Do you think that digital fashion journalism has a future?
With the digital media superseding the importance of print nowadays, the role of the fashion journalist has become redefined. Furthermore, I have argued that the construed field of fashion media has changed, with the field of digital media heavily influencing the established position of fashion journalists. While the key agents have remained more or less the same, I have argued that social capital has become the most significant capital for fashion journalists to establish a successful career online. Hence breaking traditional journalistic norms by engaging on social media platforms, fashion journalists have still retained their powerful positions as professionals, specifically through their skill of writing, which I have argued to be essential in creating symbolic value for the fashion industry. Moreover, I have determined that both, a clever implication of traditional journalistic skills combined with the conversational persona, are the main elements to recognize professional fashion journalists in digital media.
With social media dominating the digital media market, it has also influenced the role of traditional fashion journalists, who now have become role models themselves, by mediating between production and consumption as tastemakers and fashionable personas. Rather than representing the professional and their journalistic expertise, fashion journalists have furthermore taken on the role of the influencer who provides readers with an insight into their fashionable daily life. Taken together, it can be said that this complex three-part role has become mandatory for fashion journalists to succeed in the field of digital media, to build a career and become their brands. Hence having explored the redefined fashion journalist, it should not be taken as definitive, as their role is part of an ever-evolving process. Now receiving the same gifts and press trips as top bloggers, editors specifically fashion journalists have transitioned into influencers themselves. Many of them who have established a following of thousands on social media are getting paid by fashion brands to wear and implement products on social media platforms. This especially has developed mistrust in followers and readers who have seen in journalists a traditional gatekeeping role for so long. It is something that still lacks in transparency but should be observed and investigated in the future.