Did Digital Kill Fashion Television?

Yesterday, it was reported that after 27 years, Canadian-produced Fashion Television (aka FT) was being cancelled with a rumour due to low ratings.  The purpose of the show when it premiered in the 80s was to bring fashion to “the rest of us” in a medium outside of print magazines.  However, over the past few years, more and more people have started fashion and style blogs, therefore bringing fashion to the “regular person” without the need of “professionals” reporting from the runway.  And they’re very quick at reporting, too – videos and photos are often posted as soon as they’re edited, which could be within hours.  So the question is this: Did digital kill kill FT?  After all, bloggers not only report from the runway themselves (as I do), and quickly, at that, but also offer a unique perspective on style that professionals might ignore and may also offer information that is more organic.  Independent bloggers, after all, don’t have to answer to senior editors and publishers.  They write whatever they please, making their viewpoints more “real” to many.

Fashion Television logo

Take for example, my other site, Shorty Stories.  Over there, I write about petite issues, style and fit and promote petite-focused/exclusive designers.  How often will, say, Vogue or Elle write about this?  Or even FT?  Sure, once in a while, you are going to see something about height, but not in a million years will you hear anything about a petite-exclusive designer (yes, Allison Izu has been in O Magazine, but O is not Vogue.  O is not even Glamour).  The same goes for plus sizes or just about anything at all that one doesn’t typically see in mainstream publications.  And because it’s online, it’s much more accessible to regular people.  All you have to do is search.

Of course, there are also those who argue that bloggers, many of whom don’t have professional journalist training, especially one with FASHION training, don’t know what they’re talking about.  However, what they’re NOT seeing is that the typical blogger is ALSO looking at it from the perspective of the consumer.  And there are those who feel that the digital world just makes things too quick.  But really, I think it’s just a sign of the times.  Things constantly evolve, after all.

What do you think?  Do you think digital, including bloggers played any part in FT’s cancellation?

About Cynthia Cheng Mintz

Cynthia Cheng Mintz is the founder and webitor-in-chief of this site and the petite-focused site, Shorty Stories. She has also written for other publications including the Toronto Star and has blogged for The Huffington Post. Her first novel, Aspirations, was published in 2007. Outside of writing, Cynthia researches and advises philanthropic ideas for family funds and foundations and also volunteers.

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  • miVi3k

    Great article! I think blogging and the digital world is something that actually should be embraced – FTChannel is going to live on, Jeanne Beker will still continue to bring fashion to the masses and I think (or hope) that the digital world has to be part of that evolution.

    • Yes, and I think we just have MORE people bringing fashion to the masses (and from the regular person's perspective) these days, too.

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