Monday, 5 November 2012

London Fashion Journalism Masterclass

I have just returned from an amazing weekend in London, as I went down with uni to attend a fashion journalism masterclass. The talk took place in the University of Sunderland's London Campus at Canary Wharf, and we all set off from Sunderland VERY early on the train on Friday morning.

The masterclass featured talks from four top journalists:
Rachel Richardson, editor of fabulous magazine,
Hattie Crisell, a freelance Journalist,
Hannah Almassi, Deputy Fashion News and Features Editor at Grazia,
Louise Gannon, a showbiz Journalist.

Embedded image permalink

These four Journalists are all very hard, working, ambitious women, and they gave us a fantastic view into what our futures as fashion Journalists will hopefully look like! They shared with us their tips on getting a foot in the door, and on working in the industry in general, and so I thought I'd share the best bits of advice I gained from the day.

Get Experience.
At this, and indeed other talks I've attended, the emphasis was on getting as much experience as possible, but we were also told to get as much out of the experience as possible while there, so basically be polite to everyone, and go above and beyond what you are supposed to do, because if an opportunity comes up they might remember you and working really hard for free will be worth it in the end!

Prepare yourself for rejection.
We all know that its the sad case at the moment that we will face rejection no matter what line of work we choose to follow, but in journalism, rejection will come even after you've got a job. You may not be chosen to do a really good interview, or a piece you have written may be cut, but the advice we were given on Friday was not to "be precious about it." This will be no indication of your ability or your work, and there may be several different reasons behind the decisions.

Look the part.
Do not turn up looking scruffy. As Rachel told us, "you are a representation of the brand" and if the brand is Fashion then you will have to look like you have made an effort. 

Learn your trade.
All four of the girls agreed that it is important to know which writers you admire and know their work well. Read around your subject, but also don't focus solely on it, but be aware of current affairs, finance and other areas, that could be the angle or idea for a feature or story.

Inspiration comes from everywhere.
As previously mentioned, reading around the subject can inspire you, but this can come from anywhere, Magazines, Blogs, books or Newspapers, and inspiration can also be something as simple as things you and your friends are discussing amongst yourselves, or that you all feel is a pressing issue. I f you do come up with a good feature or story pitch it now, even if you are still a student, if it is a good idea and it is well written it may just get published.

And a few final tips:
Everyone you know is a contact, use them well.
Be yourself.
Don't feel you need to know everything all the time.
Keep your social footprint clean. Be careful what you post on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks to the four speakers and to the University for arranging the masterclass it was inspiring and so helpful, and it meant I got to spend an amazing weekend in London with my sister, (more on that later) so now I just need to get my degree and get a job. All these essays will be worth it in the end


  1. Hello!

    Thank you for a great post about Journalism and what people need to know about it.

    Are you studying Journalism at Sunderland University? I have applied there, the course looks really good.

    Jess x

    1. Yeah I'm in my second year, its a really good course, and the lecturers are lovely and helpful.

      If you have any questions or need any help, you can email me :)