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Friday, 30 April 2010

My evaluation



Development and challenging forms and conventions of real media products
As I had opted to create a newspaper which had a regional focus I had to analyse existing local newspapers such as the Chronicle which are printed and read within the North East of England. This not only offered me an insight in to the structure and set out of a front cover and a typical article within the Newspaper, but how to combine regional news with national to produce a piece which looks professional and authentic.
When deciding on the name of the newspaper I began by considering what makes a master head stand out, what would a customer be looking for if they were wishing to purchase a newspaper, and what would make my piece individual and different to those which are already on sale. I therefore proceeded to make an evaluation of what the North East stands for and what distinguishes it from other regions, to which I decided, landmarks such as the Millennium Bridge, the Sage and the Angel of the North embody the North East. Therefore, I had to capture this representation in my newspaper master head which would be compiled with a few short words; consequently I came up with the name the Northern Angel, which fulfilled my criteria by giving the paper a sense of individuality and identity. In order to make this title stand out more, I decided to take this representation of the North East further by using a black font type against a white backdrop, which are the colours that represent the Newcastle football team; this, combined with the large, bold font in Times New Roman and Lucida Handwriting emphasised the uniqueness, made the newspaper stand out, and meant that northerners are likely to identify with the paper.
By following the standard layout of a newspaper I was confident that the piece would look as professional as I had intended, I therefore opted to make the title of the newspaper the biggest writing on the page, and the main article title which was ‘Sutcliffe in Sunderland ‘ as second biggest. The reason for this being, this main story is the thing that encourages the audience to buy the paper most, as it highlights the exclusive story the newspaper has on Sutcliffes release and illustrates the quality of the article its self, thus creating an inviting and enticing feel. This was followed by an abstract of the article which offers a brief summary of the piece. These few sentences were particularly difficult to decide on, as they had to offer a snippet of the story, and present the context of the piece without revealing the entire storyline. I therefore chose to use hard hitting words such as ‘notorious’ to reinforce the seriousness and also included the name ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ as this is an iconic name people would be more likely to identify with the case and remember the incident which occurred; this would, in effect lead the customer to continue to read the piece.
An additional convention which I mimicked was to position an image on the cover to accompany the main story. This made the piece even more eye-catching. A photo of Sutcliffe was therefore obtained from the internet, and placed along side a photo I captured of a person that bore a resemblance to him; this was then altered via the black and white colour change and pencil shading tool to form an artists impression of what Sutcliffe would look like now. This manipulation meant that the two images tell a story of their own, people would acknowledge this comparison of what he looked like then and what he is likely to look like now. This would lead the reader to question; what does Sutcliff look like now?, would I be able to identify him? and whether they might have already seen him without knowing? Ultimately the reader would be unlikely to resist the need to read on to find out more about his release.
Other prototypes featured on the cover such as the price provide the reader essential ; the competition the reader to interact with the paper; a prize which would be supplied by a travel company such as Thompsons. This would be highly documented in the details of the competition; resulting in public awareness of the business, a small fee may in some cases may be charged which would go towards the funding of the newspaper; a basic necessity of all newspapers, and works efficiently enough to warrant no change. The competition was placed in the top right/ left of the page which ensures the readers attention would not be deviated away from the important main article. Snippets from sub stories are also placed around the edge of the page which again offer a brief description of the piece supported by an image relating to the story within; for instance the ‘Iconic eyesore to be demolished’ is placed on top of a photo of the Gateshead multi story car park, this combination of the two inform the customer of what to expect should they read the full story. A reference to the page number which the story features on is also included to provide guidance.
The lead story on Sutcliffe’s release begins with a large S which helps to break the abstract up from the main body, making the reader aware that the story is to follow. Within this first paragraph the essential facts of the murder case are underlines for example; ’he was convicted of 13 accounts of murder of females within the York area’ this background information means the reader is immediately informed as to why he was ain jail in the first place, and therefore ensures they understand the story that is to follow and don’t have to research the case prior to continuing to read. The conditions of his parole and the parole board are also mentioned, which notifies the reader that the piece is built on facts and not just hear say. Additionally, because these terms are specific to the judicial system, emphasis is placed on the professionalism of the article, as does the reference to the home secretary David Blunkett and the House of Commons; a degree of formality is also therefore felt. This story continues on page 29 on to a double page spread, to which an interview technique is used to explore public opinion on the matter, by quoting people who are relations to those who were murdered; ‘He took lives. Life should mean life and he should stay where he is’, these along side David Blunketts comments mean that the reader is given the full scope of the story. Also because direct quotes are used, the legitimacy of the story is highlighted, and the reader understands that the story isn’t just implemented with the writer’s beliefs and opinions. The lengths to which the paper has gone to, to present a quality story to the reader is also shown by this research and interview method.




Effectiveness
When researching newspapers it became clear that the levels of circulation have declined significantly within the recent years, this is due primarily to the development of the internet and the easy accessibility to online news resources on websites such as Msn news and Google which offer up to date news by the hour. However I found that there were two exceptions to this trend, the first being the newspaper the Daily Star, for which selling figures have stayed at a constant level which may be attributed to the cost of the paper, as it is only twenty pence to purchase; and the second being regional newspapers such as the one I have developed which may be due to the personal touch the newspaper has to offer. Baring all of this in mind I chose to create a newspaper that rivals existing newspapers as it would include the hard hitting news bulletins not only on the actual newspaper but the connecting website, which would also allow people to air their views on the paper and its features; thus creating a feeling of ownership. This, combined with a cheap price would result in easily accessible up to date news.
The potential for this newspaper to be a success would therefore be high, however awareness of the products existence would be essential; I therefore created a written advertisement for the paper. This advert was designed with simplicity in mind, therefore the name of the newspaper is shown followed by an image of the paper its self which would make people identify the paper when they go to their newsagents, followed by a few sentences which emphasise the exclusivity of the piece; ‘catch up on all the latest news’. This simplicity ensures that the passer by would be able to absorb what the newspaper offers without having to stop and analyse the advert. The poster most importantly includes the Northern Angles slogan of; ‘the paper in the know’ which is used as a focal point within the advertisement, this would stick in the readers mind and would again help people identify the product next time they visit their newsagents. This advert would ideally feature on billboards to create maximum publicity and could be used within the initial stages of this product being issued along with a trial price to result in an established fan basis. Therefore, when the normal price is applied, a dedicated audience would be in place and the product would be fully established.
From this point, the radio advertisement I produced would serve as a constant reminder of the product. This recording features two people having a conversation about the papers exclusivity; ‘have you heard?!’ and ‘eee I never would have believed it!’. As the two have a Geordie accent the regional feel of the newspaper is supported, excitement and anticipation is also felt ‘no tell me! I want to know now!’ and because the recording is relatively short and features a jingle, the listener is likely to stay attentive and remember the advert. This would be aired on local and possibly national radio, which means a wide demographic of people would be reached and the likely-hood of the product being acknowledged as popular and recognisable would be high.
Although this may be the case, due to my newspaper being of the factual/ news genre, I would be likely to find that the majority of readers would be adults and not the stereotypical adolescent who shows no interest in current affairs. Never the less, in utilizing both the written and radio style of advertisement, people from different walks of life may be reached, the gender neutral advertising used within would encourage both sexes to explore the periodical, and most importantly, because l have also incorporated the internet which can be accessed via phones and computers and can be released three to four hours beforehand, the paper is likely to appeal younger generations, as they are widely known to be computer literate in comparison to their elders. The prospect of having diverse readers would therefore be within reach. Although putting it on the internet, having a radio advertisement and other advertisements would only be the start of my marketing campaign.




Audience Feedback
Initial feed back was not entirely positive as there were concerns regarding competition from several existing regional newspapers which are already fully established on the market, to which, I assured them of the advertising techniques used would maximise the possibility of success. Asides from popularity and fan base of these well known papers there were questions surrounding the topics each of the papers and the possible similarities. However in highlighting the minimal cost of the paper and the fact that my newspaper would be afforded by all, unlike many other papers which are priced higher, and have to be purchased by those with disposable income, they began to see the attraction. Additionally because the paper would also be based online it is in effect my unique selling point.
The audience also agreed that the shock tactics used within the main article on Peter Sutcliffe created the intended feeling of the reader initially being taken aback by the severity of the article then intereseted as to what the story may develop into. The piece then continues with Gultung and Ruge’s theory of news selection, as I have been selective on information displayed within the piece, therefore I as the creator of this newspaper have deemed what qualifies as news.
Threshold is another criteria of this theory; being the size and volume of the event, as it is more likely to be reported if it is on a large scale. For example a car crash involving ten cars is more likely to be reported and given more space over to rather than a car crash involving two cars. Obviously it need unambiguity, for the report to be clear to the readers and easily interpreted. Another factor when the news is reported is cultural proximity, as news events that occur near to the country in which the newspaper is published are more likely to be covered since we are more likely to be culturally similar. If the content of the news has implications for us as a country then its lacking geographical relevance is over-ridden. Predictability of the event happening is also a factor affecting the publication because an event that is almost expected to happen is easily received by the consumers as a result. Events that can be reported that were not expected or rarely happen are very good examples of prime news. Continuity, being able to print several stories about the development of the same case. Composition and balance, this meaning certain days minor stories could be come ‘bigger’ were as on other days some vital news could go unreported as more important stories have arose. Lastly is to do with the audiences demand to such an article because if the public does not want to read about it the paper wont sell.
Their theory is based on what many believe that the world is a broad casting studio, so although everything is reported it is only how it is reported we as an audience then listen. Using this theory the news that we actually decide to listen to is culturally determined and not a natural occurrence that we are interested in this news. Thus meaning that each society in different parts of the world will value different news as more important than others therefore more likely to be reported.
My main story does cover a wide range of the points that Gultung and Rouge’s theory say are news worthy articles, such points as it has a large threshold it has unamiguity, and I think the public will have a high demand to know what is happening with Peter Sutcliffe and I think once it is reported although the first time it is unpredictable it will then gain continuity and inheritance.
Overall the audience members which reviewed my paper generally reacted in the way I expected, there was an agreement that the Northern angel could be accomplished once I focused on creating a paper which was both cheap and accompanied the niche market. The audience particularly thought the newspaper radio advert was affective, With in the media industry I think feedback is particularly important as it has helped to construct my media production in the way the public will appreciate and therefore are more likely to buy.
With the use of a hard hitting headline I first grabbed my audiences attention then I attracted them further by the prospect of wining a holiday, this showing interaction between the paper and the public. Although I do not believe that my target audience or any audience that may read this paper will be able to identify with my main article, I think it is more the shock tactics and unpredictability of the story appearing that will encourage people to buy my newspaper.




Technologies
During all of my work the blog was a constant form of new technology that I was using throughout, at first this was a surreal experience because not only is it a media production itself but the fact that when creating a blog it is not just colleagues and teachers who will be seeing this work, but an audience of millions can see it should they want to. The fact that my blog is self published this means that almost all of my viewers are capable of doing the same, this confusing the boundaries of what actually consists of an audience member. Although, new digital media ‘have fundamentally changed the ways in which we engage will all the media’ (David Gauntlett 2007)
The other technology I used was a stills camera that I took the main photo on the front of the paper, The reason for it being in black and white was because of the fact I not only wanted to give it more of a dark theme reflecting the bad things he had done. But also because of the extreme manipulation the photo underwent in photoshop it came out better in grey scale.




Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Final front cover

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Final double page

Final single page

Monday, 19 April 2010

Final poster

Friday, 16 April 2010

Radio adverts already on the market

On my music player at the bottom of the page there are some examples of radio adverts already on the market and here is one of my finalradio adverts


video


Radio Advert number two

Here is my second radio advert, and although i had initially recorded them on garage band i was unable to load them up on to you tube to transfer then across to this website, it would not allow me to unless it was accompanied with a video so i played my adverts on my computer whilst recording the screen and the sound so i was able to upload these advertisements i created.

video