QUESTION ONE In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products ?
Catchy slogan used is a prime position underneath the logo, to enhance the brand and make the front page look more interesting and engaging. Masterhead contains logo which other newspapers all have as part of their identity and to make them recognisable. I decided to also use blurbs, which are common on the front page of newspapers to entice the reader into opening up the paper and turning to the stories being shown. The blurbs usually have a miniature headline and a small description. I have kept to this convention and used 3 blurbs from the different sections of the paper. I first noticed this technique in ‘thelondonpaper’. Most front pages of informal newspapers contain fairly indirect headlines so I have chosen to follow this convention and make mine indirect. More formal broadsheets have a direct headline, but this did not tie in with the more informal ‘La Dolce Vita’ brand. All headings I have seen during my research contained subheadings which expand on the heading. Therefore I have kept to this convention. Secondary leads used along the side of the paper as used in newspapers such as The Sun along with other national newspapers. Although, my newspaper challenges the usual local paper conventions because after looking at various different ones, the front pages only contained lead stories. Most front pages also contain a preview of the newspapers lead story. This story is attached to the headline. I chose my lead story and placed it as the centre point of the page.
The newspaper website is shown at the top of page, which is another prime position encouraging the reader to visit the website and receive more hits, resulting in the newspaper website being able to command higher advertising fees. This is why many newspapers flaunt their web address as I have done. Local papers obviously have to state where they are local to, as they do, and I have included La Dolce Vita’s local area of West Essex. The date and price of newspapers is always shown on their front pages, which is why I have done so. The logo I chose is swirly and quite ornate, so I thought to make my page look more interesting and different I would add extra swirls in the background. This is not a common technique used by other newspapers and I did not see it used on any other of the newspapers I analysed. This means that the swirls are not conforming to the usual conventions. Some of the newspapers I analysed used line separators to separate the different sections of the page and I have used one on my front page.. There is usually one photograph that dominates the front page which accompanies the lead story and I have kept to the convention and done the same. Page numbers are stated where stories are continued making It easier for the audience to find the rest of the story and encourage them to read on Every newspaper I analysed included this.
Other smaller photographs used all over the page to make it look more interested and accessible to the target audience. The Sun newspaper as well as other tabloids also use this technique. Over the top of the main photo I placed a box with the lead story sample within it, rather than have the text around it. The Sun is an example of one newspaper which also does with their main image. I also used by lines above each article to show the writer of each one. This is a common thing to do in newspapers. Most free newspapers, unlike most premium newspapers have a main advert on their front page. This increases their advertising revenue as they are the most expensive spaces available. So I have used one for a national businesses local branches.
Strip placed at the top of the page containing information such as the page number, website, date and logo. This is a common newspaper convention that La Dolce Vita is sticking to. The page number is always at the top of the page in a newspaper whereas in a magazine it is generally found at the bottom. The first page in a newspaper is usually quite friendly and accessible as to not instantly scare away any potential readers. Therefore I chose to stick to this convention by having a ‘The week in pictures’ feature, featuring quirky/humorous photographs and accompanying stories. Newspapers are always on the look out for new stories and encourage readers to send stories in to them. When looking at The Sun newspaper I noticed that to maximise this, they give the reader many different options of how they could send them in. They also kept any numbers used consistent for example I used the number ‘60022’ in both the text number and at the end of the telephone number. This makes it easier for the reader to remember. Again I have lent a lot of the page space to an advert, because it is part of a free newspaper and a lot of space needs to be dedicated to adverts which increase revenue and essentially pay for the production and distribution. The weather is also a common feature on the first page of newspapers. This is why I have chosen to make it such a predominate part of the page. The weather ranges from local weather, to regional weather and even includes holiday weather. Mapped weather is also used a lot so I have chosen to include it within the feature. The holiday weather element is unique to La Dolce Vita as I did not see it any other newspaper but thought it would be more interesting, useful and relevant, containing more up-market holiday destinations which people from the wealthy local area are likely to visit such as Dubai and Marbella.
Question two How effective is the combination of your main product and auxiliary texts?
The Radio Advert The Good Life, A life full of pleasure and indulgence. ‘Good times’ ‘Good people’ ‘Good memories’ ‘Good goss’ ‘Good news’ ‘Exclusive’ ‘The best things in life are free!’
QUESTION 3 What have you learned from your audience feedback?
The Questionnaire What do you think about the ‘alternative’ theme of the newspaper (Swirls etc)? (Circle one from each) Does (9) / Doesn’t (1) … appeal to most age groups. Does (7) / Doesn’t (3) … appeal to both genders. Does (0) / Doesn’t (10) … over complicated the page. Does (10) / Doesn’t (0) … make the page look more interesting than a standard newspaper. Q
What do you think about the layout of the front page? (Tick one) Excellent (Wouldn’t change anything) (7) Good (Would change one or two things) (2) Average (Would change quite a bit) (1) Poor (Would change most of it) (0) Unbearable (Would change it all) (0)
What do you think about the layout of the first page? (Tick one) Excellent (Wouldn’t change anything) (6) Good (Would change one or two things) (2) Average (Would change quite a bit) (2) Poor (Would change most of it) (0) Unbearable (Would change it all) (0)
After looking at the two pages, if you had a story you wanted to send into the paper, how easy would you find how to get your story through? Very Easy (4) Easy (5) Average (1) Hard (0) Very Hard (0)
Do you think enough ways of sending your stories through are available to you e.g. Text. (Tick One) Yes (10) No (0)
How easy did you find it to see the web address for the newspaper? Very Easy (5) Easy (3) Average (2) Hard (0) Very Hard (0)
Bearing in mind that ‘La dolce vita’ is a new brand, do you find the poster gives enough information? (Tick one) Too much information (0) Enough information (8) Too little information (2)
Bearing in mind that ‘La dolce vita’ is a new brand, do you find the advert gives enough information? (Tick one) Too much information (0) Enough information (9) Too little information (1)
After listening to the advert, which of the following would you associate with the ‘La dolce vita’ brand?(Tick as many as you want) Fun (7) Excitement (6) Formality (1) Class (6) Exclusivity (7) Boring (0) Interesting (3) Childish (0)
Question 4 How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
PC > MAC Publisher – Too basic, not challenging enough.