How has digital media influenced the jobs of fashion journalists?
To summarise, it can be argued that both Medine and Sykes have significantly increased their social capital due to the rise of digital media. Interaction online has become the preferred method for fashion journalists, who are now able to engage with their readers and react to feedback on articles and discussions. With the print market still heavily relying on house styles and style codes, it suddenly makes sense why more and more fashion journalists take on digital platforms, especially when considering the lack of creative writing freedom at print publications.
In this chapter, I have explored the construction of the field of digital fashion media and have argued the importance of capitals for today’s fashion journalists. It can be said that possessing different kinds of capitals is of equal importance to agents of print media as it is to agents of digital media. However, while both compete for the same kinds of capitals in the field, I argue that digital journalism has offered new ways to increase a journalist’s capital, with many of them have become successful media brands themselves. Through the example of Pandora Sykes, I have outlined how fashion journalists used to enter the field of fashion media the conventional way, with social and symbolic capital being accrued over time while working for a publication. In contrast to Sykes, the case study on Leandra Medine explored the alternative, where fashion journalists choose digital media over print media. In both case studies, I have demonstrated the importance of digital media for fashion journalists today, with social capital marking the most important capital to gain access to the field of digital fashion media. While I have not contemplated how fashion journalists create symbolic value and legitimize fashion, Chapter Two will investigate this in more detail.