Media Product Evaluation: Magazine Introduction. My project was to create a magazine of my choice including a main page, contents page and finally a featured article which fully consisted of a four page spread. I worked alone for this project apart from closely with the bands that I have photographed to use in this magazine. This evaluation is an in-depth power point of information surrounding the idea’s I had for my magazine, including the strengths and weaknesses of the whole project.
Q1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products. The genre for my magazine is general rock music which can range from punk to metal, it’s a magazine for anyone interested in the style of music. The conventions in this magazine are visible as I have continued with several layout ideas that have been repeated from other magazines such as ‘Kerrang’ and ‘Rock Sound’. When creating the magazine I decided it would be wise to use typical elements to ensure I am up to the standard that rival companies are because otherwise my own would not sell copies to the public, however another method to keep my magazine more interesting that rivals was by changing some elements such as reporting on the local bands that I am personally in touch with to get them the biggest gossip and new information on them which other magazines cannot offer. It is very important to keep a variety to the genre as to attract new consumers and make the magazine more interesting than the normal. When deciding to get more information on the local bands I got significantly higher percentages of people preferring my articles for this reason alone, it shows that people are interested in what the bands have to say and the plans they have with the music industry.
Q2. How does your media product represent particular social groups? As my magazine was the genre rock I looked mostly at bands that are music stars of the local area and well known people in the area. My media product represents the listeners very well in my opinion as it uses several sub-genre’s of rock and it does not shy away from new and interesting bands. The costume that the bands wear are ordinary, like the general public as its nothing out of the ordinary, this means that consumers can feel more involved with the bands and buy similar clothing labels. Appearance again is very similar to costume, nothing bizarre and they are similar to the ordinary person. However as bands their actions are different, they are confident and people can look up to them especially if they are aspiring musicians as well. I believe the narrative to be set out very effectively with my article and it is easy to follow, the information is placed in chronological order throughout. The speech given by the artists is very informative and consists of real quotations including future plans for the band. Speech is also backed up by comments made by the journalist to ensure no confusion will occur for the reader. The bands have been photographed so to say in their natural environment which is on stage playing a gig which I have personally captured to use in throughout my magazine, this means the images are all action shots and not particularly direct address however the main title page image is direct address to capture viewers eyes towards the magazine.
Slide 2. Q2. The use of lighting meant the images were quite hard to capture however with editing techniques and specific settings used on the camera this meant I was able to get good quality and well lit images of the bands playing on stage which later I used. This magazine overall fits in with the general stereotype of rockers that we see day in day out in the media, however its more upbeat for younger people who want to get involved in the local music industry. Being in that stereotypical genre of rock is a safe way to start the magazine off to ensure readers will be drawn into this specific magazine ‘SAVAGE’. The audience that I asked to fill in questionnaires have responded positively towards the magazine and understand the genre very well, I used an un-bias group of students with different music tastes to read through the magazine. They responded exactly how I would have imagined understanding fully what the genre was and they went on to explain how I have covered it very well with the themes and layout throughout the magazine.
Q3.What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? After looking at the completed design of my magazine I need to next look into what kind of media institution may distribute the product. I researched rival magazine ‘Kerrang’ to discover they have been distributed by a German based company called ‘Bauer Media Group’ They also represent pop music magazine ‘Q’ which shows they have worked with several companies and ensured worldwide popularity and distribution. I believe I stand a chance to work with ‘Bauer’ especially as my product contains detailed journalism on up and coming bands rather than the already famous bands. This makes my magazine unique and stands out on the market of media products. With the amount of gossip on the bands, exciting new photography and interesting details on general music this product would be a great hit with the public which would be sure to bring in a profit for the distributers of the magazine.
Q4. Who would be the audience for your media product? My product would also fall into certain categories from the public that would be more interested in what it has to offer. The magazine wouldn’t be targeted by a certain gender as women are becoming as into their music as men are, however with age I believe a bar of 16-25 years of age would be appropriate because some of the journalism in the magazine is quite educated and I believe that a person’s ethnicity would not affect the possibility of buying this specific product. On the socio-Economic scale both E and D would be more interested in purchasing the magazine as students fit into these categories. Also musicians can go into group E as technically unemployed. And of course people who are interested in the genre of rock or punk. Again with lifestyles musicians would be interested in this product as they can learn new songs and better themselves in their career. They also find it useful to be aware of other local bands in their area. As a whole this audience would be potentially loyal to the magazine as it would be of their favourite bands and no other product offers the detail we do on the counties bands. Also looking in a financial angle in is secure because as previously mentioned it would mostly be students who would have part-time jobs, EMA or supported by their parents. If my product had a secondary audience it would most likely be C1 and C2 groups as these are skilled individuals however they can still have an interest in rock/punk music. The questionnaires provide significant evidence that the people who filled them out fit into my target audience and have given positive feedback throughout, which strengthens my thoughts that the audience would be financially secure.
Q5.How did you attract/ address your audience? When considering how to attract the wanted audiences for my magazine i looked at it in several different angles such as everything from the colour scheme to layouts of pages. I started with creating a title for my magazine which I decided had to be eye catching and lure people in, a slight interest to the name choice. So I created the magazine called ‘SAVAGE’. Secondly the photography throughout the magazine was captured by a professional photographer and for the front cover the image of the headlining band is direct address. The images are all of high quality and have been edited effectively for the product. They were mostly taken of the bands playing live gigs at local bars which link in with what the magazine offers consumers. The colour palette for the whole magazine is simplistic however its very bold and captures the eyes of people looking towards the magazine rack. This was the initial idea that has worked very well. There is good continuity throughout the product from the front cover relating to the article and the images being the same band across the magazine. The double page article has the headline of the band and the release of their first album, the structure is quite ordinary to other magazines as its about getting the most out of the journalism. I ended up cutting out the band and placing them onto the background of the article as I believed this was the best option. I believe the article to be appealing to the human eye because it looks to flow very well and it is easily understood the start from the end whereas in some magazines this can be quite difficult. Throughout the double page the journalism shows the artists as famous but not over the top, only to the standard they are. It in a way enhances their part in the music industry but only to increase the chances of these small bands being recognised for the achievements they have accomplished.
Q6.What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? When creating the product I had to use technologies such as the internet, cameras and editing programmes. It started with research on the internet which meant I was using blogger which I had never used before, it is a very useful website that allowed me to publish my research but also at the same time keep a document of the work id previously looked into, I also learnt how to embed video’s with the use of blogger as I had to upload research. Another useful website was ‘Kerrang.com’ which allowed me to look at the rival magazine and consider the best approach towards creating my own product. I was also using an external hard drive to get the general layout of the article; this was the first time using this technology. The final technology I have only used on creating this product is InDesign which is a software application that is useful for creating books, flyers and magazines. I used this to create the double page spread; it was very useful for the layout of the pages as everything works through the use of boxes. The only limitation I had when working with the technologies provided was that I was completely new to the software InDesign so I believe this to have limited me to very minimal layouts and very little education was given on the software before beginning the double page spread.
Q7.Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? From the start of the product to now, the initial ideas have kept in there and you can tell in the finished magazine however some ideas have changed for the better, to keep on top of the rival magazines and to ensure positive outcomes especially for sales if distributed. For example the initial name for the magazine would have been ‘SAVAGE Industries’ however I decided this sounded too industrial and higher end companied so I decided to cut it down to just ‘SAVAGE’ which sounded sharper and was overall more effective, we know this from the questionnaires that people filled in as there was a question on the title of the product. Also from the first ideas looking back at the first layouts I created they are very plain and quite boring. However now looking at the finished product we can tell I have not stuck to these layouts which is a good thing because now they are quite different and creative. Ensuring it still flows correctly and is easy to read but its overall look is more appealing.
Magazine Conclusion. In conclusion I believe this evaluation of my end product is very informational and explains in detail every aspect of the magazine. The key strengths of the product is firstly the really well constructed journalism that I have used which gives useful information on the band but keeps it professional and factual. Secondly would be the quality of the photographs used throughout the magazine and how appropriate the imagery was. Especially the effective lighting which suited the on stage mise-en-scene and the editing that kept to the rock theme of the magazine. However a weakness to the end product was even though the colour palette was very bold and eye catching I believed it may not have been the most professional stance I could have taken when creating this magazine, so if I was to re-create this product I would consider my colour scheme more and I would also do more research on the matter.