For my AS Level Media Studies coursework, I had to create my own, exclusive music magazine. In
order to provide evidence of the research and planning that I carried out, I was to make a blog, and
also use Adobe Photoshop to produce my own front cover, contents page and double page spread.
As I have finally finished the task that was set for me, I am now able to evaluate the effectiveness of
my work and reflect on how much I have developed my media skills and understanding.
In what ways does you media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real
At the beginning of this coursework, I decided to produce three pieces that celebrates the genre
‘pop’. Pop has many obvious and recognisable conventions that are loved and valued by fans of this
genre. As I have been a pop fan myself in the past, I am already aware of these conventions, but I
carried out an additional research to improve and develop my knowledge of pop magazines and to
explore how existing pop media texts reflect the genre through different aspects like content,
featured articles and mode of address.
My front cover, contents page and double page spread all follow the typical conventions of existing
pop magazines, which is an important factor to be able to attract the appropriate target audience. I
decided to call my magazine ‘Non-Stop Pop’ which is effective and unique. In each of my three
pieces, they feature bright colours which is used to entice the readers and to reveal the bright, fun
and upbeat identity of pop. The colour scheme of my three pieces is mainly pink with purple and
yellow, which are all feminine and exciting colours, appealing and attracting the teenage readership
of my magazine. Furthermore, these colours are also used in the two well-known pop magazines,
‘We Love Pop’ and ‘Top of the Pops’. The images below is evidence that these magazines use the
in their magazines.
As a whole, each of the images used in my magazine follow the conventions of images used in pop
magazines, as well as the use of typical pop iconography. The models in my magazine make it aware
of who my target audience is and that the magazine is a pop magazine. The main images in ‘NonStop Pop’ are of a young, girl band which will make the audience aware that they are a close, happy
group as they have a close proximity, direct address and positive and happy facial expressions. By
the girl band having direct address, it will make the target audience think they are looking and
talking to them. The two existing girl bands whom I took inspiration from was Little Mix and The
Saturdays. Both of these girl groups come across as sophisticated, fun and feminine. There were a
variety of images that I was inspired by from both groups, which made me aware of how I wanted
my girl band to come across as: fun, bubbly and stylish. Furthermore, the facial expressions of the
girls makes the reader aware that Lovestruck have something to tell, which is convincing the reader
to purchase the magazine. This also makes them look friendly, bubbly and not intimidating
whatsoever, just how pop girl bands come across as.
I have also followed the general layout conventions of a magazine front cover, by putting the
masthead on the top of the frame of the front cover, which makes it stand out and catch the
audience’s attention. I have also put the price and barcode at the bottom right hand corner of the
front cover, which is where the Western eye goes last. Moreover, on my front cover is many sell
lines and images to attract the audience and lure the in to reading the magazine. My front cover
looks ‘busy’ but this is a common convention in pop magazines, as it indicates fun and excitement,
which links to the typical personality of a pop fan. I have used a puff on the front cover as another
way of capturing the readerships attention, and persuading them to read the magazine.
My contents page also follows the key conventions of a pop magazine. My contents page also uses
bright colours like pink and baby blue which are both feminine and girly colours, appealing to the
reader and luring her in. The main image shown on my contents page also shows the girls are fun,
feminine and bubby girls, which is making the image stand out and making girls look up to
‘Lovestruck’ as role models and feeling as if they are the reader friend. It is important for pop
artists/bands to be represented as calm and positive people as it is welcoming and being friendly
towards young teenage girls, making them read the magazine.
Over the three pieces I created, I have used a symbiotic link by using the same glamorous girl band
who are young, around the same age, and beautiful girls. This is a way of grabbing the attention of
the readership and luring them in to buying the magazine. I have also used the same colour scheme
through all three pieces, which is pink and this represents feminine, fun and excitement. By creating
this symbiotic link, I have accomplished a strong brand identity which will have a result of the
readership being able to notice and recognise ‘Non-Stop Pop’ immediately, and make a purchase of
Another way I will be able to entice the youthful readership, in each of my three pieces is through
informal and directmode of address. It is important to build a relationship and special bond between
the magazine and reader and also, by using slang and informal language it will make the readers feel
that the magazine is a friend, who completely understands them. Words like ‘hottie’ ‘lol’ and
‘woops’ are used throughout my three pieces and the target audience will be able to recognise these
words as they use them to speak when communicating with their friends. This is a way of attracting
the audience and convincing them to make a purchase of the magazine, as I have followed the
conventions of a pop magazine by using this language. Moreover, similar mode of address if found
on the front cover and inside the magazine of‘Non-Stop Pop’, such as ‘hotties’ and ‘lush‘.
The images shown below are all three of my pieces, and you will be able to recognise how I have
followed the conventions of a pop magazine.
Add images of three pieces!
How does your media product represent particular social groups?
As you will be able to see from my three pieces, they all show the representation of different social
groups. It does stereotype the typical young female as they come across as loving the colour pink,
and enjoying mainly the genre pop. As ‘Non-Stop Pop’ is predominantly featured on pop artists and
bands, this is the type of target audience I want to attract. A lot of feminine and bright colours are
used to show this such as: pink, yellow, purple and sky blue, which exaggerates the type of magazine
and target audience I would like to achieve. Artists that fill in these aspects are people like: Taylor
Swift and Katy
The female artists used in a pop magazine are shown as successful, stylish and gorgeous young
women, who the readership will look up to as a role model. I will be using artists/bands like Taylor
Swift and Katy Perry to show young teenage girls that they can also be successful and beautiful, just
like the artists shown in ‘Non-Stop Pop’. The personality of the readership are just like the artists
shown in my magazine: girly, bubbly and fun. This helps the readership to believe that they can be
just like their role models.
‘Non-Stop Pop’ shows different bands who are a girly band and handsome group which is what my
target audience are attracted to. The representation within my magazine shows Britishness as each
of the artists are British. This links to the readership as each reader is most likely to be British. These
bands that are shown are both male and female, though there has not been a group in 10 years,
since S Club 7, who has a mixture of male and females in their band. The articles and fashions pages
within ‘Non-Stop Pop’ will be based on the female artists/band, but the posters that are in my
magazine will contain not just girl artists but male artists too, as the readership would like to
decorate their room with their secret crush, or good looking, topless male artists. Through the use of
bands, ‘Non-Stop Pop’ represent different ethnicity groups and genders as bands like JLS and Little
Mix have multiple of different ethnicities within their girl/boy band. Pop bands that are features
within my magazine are groups such as Little Mix, JLS and One Direction.
The reasons as to why I chose to represent these specific social groups is because they are the type
of people and celebrities that are featured in a pop music magazine, like ‘We Love Pop’ and ‘Top of
the Pops’. The target audience would typically see these celebrities dress in pink, stylish and girly
costumes throughout the magazine, which will be show in my magazine. These celebrities also
reflect the type of fashion sense the readership are fond of, and the qualities they like and are
attracted to. The artists shown below are the artists that gave me inspiration on what artists to use
in my magazine, and the
features and costume they wear.
How did you attract/address you audience?
As you will be able to notice, my contents page is similar to the
contents page inside the pop magazine ‘Top of the Pops’. Though,
instead of using an image of the front cover, I used an image of the
girl band, to create a link between each of my three pieces. I thought
this would be more creative and effective. Furthermore, you will be
aware that the layout of my contents page is the alike to the
contents page that appear in ‘Top of the Pops’. I believe my contents
page is straight to the point and easy for the readership to navigate,
which is not putting them off by confusion. A common feature I have
used on my front cover is the use of puffs. I have also includes the
price of magazine as well as the barcode that is placed at the bottom
right hand corner. The price and barcode are not as important on the front cover which is why this is
in a smaller font. I had many different decisions with what font I was going to use as I wanted
something that matched the personality of my magazine: fun and bubbly. At the end I decided to use
the font ‘Jokerman’ as it is fun, quirky and makes the masthead stand out and capture the
I have also followed the key conventions of a double page spread such as a dominant image, pages
numbers, text and using a pull quote to convince the target audience to read the article about the
girl band. Pull quotes are often seen in double page spreads as this is a quote used from an article to
entice the readership.
My music magazine will also meet the needs of each reader as it will
include the latest information about celebrity break ups, make ups
and all the exclusive gossip on the reader’s favourite artist/band.
Moreover, ‘Non-Stop Pop’ will also include real life stories based on
young, teenage girls as this is a way of enticing the target audience, as the article will also include
information on how to stay safe and secure. For instance, I will include a real life article a 15 year old
girl who was receiving inappropriate emails and messages from a man who was 38, acting as if he
was 16 years of age. Being safe is extremely important for a young girl, and Maslow’s hierarchy of
needs shows this in his theory. The image on the right shows Maslow’s hierarchy, showing selfactualisation as an important aspect.
Self-actualisation is imperative to a teenage girl because she seeks approval from her peers and
looks to inspirational figures in music and celebrities to help ‘better’ herself physically as well as
emotionally. In my magazine, I will also provide young teenage girls with tips on how they are able to
be the best they can towards friendships, boys and their appearance as a whole. Consequently, this
part of the magazine will allow the readership to feel good as well as look good as the magazine will
give readers information about the dos and don’ts. For example, what colours don’t go well together
in an outfit. This is relevant to the readership as it meets their self-esteem needs, and has a result of
developing their confident and self-esteem. When the target audience read my magazine, they will
escape from reality and business and enter a fun, entertaining world. When reading ‘Non-Stop Pop’
the target audience will create a bond with the magazine, making them enjoy and become excited
when reading the magazine, having a result of thinking that my music magazine is a friend to them.
Furthermore, it meets the target audience’s love and belongingness needs as the magazine will
become like a friend to each reader, making them feel appreciated and loved. The first thing that
attracts the reader when they see the front cover is the dominant image. The image shown is bold,
attractive and capturing the audience’s attention. The use of facial expressions lures the readership,
and making them want to find out more about what the article is about. Having a dominant image
on the front cover is a general convention on the front cover of magazines.
What would be the audience for your media product?
The target audience of ‘Non-Stop Pop’ is aimed at 12-16 year old teenage, feminine girls. The
readers of my magazine will be young, fresh and fun young girls, who love to go out with their
friends, use social networks, and do their hair and makeup. They also enjoy reading about the latest
gossip involving celebrities, fashion tips on how to be more like their role models, and how to aspire
to be more like them. As a whole, music is an important aspect in the readership’s lifestyle. They like
to constantly listen to music either on their iPod, iPhone or the radio. Young teenage pop fans listen
to radio stations like Capital FM and Kiss 100. They listen to these radio stations to find out the latest
hits, and whether their favourite artist/band have hit number 1 in the charts. They would like to
meet their artist crush in reality, instead of just dreaming it. The target audience who read ‘Non-Stop
Pop’ would use my magazine for a number of reasons, and this can involve adding a collection of
posters to their bedroom wall, as the young girls love to decorate their room with inspirations and
boys crushes. I had explored teenage music magazines like ‘We Love Pop’ and ‘Top of the Pops’, and
I found that it was obvious the content of the magazine is relevant to young, teenage females.From
the primary research I completed, I believe that this is the correct target audience for pop magazines
including ‘Non-Stop Pop’. For example, the people who answered my questionnaire for my research,
were all teenagers.
The target audience of my music magazine represents young, teenage females and you will be able
to recognise this through each of my three
pieces. As you will
be able to notice in each of the images of the girl band, they are all at ease and comfortable with
each other, as this is shown through their body language and facial expressions. For the front cover, I
used a medium, long shot with direct address so that the readership are able to see the girl’s body
language, feminine figures, and costume. The costume will make the reader realise that when you
are in your pyjamas, you are still able to look stylish and glamorous, just like Lovestruck. The medium
shot of the girls on the contents page shows an image of the girls hugging and smiling which
indicates that they are a close and trustworthy girl group, making the reader look up to the girl band
as role models. Lastly, I included many images of the girl band on the double page spread, though
the dominant, medium long shot of the girls is an image of the girls having a piggy back, showing
they are a fun, bubbly band. All the girls are using happy facial expressions like smiling and laughing,
and a feminine body language, showing that the band is content and living life to the full! By doing
this, it is welcoming the reader and making them feel comfortable, instead of intimidated and scared
to purchase the magazine. Through each of the images, the girls look like confident and as if they
have a positive self-esteem. This proves to the pop fans that the girls are successful, beautiful and
popular. I have picked up the stereotypical view of young teenage girls in my three pieces by adding
information about boys, fashion, makeup, gossip and romance. By doing this, it is encouraging young
girls to make a purchase of the magazine as it will meet the needs and wants of feminine, teenage
My double page spread highlights the fact that ‘Lovestruck’ are at a sleepover together. The article is
an interview with the girl band, and asking questions which will have a result on the reader getting
to know more about each individual member of the group. Although the girls are still very young,
they are aware of what they want to do in the future, and are believing that their hopes and dreams
will come true. Lovestruck is a fun, bubbly and ambitious group who are just like the target
audience. I have used red love hearts on the double page spread to make the page stand out more
and become more appealing. This is relatable to the readers as they are likely to scribble love hearts
as they are young, vulnerable girls. As you can see on the double page spread I created, the girls all
look confidence, happy and bubbly, which links to the personality of the readership.
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
The media institution I have decided to use to own as well as distribute my magazine is Bauer. Bauer
Media is a part of the Bauer Media Group, which is Europe’s largest privately owned publishing
group. This group is a worldwide media empire which offers over 300 magazines in 15 different
countries, as well as on the television, online and radio. The institution owns a variety of different,
successful magazines such as: ‘Heat’, ‘Kerrang’ and ‘Mojo’. I believe that the company is successful,
which is why it is likely to have the capital to launch my magazine as well as promote it. I will have
the ability to show case ‘Non-Stop Pop’ by holding events like a launch party and hopefully will
eventually hold an awards ceremony.
Bauer have excellent experience in many areas which will have a result of my magazine becoming
successful and up-and-coming. They have the knowledge and experience on how to run a magazine
effectively and how to actually launch it correctly. Furthermore, the institution has a brilliant
reputation andI am hoping this will be carried throughout my pop magazine. Due to Bauer’s
excellence of their brand and world class status, I also hope this will extend my magazine and make
the target audience aware that the magazine is trustworthy and reliable.
The company distributes and owns magazines towards a female target audience. This means that
they understand and know how to appeal and attract females. They do this through the use of
fashion, tips, beauty, makeup and real life stories. This will benefit myself as my magazine is targeted
at a female readership, and Bauer are aware of the needs that must be met in order for readers to
develop a positive self-esteem and self-confidence.
As a whole, Bauer is a successful institution which will help my magazine to survive in this tough
climate. For instance, print magazines are currently struggling though by my magazine being owned
by an experience, successful institutuion, it will help ‘Non-Stop Pop’ to survive and succeed as Bauer
know the tactics, methods and techniques that can be used in order to make this happen. For
example, in 2012 the magazine ‘Heat’ had a readership of 1,320,000 people, which proves their
success. The organisation knows how to launch and promote new publication and send them
successfully to their way. They are known to be skilled in working across multi-platforms, which will
come in handy in terms of the future of my magazine, especially as my target audience is young,
teenage girls.Bauer owns 60% of the most popular magazine brands in the UK which breeds
audience trust and loyalty.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
Through the process of creating each of my three pieces, I have developed my skills, knowledge and
understanding. I learnt how to create my own blog as well as upload images, texts and documents.
At the beginning, I did find it difficult and confusing as it was completely new to me, though I had got
used to it, and gained more of an understanding of my blog. My friends and media teacher helped
me when uploading documents, which allowed me to navigate the site independently. I believe that
there are a number of benefits when using a blog as it allows you to keep your work organised and
structured to show what I have been completing as a media student. By having a blog, it has also
allowed me to be more creative and imaginative with my work as I am able to use multimedia like
videos; having a result of my work being presented well and effectively. I was also able to update
and edit my blog to try make my work up to a good quality. As a whole, I am glad I have learnt how
to work a blog effectively as this could help me in future cases. It was important for me to use
software that involves blogging rather than giving in handwritten coursework as this is more
professional, and I was able to show off my IT skills. By my work being on a blog, it is also presented
in a more effective and interesting way.
Furthermore, I also learnt how to use a website called ‘Slideshare’ for my coursework. This website
was helpful towards my work as it allowed me to upload my work onto my blog in an easier and
more effective format. So, when uploading my research and planning, I used Slideshare. However, I
wasn’t particularly happy with the presentation as I feel it made my work look weird, and hard to
read as the text was presented in a small font.
When creating my three pieces, this also had a result of improving my skills on how to use Adobe
Photoshop. I have previously used Adobe Photoshop when creating my GCSE fragrance ads, so I was
aware of some of the tools like how to add text onto a layer, and how to change the background
colour. As I used Adobe Photoshop for this piece of coursework, I gained a lot of skills. For instance, I
am aware on how to use the magic want tool as this helped me to remove parts of an image that I
didn’t want on my piece, like the background.I believe that I have come far with my Photoshop skills
since the beginning of this coursework, as I was only aware of the basic tools. Comparing about how
I felt using Adobe Photoshoot during GCSE, I have noticed that I have become a lot more confident
and too more risks using the software. This has had a result of allowing me to use the software more
effectively and successfully. As a whole, I think I am more confident and a better media studies
student now that I have learnt the software more.
I have also noticed that my photography skills have improved and developed when carrying out his
project as I have learnt how to take photos in an effective way. This is another way my confidence
has developed within this coursework. For instance, in each of the images, I took the photo at the
level as the artists/band as this do not make the pop singers look vulnerable or defenceless. This has
made me aware that I am able to produce shots that keep in with the brand identity of my
magazine, as well as the fun, bubbly personality of the pop genre. I think the images are an
extremely important aspect within my pop magazine, which is why I was to make sure that I had
enough images for my three pieces, and to make sure the images are effective and appealing. When
it came to the stage of me taking the shots of the band, I had a clear idea of what I wanted to create
and the atmosphere I wanted in each of the images. Overall, I believe that the images came out in a
good quality and effectively to be able to attract the readership. Moreover, I learnt that when taking
images, there are a number of different factors that you have to take into consideration like the
location, costumes and mise-en-scene elements. Luckily, I was aware of all of these elements before
I shot all of the images, which is why I believe that the images came out successfully. I had to make
sure that there were no objects within the images, as well as make sure the pillows did not look
scruffy or uninviting.
For this task, I did take a lot of images as many of the images came out blurry due to the focus of the
camera. Though, I was extremely dedicated in making sure I get good quality and appealing images
for the magazine. I had many images to choose from which I was very happy about as I did not
struggle to decide on which images I thought were most effective. When I was decided on which
images to use for my three pieces, I went with the ones I thought would attract young teenage girls,
and the images that featured poses that reflect femininity, as this would to create a fun, youthful
feel towards ‘Non-Stop Pop’. Shown below are some of the images that I did not use within my three
Looking back at you preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it
to the full product?
Mypreliminary task was to create a sixth form magazine within Douay
Martyrs School. Looking back, I greatly believe that I have gained many
skills, learnt a lot, as well as achieved a lot.The image on the left shows the
preliminary task I completed.I have got to know more in depth information
about the target audience of my music magazine and followed the general
conventions to ensure that my magazine will be appealing and attractive
towards my readership. Comparing the preliminary task to my main task,
there are elements you will be able to notice that I used such ascostume,
sell lines and mise-en-scene elements. For instance, in the main task I had a
lot of my focus on the costume of the band as this is an important factor
when creating a music magazine. I have learnt to add a lot of different
features on the front cover to attract the target audience. Furthermore, the
costume of a band shows of their figure, personality and star image.
I also made improvements on the lighting of the main task; as you can see
in the preliminary task, the lighting is quite dark, which creates a dull feel
towards the magazine. Research into existing images have me become
aware that the lighting of images should be bright, as this represents innocence, fun and purity.
Furthermore, as you will be able to see that my preliminary task looks bare and empty that in
comparison with my final product. I have established and researched more into the codes and
conventions of general magazines, which has helped me make improvements in only a couple of
months. From start to finish, I believe the journey for this portfolio was extremely long! However, I
believe it was worth it as I have gained a better knowledge and understanding on magazines, as well
as developed my skills in different software’s like Photoshop and Blogging. The research and
planning prepared me for the final product development as the research developed my knowledge
in pop magazines, and magazines in general. It made me aware of what pop fans expect in a pop
magazine, what attracts them and how to grab their attention. I established the codes and
conventions of pop magazines, which made me take them into consideration when developing my
three pieces. Analysing the conventions helped me finish the project in an effective manner as it
made me aware of what to put in my magazine, and how to attract the audience. For instance, the
use of mode address must be informal so the reader feels like the magazine is a friend to them,
which is persuading them to purchase the magazine.
Learning the theories helped me a lot to develop the finished project as it made me aware of the
needs that should be met of my readership. For example, self-actualisation and self-esteem is an
important need to be met in pop magazines, as it is important for young teenage girls to become the
best they can be and to develop a positive self-esteem.
Judging as a whole, I have learnt and developed on how to operate effectively as a media
7practitioner. I have gained further knowledge on a number of factors like codes and conventions,
Adobe Photoshop and how to take effective shots as well as taking into consideration important
aspects. As a whole, I have generally enjoying making my own front cover, contents page and double
page spread based on a pop magazine. Within the coursework, I have experienced a number of
different emotions like excitement, stress and irritation, but putting aside the negativity, I have
enjoyed creating ‘Non-Stop Pop’. I have comprehensively improved my knowledge and
understanding about the genre pop, its conventions and the target audience. I have found that my
understanding of using factors like mode of address, iconography and costume has also improved
within this project.