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17-09-2013
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prosperk's Avatar
 
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Suzy Menkes is one of several fashion and style commentators who adhere to a rigid code of ethics many of their younger editors do not seem to understand. If a financial journalist openly accepted inducements from financial establishments to ensure that they were promoted positively in the pages of whatever print or virtual publication employed them, the credibility of that publication would be seriously compromised.

Some of you doubtless read The Business of Fashion webzine. Here's quite an interesting article on fashion bloggers: http://www.businessoffashion.com/201...-for-sale.html

Any fashion house PR will tell you that bloggers influence trends and therefore merit their front row seats. Fair enough. But most bloggers have no comprehension of the professional ethics any respectable journalist or editor should defend. The relatively small proportion of bloggers capable of producing consistently good, reliable reportage and prose and proving that their websites have lots of followers are still, in the main, glorified press release writers rather than journalists.

And this is what separates bloggers from serious fashion journalists like Suzy Menkes, who probably wouldn't accept a coffee in a café from an advertiser because of her rigid and laudable ethical code. Oh sure, some journalists and editors in the fashion press accept 'presents' in return for ensuring a marque's exposure in whatever magazine they work for, a practice that might lead to prison for, say, a financial journalist, but most of these bloggers are firm pillars of the new 'Got Talent' society in which fame and success must be instant, which has led to a drastic lowering of standards across the board.

This is particularly striking in the fashion and style press, leading to a gradual but accelerating realisation on the part of paying readers that the publishers of the expensive glossies they buy are taking the piss by commissioning bloggers instead of the more expensive but more professional experienced writers. It's one thing to stick a blogger in the front row because he or she can perhaps influence a few hundred of their readers to buy a handbag or two but quite another to treat them as serious time-served experts.

They are somewhere around the level of press attachés. In fact, most fashion houses could simply get their press departments to set up blogs consisting of the PR puff they send out, thereby saving a few trees and freeing up our Inboxes. They could even employ bloggers, thereby placing them where they actually belong in the grand scheme of things, and allowing the decreasing number of honest critics like Menkes and Horyn to get on with trying to maintain some level of integrity in the profession, or what's left of it.

PK

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Last edited by prosperk; 17-09-2013 at 05:00 AM.
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17-09-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prosperk View Post
Any fashion house PR will tell you that bloggers influence trends and therefore merit their front row seats. Fair enough. But most bloggers have no comprehension of the professional ethics any respectable journalist or editor should defend. The relatively small proportion of bloggers capable of producing consistently good, reliable reportage and prose and proving that their websites have lots of followers are still, in the main, glorified press release writers rather than journalists.

And this is what separates bloggers from serious fashion journalists like Suzy Menkes, who probably wouldn't accept a coffee in a café from an advertiser because of her rigid and laudable ethical code. Oh sure, some journalists and editors in the fashion press accept 'presents' in return for ensuring a marque's exposure in whatever magazine they work for, a practice that might lead to prison for, say, a financial journalist, but most of these bloggers are firm pillars of the new 'Got Talent' society in which fame and success must be instant, which has led to a drastic lowering of standards across the board.

PK
I agree with much of what you said, but in the passages above I think you have missed one point: most bloggers don't see themselves as journalists.

Sure, there are a few who can write excellent pieces, and have blogs that aren't just filled with 20 x shots of the same outfit. But most of the bloggers being jetted around the world for various 'shoots' for companies are not journalists. Most don't write anything, let alone editorial pieces.

It makes me think, should we even expect them to adhere to the same ethics as a journalist when they, in fact, aren't journalists??... I'm not sure. I don't think so? I don't think their value is as writers. They are not successful because of that talent, they are just another part of fashion houses/companies PR in my opinion. No different to a TVC or banner ad. They are just a walking, talking one.

note: I'm talking about your Blonde Salad, Tuula, Fashion Toast types.

I don't begrudge their success. Good on them. As most of them don't write, style, advise etc their careers will most likely me short lived, so it's best they make the most of it.

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18-09-2013
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If Anna Wintour is the Club manager,

Cara would be the Guest DJ No-one really cares about

The entire Industry would fill the dance floor

and Bloggers would be the toilet attendants, living off the tips they are given by everyone else.

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18-09-2013
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Franki,

You raise a valid point. However, some do and have even applied for and been given, in the UK for instance, NUJ press cards. But I take your point all the same.

Kite,

Thanks for the laugh! Harsh, but so true...

PK

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18-09-2013
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I agree with many of the above points here. However, as features writing is now transitioning to blogging, I think there needs to be a distinction between personal blogs and professional blogs.

In many instances, personal blogs are a glorified individual fashion show, either of the blogger taking pictures of outfits others wear, his/her style finds, or just simply taking pictures of him/herself in various outfits. This gets dull and formulaic.

On the other hand, many major magazines have their own blogs that frequently do adhere to journalistic standards. As someone who writes professionally and does freelance blogging, I see advertisements for such gigs require you to be familiar with AP and/or Chicago style guides and submit samples that are more than a collection of pictures.

But I will say this: The quick pace of professional blogs dilutes the quality of writing. Writers may be expected to turn around a 300-word piece for $5 to $10 in 30 minutes. The result is less original sourcing and more news regurgitation. This, on the other hand, isn't so much an issue with fashion as it is with the blog-ification of media in general.

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19-09-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franki View Post
I
It makes me think, should we even expect them to adhere to the same ethics as a journalist when they, in fact, aren't journalists??... I'm not sure. I don't think so? I don't think their value is as writers. They are not successful because of that talent, they are just another part of fashion houses/companies PR in my opinion. No different to a TVC or banner ad. They are just a walking, talking one.
i totally agree, what are successful bloggers nowdays if not walking talking marketing tools? They are certainly not journalists, and to be honest i do not think they want to be, the time where fashion bloggers wanted to achieve some credibility through writing is long gone. The successful ones certainly have a gift for display of beautiful things, to advertise basically, and for editing their lives to create an aspirational lifestyle though the consumption of certain products, and that's about it.
I do not think there is something necessarily wrong with that, they are simply part of the fashion business, the content of most fashion glossies is paid for advertising, not one dares to actually review any show with any degree of truthfulness, so it's not like they are doing something that is not general practise.
If they are unashamed about it, good for them, it's a job like any other, what really gets on my nerves is the ones that think they have some depth to them and are very shocked when they get lumped together with other bloggers they consider to be superficial, when their modus operandi is exactly the same.

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29-09-2013
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I don't really care about blogs but sometimes i check some of them. I often think why they post soooooooo many pics of themself ? especially when all the pics are pretty much the same.

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29-09-2013
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^Agreed. A lot of bloggers just seem like wannabe models, actresses etc. I think calling a lot of them journalists would be taking things a bit far...

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30-09-2013
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Yes I don't get that either. It's like fifteen pics of the same pigeon toed "I wish I were a model off duty" pose. Ugh. Quality over quantity would be appreciated.

The "a day in the life" posts also irritate me. How many coffee/cupcake/flower shop runs can one do?

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01-10-2013
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This says it all:

http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/...internalSearch

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03-10-2013
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I think some bloggers have really good style and aren't overly full of themselves. Some blogs are just ....trying WAY too hard and use the word "model" loosely

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06-10-2013
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I can't help but wonder when it will be over for them. I'm guilty of following a few and I check Bloglovin more than I'd like to admit but surely its just a fad. They really don't contribute.

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06-10-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuppycakes View Post
I can't help but wonder when it will be over for them. I'm guilty of following a few and I check Bloglovin more than I'd like to admit but surely its just a fad. They really don't contribute.
It is a form of entertainment, mostly. Maybe everyone will have a blog in the future. Facebook looks more and more like a blog to me... People posting outfits, what they ate blah blah blah.

I don't feel guilty reading fashion blogs any more than I feel guilty watching The Simpsons...


Last edited by eizhowa; 06-10-2013 at 03:44 PM.
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18-11-2013
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I think fashion bloggers do have a place in the fashion industry, just not so many of them! personally i have found all the top new zealand bloggers as an example only update their blog when they are doing paid articles, or posts about pr events they were invited to or fashion week. I think its sad when bloggers just use their site to get to go to events and only update when they have something to brag about. I love genuine and friendly blogs who do it because they love it. ones that are skilled writers, style themselves and also share a bit of themselves on their blog!

*edit - not for discussion about specific blogs*

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Last edited by lucy92; 18-11-2013 at 10:08 AM. Reason: *not for discussion about specific blogs*
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28-11-2013
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I do think some bloggers have a big influence on fashion industry. But the truth is that they wear things sent by fashion designers. Bloggers are being used by those designers as a type of advertisement.

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