In what ways does your media product
use, develop or challenge forms and
conventions of real media products?
Evaluation Question 1
The title of my newspaper “Northwestern” sounds like a formal
name for a newspaper. It has been constructed to conform to the
typical conventions of a local newspaper. The title is presented
through the masthead which makes it clear where the newspaper
is based –as local newspapers usually do. This will encourage
readers from that area into buying the newspaper to find out
information about their local area.
The masthead for my newspaper uses a similar font to the
Manchester Evening News and is set out in a similar way as it is
positioned in the primary optical area. I have also adapted the
colours that are used on the Salford Advertiser in order to make
my newspaper as realistic as possible. These two local
newspapers also make it clear where the newspaper is based
which I have in mine.
However the title of my newspaper also challenges the typical
conventions as “Northwestern” sounds quite old-fashioned in
comparison to the modern tabloid newspapers. I believe this
could encourage a wider audience to be interested in reading the
From my product research I came to the conclusion
that local newspapers have a mix of both positive and
negative stories. The negative stories usually warn the
public of criminals or inform them of any crimes that
have occurred in their local area. However, there were
also some positive stories such as the 65 year old man
who was still playing rugby at Broughton Rugby Club
who made the front cover of the Salford Advertiser.
I believe this makes a good story as readers want to
read positive things about their local area as well as the
negative so I have included a more pleasant story
about a man saving a child from a fire on the front
cover of my newspaper because of this.
Sport also had a large role within the newspapers I
analysed and so I decided from this that I would
include a story on football as it‟s a very popular sport
in Manchester which ensures my newspaper
remains conventional. The story I chose is based on
Manchester United which are very iconic of
Manchester, further establishing the local
There was also a story about a dog that had been
abused by it‟s owner which made the front cover of
the evening news. This encouraged me to make an
advertisement for dogs trust as animals are often
involved in local newspapers due to being a topic
that many people are interested in.
DESIGN & LAYOUT
After researching different newspapers I had a
good idea of how typical newspapers are set out. I
noticed that they are all very aligned and precise
which makes them appear very professional. I have
followed this convention for my newspaper
separating everything on the cover and second
page equally. To do this I positioned the articles and
images on the layout plans that I had created to
make the newspaper look professional and
The articles are placed in narrow columns with size
9 text which is very small, similar to other
newspapers. The headlines are in a sans-serif font
using Impact as this was the most similar font to
real newspapers I could find. The articles have
been created in a serif font using Times New
Roman which was also the most professional and
newspaper-like font available.
The masthead is placed in the primary optical area
which is another convention as it stands out well
and brands the newspaper.
The second page for my newspaper was inspired by
the Salford Advertiser as they have set out their
newspaper in a similar way. I found that this layout
was slightly different to the conventional ways a
newspaper is usually set out and was more
interesting to look at so I used this when designing
my page. I also took into account the way the
advertisements are placed at the bottom and placed
the advertisement in a similar place on my page.
My newspaper defies conventions as it is
quite bright with the colour scheme red
white and black. I believe this will make the
newspaper more eye-catching and attractive
to look at rather than it just appearing the
same as every other newspaper available. It
also makes the newspaper look modern,
which will encourage younger people to
want to buy the newspaper also.
This is quite similar to the Salford Advertiser
which also uses a red colour scheme.
The house style I have chosen is consistent
throughout the newspaper which is also a
convention of local newspapers. The red
strip across the top of both newspapers
makes it clear that it is the same newspaper,
making it look more professional.
I believe that the appearance of my
newspaper regarding house style and colour
scheme is very appealing and bright. Yet the
consistency of it throughout the newspaper
keeps it looking like a professional
The images on both pages of my
newspaper have been taken using an
iPhone camera as this is a simple way to
take high quality photos.
The first image a reader is likely to see on
my newspaper is the photograph of a man
and a child. This is intended to appeal to
the audience because they are intrigued to
find out what the story is about. This follows
conventions of a newspaper because it is a
large image placed in the centre of my front
page which is typically where the main story
of a newspaper is featured in order to
The other image on my front page is of Old
Trafford which is placed near the primary
optical area of the newspaper. I have done
this as sport is a very popular topic which
many people are interested in. In other
newspapers I have looked at this is where
the sports stories are usually featured so in
For the advertisement on my cover I took a
photograph of Lightoaks Garage which was
a practical idea as it is right next to my
house. I chose to use this for an
advertisement as similar business‟ are often
advertised in local newspapers. I have
placed this in the terminal area of my
newspaper as this is where advertisements
typically go as they are less important.
On the second page of my newspaper I took
a photograph inside Old Trafford of some
fans during a football match. From this I
aimed to make the fans look aggressive so it
could relate better towards my story. I think I
have been successful in this as the fans
appear quite angry on the image I have
This image is of my dog wearing a Christmas
hat which I found relevant to the slogan of
the charity. This is intended to interest
readers who would enjoy seeing images of a
dog in the newspaper.
I took a mug shot of my dad to have an
image of the armed robber. This is
conventional of a newspaper as they usually
The headline of my newspaper „LOCAL HERO‟ creates an
elliptical narrative as the reader is intrigued to discover how
there is a local hero. This is conventional of a newspaper as
they often do this to make the readers want to buy the
newspaper to find out what has happened.
This shows the 5th stage of Todorov‟s narrative stages as it
shows that a situation has occurred but has now been
resolved and the equilibrium reinstated. This will encourage
readers to want to find out the full story.
Both of the examples below taken from the newspapers I
have analysed create a narrative enigma which is what I have
aimed to do with the headlines on the cover of my newspaper.
This ensures that my newspaper follows the conventions and
makes it likely to attract more readers.
My newspaper is a local newspaper. It is a tabloid which is
aimed at a working class background of both male and
females aged 16+. However, my newspaper is also
relatively formal yet simple to read to that it still appeals to
a wide range of people.
I have encoded this through the sport story as football is
typically a sport which is followed by working class people,
mainly men. However, I have also featured a human
interest story about a child being rescued from a fire which
should interest most people but in particular women. This
ensures that my newspaper caters to all different types of
people, increasing the success rate if this was to be a
I have included an advertisement about Michelle Keegan
which is celebrity gossip, a convention of a tabloid
newspaper. I have encoded this into my newspaper as I
believe many people are interested in this type of story,
The fact my newspaper is a local newspaper has
been encoded through the main headline “LOCAL
HERO” which makes it clear to the reader that
they are reading a newspaper which is local to
Also the masthead indicates this as it is obviously
not a worldwide newspaper if it is titled “The
Northwestern”.This is similar to The Manchester
Evening News and Tameside Advertiser as it is
clear where the newspaper is set.
All the news throughout my newspaper is based
locally to Manchester which is a key convention
of a local newspaper as they give information on
the area that the newspaper is based.
The main story on my front cover
distinguishes characters within
my newspaper as there is a
“hero” and a “victim”. This shows
Levi Strauss‟ theory of opposition
as the young child who was
rescued by a man is shown
through the main image. This
theory is also shown through life
and death which is a story likely
to attract readers.
Propp‟s character theory is also
shown through this story as
Samuel is the hero. The
emergency services are the
The girl who has gone missing on
the second page is also an
example of a victim from Propp‟s
All of my images have been slightly edited from their
original. I have adjusted the brightness on the image
using Photoshop in order to make them stand out
more and catch the readers attention.
I edited the image of my dog for the dogs trust advert
to make it advertise the charity.
I have also used the crop tool on many of the images
to cut out any unwanted parts of the images that were
This is similar to professional newspapers as they
often have to edit their images.