So apologies to everyone that this is not in fact an outfit or MBFWA related post, but nevertheless I feel it has a purpose and a place here on this blog so I'm writing it anyway. If you're not particularly interested in reading about the finer politics of what I guess is the 'Business Side of Fashion' than feel free to skip this post and wait until later this evening when I'll post something a little more exciting.
Earlier this week this article (scroll down to the bottom and read on from 'Blogs Take Over') was bought to my attention and I was completely blown away by not only the scathing tone and generally dismissive view of bloggers as a whole, but the way Andrew has so neatly packed all of us bloggers into one little group despite the fact that our goals, blogging styles and general outlook on fashion blogging as a whole is entirely different. A direct quote from the article said 'Most of the fashion bloggers are either former models, stylists, frustrated designers or plain old wannabes.' Well I can tell you all of all the bloggers I know none of them fit this criteria, and instead have chosen blogging as a simple and cost effective way (much cheaper than interning) to break into an industry that is otherwise notoriously difficult to climb the ladder of.
He then goes on to say 'They seem much more interested in interviewing and photographing each other than in what might be happening on the catwalk.' I know I personally never interviewed any of my fellow bloggers and the only photos I took of them were simply because they're my friends and I wanted to have some happy snaps to remember the week by, my week was mainly spent photographing the runway and backstage and interviewing designers. Now does this sound so, if at all, different from what paid, professional journalists are doing at fashion week?
This isn't the first time the whole 'bloggers VS journalist' argument has sprung up and lets face it with bloggers becoming more prominent within the industry everyday, it's not going away anytime soon. I personally know 3 women who are quite high up within the magazine industry who have never received any formal education for journalism. Does this make them any less credible than someone who has? I'm not trying to call myself a journalist, nor have I ever in the past claimed to be one, all I'm saying is having a formal degree may allow you to call yourself a 'journalist' but it doesn't make your opinion, or what you write anymore/less credible than something I will write that has been researched properly. I have the same google/email capabilities that you do. I can just as easily email a PR agency to check my facts for a story, having a degree does not make me anymore effective at this than it makes you.
At both Melbourne Fashion Festival and MBFWA I spoke to two different journalists who had been sent by their publications to cover the event, both women told me (rather snidely might I add) that they 'Didn't normally do fashion.' So here we have a woman with a university degree in journalism covering an event that she knows nothing about, and a girl without formal education who is completely immersed in the industry and lives and breaths it. Who should we count as more credible?
All in all I think we can safely say that the article Andrew wrote was not in fact an article and should not be taken seriously at all. There were no concrete facts, nothing to back up his opinion and a whole lot of people who have stood up with credible evidence to say 'This is not right.' Bloggers are not going away, the introduction of the Australian network 'FELLT' is proof that we aren't We're here to stay, and if journalists continue to sling mud people will only tire of the politics and start reading blogs even more. There is plenty of moving room, there is a place in the world for both journalists and bloggers, those who choose not to think so need to pull their heads in.