In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? I wanted my magazine to look as realistic and professional as possible. Therefore whilst I was conducting my research, I looked for common conventions which appeared in all music magazines, which I could use in mine to give it a more professional feel. This included simple aspects such as; 1) having a list of bands included in the magazine along the bottom of my front cover
2) having a brief editorial on my contents page
3) Writing the first letter of my article in a bigger font than the others.
Whilst I was doing my practical work, I kept the music magazines I'd researched in mind. When taking photos, I also kept in mind the photos of Morrissey that I had looked at during my research. I tried to make the setting look as realistic as possible, so that it would look like a photo shoot from a real magazine and made sure that in all the photos I used Rosie (my model) was making eye contact. Use of plain background, to make it look like the photo of Rosie was shot in a studio like the one of Morrissey
A lot of the features detailed in my contents page were features that would be typically found in a music magazine, i.e. live reviews, album reviews, music news.
When I was writing the article for my double page spread, I tried to word it in a style that was similar to that used by music journalists. Instead of using a simple question and answer interview format, my writing had more of a narrative to it, with quotes from my cover artist used throughout the text. During my research I saw that NME and Q magazine in particular used this style of writing on their cover stories. I studied a lot of NME cover stories in particular before writing my article. This was partly due to convenience, as I subscribe to it but also because one of the reasons I subscribe to it is because I like the style of writing. Therefore I think the style of writing I used in my double page spread would closely emulate that used by NME. As in all music magazines, I assumed that my readership would have a certain about of musical knowledge, therefore used some specific lexis. For example, the use of The Smiths’ song titles as pun or as the title of the article and references to members of The Smiths are unexplained, as it is assumed the readership will know who they are. My focus group were undecided on whether or not I had achieved that, but I thought my article sounded like it could have come from a real music magazine. My focus group were undecided on whether or not I had achieved that. Whilst Ryan said ‘The style of writing is very authentic, you could be a journalist’ Gemma did not think the style of writing ‘sounded like that used in music magazines.’ I personally thought my article sounded like it could have come from a real music magazine.
However, my music magazine also challenged some of the conventions I had seen in my research. I found from my research that music magazines often feature male artists on the cover. When I searched NME magazine, Mojo magazine & Rolling Stone magazine, these three covers were the first result that came up and they all featured male artists on the front. The only exception to the rule was Q magazine, where the first result was a copy with Madonna on the front. However I did notice that the cover did include a feature entitled ‘Women in music.’ The fact that the magazine has a feature dedicated to women in the music industry shows that it fairly unusual and therefore worth writing about. In response to my research I decided to use a female artist as my cover story.
My magazine does not necessarily cater for a conventional audience, as my magazine focuses a lot on musicians of the past that influence the music industry today, whilst still featuring information about new music. During my research I saw that this sort of reminiscing can be seen in magazines such as NME or Mojo.
How does your media product represent particular social groups? My music magazine shows how young people's music taste can be greatly influenced by musicians and bands from the past. This is something that I have often found common amongst my peers, but not often represented in music magazines. Whilst there are some music magazines which focus on past musicians, e.g. Mojo, there are not any which are specifically aimed at young people (Mojo magazine is widely regarded to be aimed at 25+). This is what I wanted my magazine to be. Whilst in the past music magazines were often aimed at particular youth subcultures or social groups, this is becoming less and less true. Music magazines are a becoming a lot more diverse and now often pride themselves on covering a wide variety of artists and genres. Whilst magazines still have preferences, the fact is there are a lot less subcultures around these days that focus around music and also magazines’ roles in shaping these subcultures has become less prominent, as due to the internet, there are a lot more ways for teenagers to gain information about their favourite bands.
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? I feel that the content of my magazine is not too niche or obscure, therefore it would be distributed by shops such as WH Smiths, supermarkets and some of the bigger newsagents. However, not all newsagents have an extensive range of music magazines. Who would be the audience for your media product? The target audience for my music magazine are young people (aged between 14-25) of both genders, who as well as listening to contemporary music, also appreciate music from past decades. They would have a passion for music and would spend a lot of their time consuming musical media.
How did you attract/address your audience? I think one of the main reasons my target audience would be attracted to my magazine is that they may not feel their tastes are catered for anywhere else. Also, whilst I said I have found this influence from past decades common in my peers, and an equal, if not greater number have no interest. no one in their peer group might share their passion for music from past decades, therefore the magazine would help them to feel connected to other young people who feel the same and gives them a sense of belonging. Also, by using a contemporary artist as the cover feature, I made sure that people who liked more current music were not put off buying the magazine. I tried to make the front cover of my magazine as attractive and eye catching as possible, as this is what would be on display in a shop and would be my main tool for encouraging potential readers to buy the product. I used different fonts and colourful writing in order to catch people's eye and tried to choose a picture that was intriguing, to encourage people to pick up the magazine. As I said before I tried to address the audience in a way that I had seen many magazines do during my research; on quite a personal level. The editorial included on my contents page helped to establish this relationship.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? During this task I have learnt a lot of new skills in Photoshop, including the use of the blur technique in order to edit photos. I have also learnt to importance of a good quality camera when taking photos, as the difference is very noticeable. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? I feel that my standard of work has improved from when I did my preliminary task. I took my research on board more in this task, which helped me achieve a more professional looking outcome. I have also acquired new Photoshop skills which helped with the editing of my photos and I used a higher quality camera to take them.