committing fashion faux pas, as well as knowing the right trend.

Being a fashion journalist also requires having contacts with the who’s who in the fashion world, such as designers, photographers, and public relations personnel.  It could be said that fashion journalism is more of a creative line of work that involves close contact with artists and models.  A person who’d want to consider this type of career should love fashion to the core.  This is not just about buying clothes and wearing what is trendy.  Fashion must be a way of life and must be understood in wider economic, historical and social contexts.  Fashion journalists should be imaginative, inventive, and intuitive in determining which styles or designs would capture the public’s eye.

Comparing fashion journalism with other types of journalism, the difference primarily lies in the amount of creative energy and talent necessary to perform a task.  In fashion journalism, having a head full of ideas, no matter how unconventional, is a must.  You can’t be a fashion journalist if you have no propensity for aesthetics.  In other forms of journalism, say for instance in news reporting-based journalism.  News reporting is objective and focuses on hard facts.  It doesn’t need to imagine what really happened, it only has to tell what actually happened.  News reporters tell events in the most factual way possible without biases and embellishments.  News events have short deadlines, while some news need to be reported right away.  On the other hand, fashion magazines often come out once a month.  The degree of urgency in reporting differs between fashion and other form of journalism.  While it is rare for fashion journalists to become involved in danger while doing their assignments, many news-based journalists endanger their lives to report an event at the moment it is happening.  Some journalists also risk their lives by doing investigative journalism.  An exposé involving criminals or public figures could sometimes result to journalists getting shot at.

While it’s sometimes necessary and acceptable for fashion journalists to be flippant, catty or opinionated, a news journalist should project a dignified personality in order to look and sound believable to the public.  If creativity is necessary for fashion journalists, credibility is a must for the more serious side of journalism.

In terms of writings, a fashion article’s tone is often lighter and the use of creative words is necessary.  In a news article, creative words or flowery sentences are not allowed.  To illustrate this point, let’s compare Lisa Donovan’s Fashion on fast tract with Style Wars found at

http://www.suntimes.com/lifestyles/fashion/684794,WKP-News-fashion07.article, and Mark Mazzetti’s C.I.A. Was Urged to Keep Interrogation Videotapes found at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/08/washington/08intel.html?ref=world.  Both articles provide answers to the how, when, what, why, or where of the topic.  The New York Times article however, follows a strict set of writing guidelines that must be followed in news reporting.  The

Donovan article, although written crisply, has more leeway in the choice of words.

Fashion journalists play a major role in the whole fashion industry.  They are the persons who will persuade the public of what is trendy or what is not trendy.  Current issues and information in the world of fashion are made known to the public through fashion writers.      Considered as experts in this field, the public look to fashion journalists to provide guidance, tips, critiques, and other useful information that would make consumers feel like they’ve made the right decisions when making a purchase.  Designers are also dependent on fashion journalists on feedback regarding their latest line of clothing or perfume.


Donovan, L. (2007) Chicago Sun-Times. Fashion on fast track with ‘Style Wars’ [Internet]. Available from: <http://www.suntimes.com/lifestyles/fashion/684794,WKP-News-fashion07.article> [Accessed 08 December 2007].

Fashion Writer. What is fashion journalism? [Internet]. Available from: <http://www.fashionwriter.co.uk/page2.htm> [Accessed 08 December 2007].

News Reporting and Public Records. (2007) What we should be teaching in journalism schools [Internet].  Available from: <http://www.jou.ufl.edu/faculty/carmstrong/blog/?p=72> [Accessed 08 December 2007].

Mazetti, M. (2007) The New York Times. C.I.A. Was Urged to Keep Interrogation Videotapes [Internet]. Available from: <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/08/washington/08intel.html?ref= world> [Accessed 08 December 2007].

Cite this Fashion Journalism

Fashion Journalism. (2016, Jun 18). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/fashion-journalism/

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