Do I really wanna be a 100% journalist? Am I just a basic fashion blogger? Is there a mix of both? A tough question that I have been confronted with over and over while I was on my work placements. It’s been a while now but in January, I was given the opportunity to intern at ES Magazine and Sunday Times Style. I know I have mentioned in my latest internship summary that I was going to keep you posted on the second one; Well, things didn’t go as planned and I’ve got confronted with the reality of fashion internships.
Studying now for almost two years, I have learned about the ups and downs of journalism. With my internship it has been all about writing; pitching ideas, getting freebies – and going to shows -, backing up content, doing research, transcribing interviews, etc. Most of the time I was bound to the desk and breakin’ a sweat. I was rewinding recorded interviews on repeat and I tried hard to get the last word right (…When fashion experts play around with french vocabulary and you ain’t know a french word *Urgh*). I didn’t want to think about what could happen if I messed up with the media law.
My ambitions were high and I always gave my best. After two weeks sitting at the desk, I was done, physically and mentally drained. Reality had slapped me in the face and the sole thought about writing made me cringe. My brain needed a fucking break and time to digest: Is that what being a journalist is really about? Where has all the glitz and fanciness of fashion gone? And how on earth did I spent 20 quid on coffee in just two weeks?
Fashion Writing vs. Fashion Blogging
When I came to understand that fashion writing and fashion blogging were two different pairs of shoes, I was devastated and it took me a while to understand the difference. While many think that fashion blogging and fashion writing goes hand in hand, I can assure you it’s not. Well, one of them lives of coffee on a daily basis and having 6 cups by end of the day quickly became a habit for me.
Both have writing in common but the content is produced differently. Magazines have in house styles that they need to stick to and they have investors that have a say in advertising and content too. Articles are written to suit the style guides and grammar, punctuation and language need to be on point. Writing for a publication can be very much formal, with no space for your own opinions. However, it’s one of the reasons why people value them so much; They are based on facts and they answer the five Ws – Who, What, When, Why, Where – in the first paragraph straight away. What you get in exchange is the story in the first few lines.
What does a day in the life of a casual journalist look like? Something like this: 9 am – first coffee, go into meetings, present your ideas and research. 10 am – post meeting coffee because you’re stressed out and you know you need to get it done by the end of the day. 12-1pm – meet your interviewees for (1-2 cups) coffee to get your comments – this usually takes about an hour and a half. Having finally lunch on the go around 3 pm (grab another cuppa on your way back). Run back to the office, transcribe and throw everything together in a sweet feature story (the last cuppa to power you through). Get it done by 6 pm and you’re a hero!
The Blogger’s Tale
The blogging scene is slightly different. When you decide to join the blogging circle and you’re planning to go down the fashion route, you will stumble upon a lot of stereotype content. This includes GRWM – Get Ready With Me -, Outfit of the Days – short OOTDs-, How To’s, ‘What’s in my bag?’ and lookbook posts to name a few but there are plenty more.
Before I decided to become a journalist – this sounds so grown up right now – I recall my early days of blogging when I followed the exact same pattern. It was going well for a while, but I got bored quickly. Why? Because I was doing the same topics as everyone else and I didn’t put myself out there for the story. I became a bed blogger, curled up in my blanket and the only reason I went out was for some photo shoots.
When I moved to London, I was three months without a photographer and with writing as my daily focus during my study, I lost my interest in taking daily outfit shots. I had to learn the hard way to come up with great content. The point I’m trying to make is that switching to the journo side – Trump echoing fake news – helped me to find and develop my writing skills and to discover the many ways of content creation.
What I learned…
It’s not a secret anymore that everyone consumes the morning news differently. Some keep themselves up-to-date on their way to work or school, others listen to podcasts while getting ready in the bathroom and some enjoy a bowl of cereals while watching the BBC News on TV. I listen to podcasts – TheHighLow is my current favourite – and I even started consuming my news via Feedly and Snapchat too. I believe consuming different media formats at the same time is the key to an overall basic news knowledge and to stay up-to-date. Would you love to see some of that on this blog? Let me know your thoughts on this in the comments below.
Writing is what I’ve been wanting since the beginning and that hasn’t changed at all, but I believe mixing it with visual elements such as photography, videos and podcasts makes it more interesting. Playing around with different media formats could be a thing. In the end, it is still a story that you enjoy, that you’re inspired by and that makes you happy. I definitely can’t call myself a 100% living and breathing journalist but I am also not a blogger. From what I have achieved in skills by now I can say that I position myself in the middle; without the fancy fashion invites, morning smoothie shots and Acai bowls.
Featured Image by Lucy Alice B.