Fashion Fascists Or Pseudo Journalism?

You Decide…My Rant of the Month.

I had a very interesting experience today. I am running a blog that rather than many blogs out there, actually posts original material. Most of the Fashion Blogs out there scan what is being published and informs the audience of the news.

Very few of them are actually writing pertinent information relating to his field. Well, being that what they are doing is suppose to be reporting on magazines of consequence and those of lesser importance as well, I put out a standard newsletter announcing an editorial of mine in one of the largest circulation fashion magazines in the world and perhaps the number one in China. It is Harper’s BAZAAR and it was our “Fly Me to the Moon” story. I know this sounds pompously arrogant, but if they can publish L’Officiel why not Bazaar?

Now this blog, which I will mention shortly had published via their classic copy and paste techniques  the  magazine editorials they felt worthy of publishing as well as the model and photographer credits.  To our surprise  they responded to our press release notice as a submission which they rejected. It was not a submission, but a newsletter. I found this amusing as we had our 14 page story published in hard copy in over 750,000 issues and on the internet throughout China already, so being rejected by your standard fare blog was of no consequence what so ever.

What I did find surprising however was how non-journalistic this blog was in not covering what they do all the time and that is the sharing of what  the monthly magazines have on offer.

If it were not for those magazine or blogs like Anne of Carversville, Garrence Doré, The Sartorialist and a handful of others that do publish original material, there would be no original material to speak of. You would have all of these blogs just regurgitating the same information ad infinitum until the tap totally dried up. These copy & paste blogs will eventually start to wither away once the public realizes that original material is what these blogs thrive on and leave only the very few that will float to the top of the smegma heap.

Frédérique invented a new name for these types of blogs The Scannerists“.

You may also find this response interesting at Anne of Carversville‘s web site.

About Benjamin Kanarek
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Fashion and Beauty Photographer. Some of the magazines I have shot for include: VOGUE (China, Portugal, Brazil, Italia, Paris and South America & Mexico editions), RG VOGUE Brazil, Harper’s BAZAAR (China, en Español & Latin America, Hong Kong, Italy editions), L’Officiel Paris, ELLE (Spain, Portugal and Greece editions), Madame Figaro (France), Cosmopolitan (France and Italy editions), Glamour (France), Votre Beauté, Jardin des Modes, Dépêche Mode, New York Daily News, Fashion District News, New York Times Magazine, W (British edition), WWD, Fashion Magazine (Canada), Flare (Canada), Oyster, Tank, WestEast…

  • LR

    It’s so sad how pompous many bloggers are, especially those who know very little of the industry. I receive your submissions, sometimes, due to my busy schedule (I run 3 websites and work FT) I read my emails a bit too late to cover something that was sent to me 2 months ago. If many people cover it, I hate being redundant, this is yet another reason why I stopped adding content daily. Quality is better than quantity. However, a photographer of your caliber should not allow something of this nature to perturb you, you are dear Benjamin, indeed, an artistic genius.

    I don’t agree with copy & pasting all of the time. I think it takes away from the sales of magazines. Bloggers and magazines need each other and we’re not at a friendly level as many do think, but I feel we should be at a respectable one, especially if the blogger has education and experience in this concentration.

    Online press or not, there’s no question about it, people already know who you are, what you do, and what you stand for. Your work is flawless and speaks for itself.

  • Rick

    Kind of true. I can see that happen, but do you think people buy magazines just to see the editorial pictures? Well, some people do.. but there are more than just the editorial pictures in the magazines. As for me, I just need to see the editorial pictures and study them. I know I sound dumb D: don’t hate me. And I think the copy-paste blogs don’t post the entire story pages.. so yeah.

    • Does not sound Dumb. You are not an exception, readers are buying it for that reason only. Those magazines are only image oriented (it is not a judgment it is a fact) like VOGUE, Harper’s BAZAAR, Numéro… Have you ever read them??? Better buy a Barbara Cartland book if you want to read… We are not talking about The New Yorker. Imagine what VOGUE would be if you pull out 90% of the images and illustrations… Nobody would be interested in buying them.

      And yes the blogs are publishing 100 % of the editorials. But the magazines let them do so, thinking that it will help their promotion. Of course it is not the case, as the most interesting part of their content is already on the Net for free! So they are as responsible in this situation as the perpetrators.
      That is why the daily press has changed their policy and protect their content. And you now need to subscribe to their site to get more than the headlines 😉

      • Rick

        So those magazines are like comic books- for stylish people.. I guess lol. Well I thought those magazines would be like Cosmopolitan, just a bit(or a lot) more stylish. But you know.. I learned a lot from fashion. I think Vogue’s marketing strategy isn’t like the common marketing strategy. More like other luxurious items- you know.. when the price go against the consumer. That what makes those luxurious items more desirable simply because they are expensive and isn’t accessible for all the citizen of earth. People want to be exclusive, and those high end stuff are the answer.

  • Rick

    So sassy, geez. LOL.
    But you know, I am very interested in fashion(wanted to be a fahsion photographer someday, hopefully).. In a way, I am thankful to Fashion Gone Rogue to keep me filled with the latest editorial pictures since I can’t afford to buy the hard copies every month(and I’m a male and can be called young who isn’t out there yet to purchase a so called ‘female magazine’ in public).

    So yeah, it isn’t that bad 🙂
    I really like your blog and stuff, but this post err concerned me a wee bit. If there’s no blog like Fashion Gone Rogue, I couldn’t keep up with the fashion world.(I know sooner or later I gotta start to buy the real magazine to study, but I’m not even in college yet or have a job- please dont be hateful to having no job and not able to purchase magazine comment :o)

    • I totally agree Richard. Fashion Gone Rogue is an important vehicle to show current Editorial content in the High End Magazines, all the more reason for my concern regarding what I felt as a glaring omission and since that event, they have not posted any of my editorials from VOGUE and Harper’s BAZAAR. So there you have it for objective journalism.

      • Rick

        That’s just like what you wrote in the Fashion Politics series! lol quite the irony huh :/

        oh and those ‘original’ blogs you mentioned, they aren’t my cup of tea. They don’t feed my hunger artistically.

        I just finished browsing your blog to the very last 28th page! love it. keep do what you do 🙂 good job!

        • Thanks Richard. I hope to have more inspirational material for you in the future. Once I am in an inspirational state of mind… 😉

    • I see one problem here…

      The audience reading the press is declining because the reader can now find their content on Internet… Like the copy and paste blogs like Fashion Gone Rogue. Why would you buy something you can get for free??? Like in the music industry with the P2P.

      This vicious circle will lead to less advertising revenue for the magazines and less to zero budget for editorials of good quality. In the end… Both will lose their content… Unless the industry reinvent its economic model (not based on advertising incomes) the medium may disappear entirely.

  • @: PS…at least I am NOT censoring your comments, as did Fashion Gone Rogue, when they removed comments by Anne of Carversville:

    “Educated readers with money in their wallets will support these new enterprises.

    So calm down, Benjamin Kanarek. Your Harper’s China “Fly Me to the Moon” work is fantastic. If it makes you feel any better, we had what we thought was an excellent, not-self-serving but supporting another blogger comment edited out on Friday by the same website.

    Admittedly, I was very surprised, not known for having my premium-quality, expensive ideas censored. LOL

    My takeaway was that the blog in question has no interest in any kind of genuine thought in the comments. If I can’t get a thought published, than I’ll just write up the discussion on Anne of Carversville and feature the other blogger’s post here.

    What began as a small comment with another point of view on two models, supported by a superb Richard Avedon editorial on Touch Puppet, will now become a major essay to get my point across.

    Not wishing to give up any of our own editorial control, we’re not about to criticize another blogger. We all make our own decisions and readers — as well as the intellectual and financial quality of those readers —  will carry the day.

    Anne”

  • redhead

    Jeez. It’s a personal blog, opinion-led like all bligs, and she chose not to publish a story because she didn’t like it. Get over it. If this is how you treat an important part of the fashion community (bloggers as a whole) I worry for the growth and professionalism of the industry.

    • “if this is how you treat an important part of the fashion community…”

      I expressed my opinion, which I designate as my RIGHT!!!…I suggest that YOU get over it and get ready for a major backlash in the industry as we are seeing in the music and film business. Copying and pasting is just that and holds as much credibility as a fake “Mona Lisa”…It has it’s place of course, but reminds me of that very funny vignette..

      Journalist: what do you do?
      Blogger: I am famous
      Journalist: famous for what?
      Blogger: famous for being WELL KNOWN…

      Interesting that no one speaks to the “Quality of Material” as an issue. That is what we should be addressing here.

  • Yellow

    my thoughts are that in the age of technology, more people have access to content than ever before and we should be progressive with the spread of all knowledge even if it’s not original. the fact that there is a place, or multiple, where people can go to research and find editorials they can opt to like or dislike gives them the opportunity to research further or leave it be on their own terms. also, how do you expect content to be spread if it is not discussed or reproduced. not everyone can go to the louvre to see the mona lisa but everyone has seen it.

    • Sharing information is great and Internet is obviously progressive in this matter.

      Places like the “scannerist” blogs can be useful if they accomplish their mission of reporting what is going on in the hard copy fashion press. However, when it deals with censoring an editorial with no solid argumentation, then it becomes a critique via omission. It then takes them into the realm of journalism which they claim they are not.

      Regarding, Mona Lisa. Well, each time you have seen it there has been royalty fee reverted back to the Louvre. (any usage of the Mona Lisa is highly policed and paid for via copyright licensing, even for editorial usage)…

  • I love Anne of Carversville‘s analysis. This is a really well written argumentation and analysis of the present state of affairs in the fashion blogosphere today.

  • A. Shoereder

    Benjamin (in Portuguese) ,
    Seu blog é um bom blog, seu conteúdo é inédito e você está de parabéns. Sua crítica tem muito fundamento e SE APLICA a muito, realmente muitos blogs de moda. No Brasil por exemplo, muitos blogs de moda como “Chique” ou como “FFW” ou “Petiscos” na maioria das vezes apenas REPUBLICAM notícias dadas por outros blogs ou jornais ou sites de fofocas. SUA BRONCA PESSOAS COM O FASHION GONE ROUGE não deveria ser utilizada no seu bom texto, já que o Fasion G.R. É o MELHOR BLOG DE INFORMAÇÃO VISUAS DE CAPAS, EDITORIAIS E CAMPANHAS DE MODA. É O FOCO DESSE BLOG, ELE NÃO FOI CRIADO PARA GERAR NOTÍCIAS INÉDITAS OU REPRODUZIR NOTÍCIAS DE OUTROS. O FASHION GONE ROGUE CUMPRE SEU PAPEL DE FORMA BRILHANRE, TEM “foco” e, justamente por ter um “foco”, não publicou sua matéria. Benjamim, seu artigo e sua crítica são bons, mas sua motivação em divulgar está errada. Abraços, aceite meus comentários.

    • Translation: Your blog is a good blog content is original and you should be congratulated. His criticism has little basis and applies to very, very many fashion blogs. In Brazil for example, many fashion blogs as “Chic” or “FFW” and “Snacks” in most cases only REPUBLISH news given by other blogs or newspapers or gossip sites. BRONCO YOUR GUESTS WITH FASHION GONE ROUGE should not be used in your good text, since the GR Fasion is THE BEST BLOG OF VISUAL INFORMATION COVERS, EDITORIAL AND FASHION CAMPAIGNS. IS THE FOCUS OF THIS BLOG, IT WAS NOT CREATED TO GENERATE NEWS UNPUBLISHED PLAY OR OTHER NEWS. The GONE ROGUE FASHION MEETS ITS ROLE IN A WAY BRILHANRE, MET “focus” and, just for having a “focus”, did not publish your story. Benjamin, his article and his critique is good, but their motivation to disclose is wrong. Hugs, accept my comments.

  • I am surprised that a published photographer doesn’t seem to understand that these kinds of fashion photography blogs are curated according to the blog editor’s taste and his/her vision of what they like to share. Even if an editorial is published in the most respected or most sold magazine, that doesn’t mean it HAS to be liked by everyone and picked by the blogger. Also, if a blog describes itself as a’fashion journalism’ blog then you have the right for your sarcasm about their lack of ‘reporting’, but some fashion photography blogs are designed with the mission to showcase what they like in this field, just like a museum shows art. Do not send your ‘FYI’ or submission to blogs if you only want a positive response and guaranteed placement, unless you are willing to offer each model who asks you to shoot them the answer, yes.

    • Comparing the mission of a fashion photography blog to a museum is quite surprising. They have different ways of getting their material for content.
      The first ones are acquiring their content for free to get audiences to increase their advertising revenues and the second are buying the piece of arts (or getting them from generous donators) to share with the public at a very reasonable entry cost.

      What might happen in the near future is what occurred in the music industry. Websites like YouTube are now places where you can only post original material or use their royalty free library data base.

      We shall see…

  • @:

    I have been over myself for a long, long time…Perhaps thou doth protestith too much.

  • système D

    in that case why all that fuss about it ?

    • No fuss what so ever. I have shared my thoughts on this matter and I stand by them…

      Thank You

  • Of course it is.

  • i thought freedom of choice & expression was 1 of the privileges of the press (and part of democracy) ?!!! even 4 the ‘scannerist’ press ! ok that was maybe b4 the advertising was ruling but still …

  • Montag

    They chose not to pick up the story. Presumably they also choose what magazines and editorials to cover.

    What do you presume the mission of these blogs should be? Do you deny them their own agency?

    It’s solid work, let it speak for itself. If you’re working for HB to begin with, you have no real need to bother with bloggers.

  • A

    If it’s such a “standard fare” blog, then why make such a fuss? If it’s been printed already soooooooo much, then why does it bother you that they rejected it? And really, the site never claimed to be journalistic, it really just serves as an archive for fashion photography. So..get over yourself.

  • @: but of course…always do “Just Enough” not to drown…

  • Marvin Kanarek

    The scamming “Scannerists”.
    Upholding a long tradition of “keeping up the average work” while avoiding originality at all costs!

  • Just curious…why so antagonistic?

  • Actually that was me that rated this post. 🙂

    • Ah..I could tell by the brilliance and utterly profound retort of your text, that it had to be “the fashionisto”…Where else do we find such in depth research and fine journalistic exposes?

  • I understand now..They are based in California..Enough Said LOL 🙂

  • I call them scannerists not bloggers !! Must be very boring and quite frustrating to scan all day long and regurgitate what others are creating… And the scannerist obviously liked the article to rate a 1, just after you posted the article!!! Ahahah

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