Why is Pandora Sykes’s career an example for upcoming fashion journalists?
This escape of norms is evident in Sykes articles on the blog that are mainly driven by fashion criticism, her persona, and intimacy. These are evident in articles such as ‘Are Fake Nipples The New Political Agitators?’, 2017 or ‘Your Pussy is Political,’ 2016. As Coward argues, this type of writing has become a standard in digital journalism that she describes as “confessional journalism” driven by self-expression as the “dominant form’. Moreover, this type of journalism has challenged the traditional sense of journalistic objectivity, that “differentiates between fact and opinion” as set out in the UK’s National Union of Journalists ‘code of conduct’.
Social media platforms can be seen as the main provokers of journalistic objectivity, which all share the characteristic of a one to all conversation that asks “journalists to in a more subjective personal way. Sykes’ Twitter persona is a representation of this conflict, but also an example of how a journalist can increase their social capital by taking on a social media user; aligning with social media norms that include “personality, disclosure, and interaction.”
This demonstrates an example of how Sykes engages with her Twitter audience, which does not differ hugely from that of a conventional social media user. However, it can be said that this type of tweets invites more engagement with her followers, leading to an increase in social capital through networking with others on Twitter. To come back to Coward’s argument, it can be concluded that, “if in the past it was journalistic authority located in the identity of the publication now it’s personality.”
While Sykes career can be seen as an example of entering the field of fashion media conventionally, many current fashion journalists decide to go digital from the start. Bloggers specifically encourage young fashion journalists, who did not possess high amounts of capital at the beginning of their careers, to participate in fashion with their own media platforms. An example of this is Leandra Medine, founder of successful media website Man Repeller, who launched her site in 2010 after graduating in journalism. “As junior studying journalism at a liberal arts school in New York City, I hoped it might open doors when I applied for writing jobs following graduation,” she explains on the about page of the site.