You might have seen me mention it in a few of my earlier posts, but one of my assessments this term at Uni has been to pitch, interview for, and write a feature on anything of our choice (fashion related, of course, I am a Fashion Journalism student). It didn’t take me long to figure out what and who I wanted to write about. After starting Uni I’d gotten into the habit of turning to watching beauty tutorials, hauls, vlogs etc, whenever I was stressed (procrastinating), free (procrastinating) or bored (procrastinating) and found a number of channels belonging to talented young girls under 17.
I am not one to judge, I’m one to encourage people to do what they want to do – if anything, there was just jealousy that these girls were better at doing their makeup than I am now, nevermind when I was 14. I could see the controversial side though, seeing how people would wonder if it was affecting their education, if it’s a safety risk and how they were affording the products.
Anyway, what better way to find out than to ask them directly? And this assessment was the perfect opportunity. I had to pleasure of interviewing Aylish, Elouise, Nicole and Sophia for this project, and I’d like to thank them yet again for agreeing to help. It was a pleasure.
It’s April, meaning my Multiplatform Journalism course is coming to a close, I learnt a lot over the few months I had to study this subject and completely different skills in both assessments I had to work on.
Starting this blog has not only taught me the ‘ins and outs’ of setting up a blog, including how to edit a theme, create different pages and use the text editor to its full potential but it’s also taught me not to be scared of giving or receiving criticism and how to deal with it in the correct ways. I’ve learned a lot about the ‘science’ behind blogging, how to tag posts and when to post them in order to gain more views and subscribers and finally, starting this blog has made me more comfortable in my writing style.
As well as starting this blog, I’ve had to write and produce an entire feature. Focusing on beauty YouTuber’s under the age of 17 I’ve not only learned about how differently society views and is viewed by young girls in regards to beauty and self-confidence but I’ve also learned about the correct ways to conduct interviews and research your subjects.
“How I Got 6.2 Million Pageviews and 144,920 Followers” Is a catchier title than many, I think as much as most bloggers hate to admit it, we do post for views, and we most definitely post for followers.
The article itself wasn’t much interest to me, this guy was a businessman, he writes to pitch ideas. I write partly because well…it’s required of me, and partly because I enjoy it. I mean, you never know, one day I could be writing from a business angle and that’s not to say that this guy doesn’t have some good tips.
Two points that stood out were ‘no more than 25 words in a sentence’ and ‘no more than 3 sentences in a paragraph’. A blog post is completely different to a book, or a breaking news article. One of the greatest difficulties of writing a blog post is keeping people interested whilst reading, overly long sentences and paragraphs are definitely not the way to do that.
Another point that applied universally was to split the post up with images, hyperlinks and other forms of multimedia. This simultaneously gives the reader a break and intrigues them. You can find the full post here
Half way through the course, and despite it going so quickly, I’m surprised by just how much I’ve learnt. Multiplatform Journalism is very much a writing based module and I feel as if writing isn’t something you learn from reading a textbook and looking through powerpoint slides.
That’s not to say that if you’re a bad writer you can’t become better, it means I believe it’s something you learn through practice, not research. And with practice, you can only develop yourself through criticism and feedback. The last blog post I wrote was about my struggle to give feedback and how I overcame it, this blog post is a reflection on the changes I’ve made and how I’ve learnt to accept feedback.
The changes to my posts were simple and mainly just grammar and spelling mistakes and the odd suggestion to rearrange some of my sentences. (I like to type how I talk, which in combination with a very Northern accent, can sometimes be a recipe for disaster), it made me happy knowing that my peers have been able to see the development in my writing through the weeks, as I have in theirs.
In regards to my ‘about’ page, I enjoyed the shortness of it and do find that when it comes to talking about myself, I either say too much, or not enough at all – which is why I wrote an introductory blog post that you can find here.
For part of this course, we’ve been asked to read each other’s work and give feedback.
I’ve always had a fear of giving criticism, I never want to hurt someone’s feelings or demotivate someone from just trying to do what they love. I’m not a brilliant writer by far. I don’t have perfect grammar, or equally perfect spelling, so commenting on that kind of stuff always made me feel a bit hypocritical.
However, in class I was provided with a different insight into giving criticism without hurting the reader.
Looking back now, it seemed almost obvious. As long as the feedback isn’t being purposely spiteful, or patronizing and ‘Nice Comment #2’ isn’t being used merely to cushion the blow, it works out for both parties. The reader is left feeling good about what they’ve already written but ready to improve, the writer is left feeling confident they haven’t just shattered somebody’s hopes and dreams.
If someone asked why I decided to study Fashion Journalism, I wouldn’t have a solid answer, other than maybe ‘it felt right’ and ‘when I told my friends, they said it made sense’.” That’s not to say I’m not passionate about fashion, or writing at all. Frankly, I’m confused and a bit clueless about most things.
Multiplatform Journalism however, is what made this entire course make sense to me. I’ve always been very involved in social media. There has been numerous ‘style’ and ‘fashion’ blog attempts under my name before this one (I’m hoping using this one for University purposes also, might give me the motivation to stick to it) and I’ve sat and watched Youtube haul and tutorial videos, claiming that once I’m a little less scared of showing my face on camera, I’ll give it a try.
I’ve never prided myself on being an amazing writer, considering it’s the one thing I’ve done since being a child. I do pride myself on being original, and writing in a voice that is mine, and mine only. I’m restless and I get bored easily, unless I’m passionate about something, either that or I’m just too stubborn to give up. If there’s one thing I’m expecting from this course it’s not to ‘find my voice’, that’s been established since I was 11 and writing spin-off’s for the TV dramas I would watch with my Mum, it’s to build on and improve it.
Why did I choose the study Fashion Journalism, you ask? Hopefully both you and I will find out soon enough.