Saturday, 7 May 2011


In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Before starting i needed to look at original papers which were out to take my designs and ideas from, i needed to not just look into the papers but also the radio adverts and posters in order to help me with my ancillary tasks. First i needed to look into what the generic conventions of the newspapers were, i looked at the evening chronicle, the sun and the observer at the beginning. I messaged the evening Chronicle and The sun to ask about certain conventions, such as why they had those certain prices, their looks, what they used to attract customers, although they could not tell me in detail they did provide me with the information i needed which will be explained later on. The chronicle was my main influence as it was the kind of paper i was looking for, hard hitting and soft local stories, but the main conventions of all of these were the following: large bold expansive headlines and titles to draw readers into buying the paper, the aggressive or emotive pictures, the side stories hidden to one side but still readable and eye catching, on special editions the prices and stories were bolder and brighter. I had to make a choice on design, but first i needed a name, i looked towards existing newspapers and saw various plays on words and objects, for instance the sun, i needed something that showed the news, but could fit into the master head and be bold and stand out among the rest, instantly i thought of watching or reading the news, the name the eye came into my head, it symbioses the watching over of the daily news that is around the world and in our local areas, local being what i was aiming for, i researched thoroughly that there was no other papers with the name and it allowed for its own sense of identity. I had to make this title like the others, so i used photoshop to apply a large bold print of it and italics to make it stand alongside the rest, while keeping it local with a black title and white backing to hint signs of the Newcastle football team colours, it will dominate the rest of the text so that in later issues readers will know it signifies the paper they want to read.

I now needed to look at the layout, for this my main focus turned to the evening Chronicle, its split focus, with the main title at the top, advert to the right, and main article centred to the middle, it was an easy yet eye catching design which would focus the readers attention to the title, then story, it highlights the exclusive story the newspaper has on and keeps them wanting more.

Next to the main title is, as in the all newspapers, a picture to help illustrate the piece, followed by an abstract of the article which offers a brief summary of the piece, all making for an interesting grip forcing the reader to buy the paper. The Observer helped me keep the start of my story on the front page, as the observer uses a gripping opening but ends the start on a cliff-hanger, i chose to go along with this as it seemed most effective. I chose at the beginning to use words as brutal, later to change them, i was looking for a way of hyphening the story further up, i used the words notorious, as the story is of a bookie robber in the north east, it seemed appropriate as this story had stated he had been doing it for quite some time. As for the photo, i took the idea from a story in the Chronicle and so often used in Newspaper robbery stories, a mugshot photo of the criminal at a younger age, designed to show him as an offender throughout his life, but later changed to a mugshot of him later in life, to show the soullessness and loss of hope in his eyes to help attract attention and make the reader want to read through what has made this man the way he is, it is often used in cases such as this as it allows the reader to get a glimpse into the eyes of criminal and see him or her for what they are. The guardians approach is to have an old and new mugshot of the criminals, i fealt there was no need for this as the reader would want to see the new face rather then the old, to identify who it is.

Other conventions are the price given, usually around the 50p mark or 20p on special offers, i chose to go with the 50p mark and stick with conventions as it allowed for a good income of the paper but not cost a lot for the reader to be discouraged, it also stops competitors taking any lead in sales as they would need to reduce their own prices to beat ours, something not often seen. I had to make up adverts for my front page as well, to make it more authentic, so i browsed some more newspapers, mainly the chronicle as its main funding comes through advertisements, and found most were to do with accidents and claims or insurance, i decided to have at the bottom of my page an accident advert and a driver insurance advert as they seemed most popular in the new papers and would gain the most attention from readers, but placed at the bottom of the page as to not divert the readers main focus, most adverts are in corners or out of the way, as too not get in the way, but in their own right are bold and stand out, so i used the black background on the ‘Accident’ advert to help draw attention away from the story for a split second. Also on the front page is a side story, in my case i followed the Chronicles, having a football ‘link’ on the page directing the readers to the back pages, it is big but does not draw focus and has a snappy but bold title ‘Hughton adds to Liverpool home sickness’ it invites the reader to what to know more about the story but does not give any information away, it is a similar convention used throughout the newspaper business, as shown below.

The second page has a brand new story but uses the same, large headline and picture combo, however it is the inside page and has down the left side i mixture of things, from a service to text to get news straight to your phone, to the index of what will be in the newspaper. A picture of a phone is used to help illustrate the text section and all others are split up in order to make it easier to read for the reader. The story on the inside is a celebrity caught in a scandal; I chose this as there are often many stories of celebrity scandals, it allowed for me to use sections from the Sun instead of following just the chronicle, the sun follows more celebrity stories and allowed for some slight variation in my newspaper. When i was looking at my ancillary tasks, i needed a poster, i immediately looked at what i could find, i found a few by newspapers around the world and from home, such as the observer and the times, but i wanted to challenge the posters i found, none i could find seemed to be workable for a local paper so i decide to create my own, this differs with my radio advert as when i was sitting writing what i wanted i found that other radio adverts used a story or a couple/friends fighting, so i used this and took this as a convention of radio adverts, creating my own argument over the newspaper and making it hard hitting and speaking to the readers. So you can say that although i have went against conventions once or twice i have went with most conventions as it will help my newspaper seem more professional and compete with the rest.

How Effective is the combination of your major and ancillary products

Newspapers are not as effective as they used to be due to the creation and mass usage of the television such as BBC news and the internet; most popular are the uses of search engines which deliver news on time and on the hour, engines such as Bing and Google. When researching it became clear that up to date news was more common among the technological age then in simple newspapers, however there is a strong trend locally to the Evening chronicle and the sun, both still gain around the same numbers as they always have, due to their consistent low price, in depth detail and 100% truth not always found on TV or the internet. I had to emulate this in order to make this a successful paper. I started by making an poster to advertise my paper to the people, i show that this paper is better than the rest, on it it has two papers, one stating that my paper, the eye, is the truth, next to a paper of biased rumours that is not worth buying, i used a black and white coulour scheme again just as in the paper, but while showing it to the public though a poster i needed a way of drawing those who favoured technology, so on the poster is a link to the website of my magazine. This link will allow people to go online and gain the news should they be near a computer at a certain event and need quick access to read all about it. In today’s world of the media, our products would have to be promoted virally on the internet and/or by mobile phones, this means more of the public and the world see our paper as professional and see fit to read its stories. In order to stay up to date, i posted pictures of my magazine to Twitter, as it is the new most popular site for the younger generations and in fact all generations to talk to people, it allowed for me to pre-show my paper to an audience to try to get feedback as well as use technology to show it off. I also made a radio advertisement, this again is using technology to enhance the effectiveness of my paper and get it out to a broader audience, i had heard various radio adverts for papers and it seemed the best way to broadcast, i used actors portraying a fight over who gets to read the paper first, an argument added a great effect to show how popular the paper is, also the broad regional accents, it would be most likely be played on local radios for my local paper and these accents allow the audience to have a sense of home feeling and that this paper is news for their areas and that they should read it to see whats going on in, a sense, their ‘back garden’. Using these technologies we can now gain an audience of the younger generations and become embraced in the age of Media 2.0, using internet and phones to draw the young in, who are well known for their usage of technology, while using the posters and radio to attract the older generations who still yearn for the old time newspapers, we would have a diverse section of readers and this would only be the start of a long marketing campaign designed to encapsulate all locals into reading my newspaper.

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

A factor needed to be looked at when reporting the news is ‘cultural proximity’, as events that occur near to the local area are more likely to be shown, there is a theory that states ‘the world is a broad casting studio, although everything is reported it is only how it is reported we as an audience then listen’ this shows that we listen or read what we feel is closer to us then what is further away, as we see it as a threat to our area or in some cases interesting.

Blumler & Katz (1974) argued that ‘audience needs have social and psychological origins which generate certain expectations about the mass media, leading to differential patterns of media exposure which result in both the gratification of needs and in other (often unintended) consequences’ meaning that readers need to identify with what they read. When the audience read through my stories they identified with the celebrity scandal and knew why he did what he did and could see themselves in those shoes.

How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

The main uses during planning did not involve much technology, however i used the internet and google to search up designs and posters as well as email to ask the papers about their conventions. My blog was the main technology used however, as it not just colleagues and teachers who will be seeing this work, but an audience of millions can see it should they want to, this means all my product on the blog had to be perfect. The blog in some ways really helped my project, it allowed me to view other blogs as well to see what else was on display to people, new digital media ‘have fundamentally changed the ways in which we engage will all the media’ (David Gauntlett 2007). I have used the blog more in depth this year then during AS, the ability to upload radio adverts meant i could constantly remind myself what i had to create and compete against, it also helped to keep giving me ideas during my planning stages.

The main focus of a shot for a picture must be on the main star, i feel i have done this effectively and allowed my main person to be shot with the camera well into frame and almost centre shot.

The following are shots which did not look good overall and which i thought could not have been used for my inside story as they lacked to capturing the main star, although shows how effective the camera and my shot angles were.

On both, lighting is a factor and the left one has too much from the light in the back to use, it also does not centre the main character so i did not choose it. On the right was a picture that although seemed ok, when uploaded to photoshop would not fit the size on the page, also when it did it became to blurred to see.

All in all i think the shots i did get in the end really helped to keep the focus on the main character and handled it really well in editing.

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