1) In what was does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? The name of the magazine that I produced for my print media coursework task was ‘FUSED Magazine’. In producing this magazine, I observed the layout, conventions and typical standards found in many existing magazines found on the market, especially those in the rock genre, in particular, popular magazines Kerrang! And NME. The conventions observed of these magazines were that they tried to appeal to predominantly young target audience, mainly in the 16 – 25 age range, as the music genre that is focused on by these magazines is most popular in this bracket.Therefore, with my own media magazine, I concluded that the 16-20 age range convention followed by many magazines was a certain example that I would stick to and follow. The main genre that I chose for my own magazine is indie-rock. However, due to the lack of indie-rock magazines available on the market, I had to choose the closest possible option and research and study magazines such as Kerrang! Magazine and NME, which are predominantly in the alternative-rock genre. Therefore, the layout and style conventions of my magazine had to match and reflect the genre of indie-rock as much as possible, meaning that the style, colour scheme, articles, content and overall layout differs from the hard, edgy, ‘rough’ style often associated with alternative rock, and seen on both Kerrang! Magazine And NME.
2) How does your media product represent particular social groups? Most magazine represent a certain social group, or stereotype. My research into existing magazines such as Kerrang! Lead me to the conclusion that the target ‘social’ group’ of this magazine were young, aged between 16-25, predominantly male, and interested in the ‘alternative rock music scene’. My own media magazine, ‘FUSED’, represents also a young audience in the age 16-25 age bracket. Although being an indie-rock magazine, the social groups represented by the magazine are slightly changed. Indie-rock is a broad term. It doesn’t attract a set audience or certain social stereotype, but in order for the magazine to appeal to the majority, I am choosing to focus less on the ‘anti-authority rebel’ image that Kerrang! Magazine represents. The majority of indie-rock fans are related with having relaxed, laid-back, lifestyle. You could say my magazine focuses on a more ‘conventional’ social group or stereotype, people who aren’t intent on rebelling and just want to enjoy the music. The social group affected are all about the music, and less about the actual personality and popularity of the bands and therefore, I have tried to include much more information and content about the actual music the magazine is promoting, rather than the band/artist’s image. The band fronting my magazine seem laid-back, relaxed, almost carefree, and emit the emotion of calmness and confidence through their relaxed posture and clothing.
3) What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? Since my print task is a music magazine, the type of media institution that will be distributing my media product will be magazine publishers. For my magazine to be distributed to every type of shop and open to all kinds of promotion and advertising, the magazine will have to be signed to a large institution or publishers, such as IPC, publisher of popular music magazine NME. In order for the magazine to be as fully successful as possible and make maximum profits one of these large media institutions will be the best option to choose to publish my magazine. However, these large publishers will often reduce the freedom of how the magazine and what is produced inside the publication. One other option is to use a smaller media institution which will not be able to distribute the magazine to the huge range of shops and supermarkets, but will provide the magazine editors and writers who actually produce the content of the magazine with more freedom to include what they want, rather than following a larger institution’s rules to appeal to the very majority audience.
4) Who would be the audience for your media product? The target audience for my media product is teenagers aged in the age bracket roughly 16-21. The audience is intended to be for equally males and females, interested in the indie-rock genre. However there may be certain factors about each magazine that will affect this, such as the band/artist fronting the magazine at the time.The edition of the magazine that I have produced is fronted by a young male indie-rock band, which may attract a more predominantly female audience to this particular edition. However, the indie-rock genre has been proved to be more popular with a teenage male audience, therefore possibly affecting the audience targeted. I asked ten people within my target audience if they were to see this magazine in a shop, how compelled would they feel to buy it. The feedback from these ten people told me that the magazine’s appearance and content successfully attracts the target audience I aimed it to.
5) How did you attract/address your audience? Being a music magazine, the majority of the content is obviously focused on music – including band interviews, album reviews, gig reviews, etc. Though I have included some other content that may attract the young teenage target audience such as competition opportunities, which may be seen as a persuasion technique, luring the young target audiencein with almost a promise of a possible expensive prize. The layout and presentation of the magazine was the most important factor in attracting a teenage audience of males and females aged 16-21. On the front cover, I have made the band photo and the title/name of the band the most prominent, outstanding object visible on the page. The target audience I hope to target will be interested mainly in the music side rather than the personality of the band, as the genre is indie-rock, so hopefully this technique of making the band stand out on the front cover might catch the attention of the target audience. I tried to keep the colour scheme of the layout as unisex as possible – the majority of the layout is based in bright, lively blue shades which reflect a youthful, energetic image, representative of indie-rock and also the band fronting the magazine. The feedback I received from the ten people that I asked within my target audience told me that I have achieved this, as the majority of the feedback based on the effectiveness of the general presentation of the magazine in attracting the target audience was positive.
6) What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? Whilst constructing my magazine, I had to experiment and make full use of many different technologies, some of which are listed below. DSLR Camera – Different from an ordinary digital camera in the way that the LCD screen doesn’t show up in order to look at the screen and focus on objects to take the photographs. Instead, a small window in the camera called a view finder is on the body of the camera, which enables the photographer to look through the lens and take a photo. This method of taking a picture means that taking a shot which is correctly on-shot is more difficult, but if taken correctly with the right angles the results are much more effective in terms of crispness, high-quality, and professional-looking images.Adobe Photoshop – Adobe Photoshop is probably the photo editing program that is held in the highest regard, with the most tools in order to manipulate an image any way the editor may want it. Adobe Photoshop I found took a long time for me to get the hang of, the many different tools I found confusing, although through the help of tutorials and experimenting, I grasped the simple basics of the program in order to help me edit my photographs, and create the headings and different sections/articles of my magazine.
7) Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? One of the first things I realised I have especially learnt in progression from the preliminary task to the full product is my improvement in Adobe Photoshop skills. Looking at my preliminary task, I realise now that some of the rendering of images and font type that I used was not done as it should be, unfinished and rough around the edges. Hopefully with my full product I have improved on this, resulting in a neater, more precise and accurate photos and information. Looking back also at my preliminary task I realise now that the type of font I used for the majority of the text on the front cover is unfitting to the rest of the layout of the magazine. With a different type of font used, I think my preliminary task could have appeared a lot more professional. Although my preliminary task did manage to stick to the theme of a school magazine, I think the magazine did sway away from the topic slightly because of the articles that were listed to be inside the magazine. With my full product, being based on a music magazine, hopefully I have stuck to the music theme of the magazine better without swaying away from the main aims and conventions of a music magazine too much. I made sure that the majority of the articles, and sub-headings on the contents page were related to music, in order to fully succeed the aims and targets of my music magazine.