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25-02-2007
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prosperk's Avatar
 
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Writing for the Catsfart Herald or www.fashionbore.com is more likely to get you into fashion shows and events than telling them you're studying journalism. The press department need to justify media invitations in some way and column or webpage inches win every time. They don't mind that you're writing for the Nowhere Times because they're prepared to gamble that you might actually make it into the pages of an important publication one day. Studying journalism is all very well but tear sheets and clippings of published work say more about you than anything else.

PK

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27-02-2007
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I've found that to be true in my limited experience...

I am halfway through my journalism degree and as I want to write for a fashion magazine in the future I feel like I have learned hardly anything with relevance.

But over the past 2 months I have been doing work experience at a magazine and have learnt so much. I have compiled alot of work and I will be getting my first beauty feature published in the next issue.

If you want to become a fashion journalist dont wait until you've finished your degree...just get out there and do it...you wont be getting paid but a getting a portfolio out there is worth it.

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27-02-2007
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Ive thought about this too.

There are some mags that list how to submit articles. I guess you could just do one general article and submit it to several mags and see if you get published.

It would be a good way to at least get some feedback and maybe make some connections.

My problem is that I can't think of anything to write about that I would submit.

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28-02-2007
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Start a blog, seems like everyone is doing and getting "influential"..ahh, don't you just love the worldwide web!!:p

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28-02-2007
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A few bloggers have struck chords and been taken seriously but the vast majority never show up on the fashion industry radar. One problem with the 'democratisation' of media through personal computers and the internet is that every tube who imagines he or she has something worthwhile to say and the talent to say it is putting themselves out there, making it harder for those with merit to stand out amongst the crowd.

You have to be very good, very funny or very controversial - preferably all three - to be noticed and read. Declaring war on, say, a major fashion house or publisher is one of the various possibilities but you need to have excellent contacts on the inside to make an impression. A couple of fellows I know started a blog-cum-gossip webpage out of NYC a while back. It made Page Six look very tame. No holds barred! In the end, they were both 'incentivised' to close it down with plum jobs in print and broadcast media. It was made plain to them that if they didn't take the bribes - for that is what the propositions amounted to - they'd be very sorry. However, it is a risky career advancement strategy. You could end up bankrupt and living under the flyover in a cardboard box if you don't get your facts right.

It is far better to publish your stuff on someone else's website. Otherwise it smacks a little too obviously of vanity publishing...which is what 90% of blogs are. Unless blogging from some infernal warzone or publishing insider secrets and washing people's dirty laundry in public for them, nobody's going to read you.

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28-02-2007
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All very true, prosperk. And yes, most blogs just get mired down with the thousand others that are out there and don't result in anything except a small personal following. But starting a blog still has the advantage of having somewhere to practice and to get some feedback. So I think that it's actually not a bad idea for someone who wants to write ... in any genre.

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28-02-2007
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I certainly agree with that, BetteT. No writing is a waste of time from the viewpoint of practice and development of writing styles. Writers evolve constantly. I am often horrified by what I wrote as recently as yesterday! It's probably a good idea to have a forum/responses page attached to one's blog so that readers can offer opinions and criticism. Of course, some people can't take criticism but criticial comment, even when it seems negative, is usually worth more than plaudits. Sure, we all have egos and they like a bit of stroking from time to time but if you really want to know where you are in your evolution as a writer, pay attention to the people slagging you off. The same applies to all creative 'art'. One really is only as good as what one does tomorrow...

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28-02-2007
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It's my dream to become a journalist. Most of all a writer in a fashion magazine. My question is, is it really really tough to get into one? It's probably been asked before and I heard it's really cut throat. So my plan right now is to study journalism of all kinds and maybe intern and work at a newspaper for a start? I really don't see myself working with fashion journalism for a long awhile until I get some experience.

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28-02-2007
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It is really hard to get into magazines, goodness knows it took me a while to do it.

Positions sometimes don't open up as quickly as you'd like, and unless you're already on people's radar in terms of working as an intern or work experience you won't know about a potential position anyway!

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28-02-2007
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Thanks bella. So I guess it's just a chance to take to work with a magazine. I'd definitely have to move somewhere where the magazine takes place too, and I live in Washington state.. I doubt there are magazines here. haha

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28-02-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prosperk
Avoid any degree course related to journalism or media studies. If you want to have a degree under your belt, do something unrelated. If you want something slightly related, do English Literature with one or two foreign languages. Hell, do Spanish and Latin American literature at an English-speaking college. Just don't do a journalism degree. Get out there and write. Persuade editors to commission you. Less than 5% of the writers and editors I know have journalism or media-related degrees. Check this post out: click here

I'm majoring in Journalism right now, and i want to switch to art history. I'm hoping to either work in the fashion industry or doing something with fashion magazines, do you think this is a wise choice? I've heard that esp for jobs in magazines, a degree in journalism is meaningless, but is this really true!?

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28-02-2007
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I can't think of a single journalist I know - fashion writers included - who has or admits to a degree in journalism, media studies or anything like that. I suppose these courses have their uses but I doubt if they teach people anything they can't learn in a few months of actually getting out there and doing the job. You'd be well advised to find a degree course that might offer you viable options when you eventually decide to get out of fashion journalism. Switch to Law or something that teaches you how to show people to evade, oops, sorry avoid tax. As the West rolls downhill towards Hell in a handcart and our glorious leaders dream up new ways to rob us blind, tax consultancy for 'ordinary people' will become a lucrative business. Switch to Law and Accountancy or Tax Law. Could be good for you, especially with the Bahamas less than an hour away. Then go and explore a career in fashion magazines.

PK

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28-02-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilsweetie
I'm majoring in Journalism right now, and i want to switch to art history. I'm hoping to either work in the fashion industry or doing something with fashion magazines, do you think this is a wise choice? I've heard that esp for jobs in magazines, a degree in journalism is meaningless, but is this really true!?
lilsweetie don't be discouraged Andre Leon Talley majored in Art History.

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28-02-2007
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aw thanks sanita13! I feel like the only way im going to make it in this business anyway is if i have connections

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01-03-2007
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If you want to do an Art History degree, then do so by all means. André Leon Talley certainly views collections, accessories and other facets of the business, like hair and make-up, with an refined art critic's eye but he probably had that before he read art history at college.

An uncle of mine, who was a personnel director with several large UK firms, once remarked tartly that the only thing a BA told him about an applicant was that his firm was in with a chance of keeping them on board for three or four years before they got itchy feet. That is quite an indictment of an educational system that encourages students to read for degrees in all sorts of essentially impractical and useless subjects simply for the sake of getting degrees.

If you're going to invest three or four years of your life getting a BA, you might as well get something that could be of some use to you at a later date should your chosen career not work out. That's really all I am trying to say to you. Most people do arts degrees after school because they are brainwashed into believing that they have to. You do not need a degree to be a journalist, full stop. If you have one, or want one, that is your choice. But you do not need one and anyone who tells you that you do is either talking nonsense or trying to discourage you.

I have never been asked to show any examination or degree certificates. Hell, when I sat down behind a desk back in 2001 as features director of Vogue Hommes International, nobody even asked me for a CV. Nobody asked me for a CV when I was a Vogue bureau chief and contributing editor. This wasn't because I had "contacts". I was a sociopathic ex-paratrooper, for Chrissakes, with an attitude, a loud British motorbike, motorcycle oil under my fingernails and nervous tics as a result of trying to be a war reporter in the Balkans.

I was simply good at what I did. And I was good because I worked bloody hard at it. I had a ball on Planet Fashion. I still write for a couple of titles but have gone in a different direction. And I am actually more typical than many of you might imagine. Not for nothing do some of us describe journalism as "the last refuge of the unemployable".

If you want a BA in stuffing teddy bears, do it. Do whatever rings your bells. But if you want to write, just get out there and do it. That's what counts. That's what get you picked up. I am nothing if not proof of that. Anyone can write for fashion and style magazines. Afterwards, you have to learn how to deal with the politics and that's another thing. But you will have made the necessary "connections" and "contacts" by then.

PK

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