My aim throughout the process of constructing my main and ancillary texts was to keep all three of the texts connected to each other, in order to make clear that all three were linked not only in terms of their purpose, but also through their design, target audience, and the closeness of the texts to realistic media products (something already discussed in Question 1).
Obviously throughout each of the texts the branding of the texts had to remain the same to build up a sense of brand awareness for the newspaper, so the masthead and logo I created for the local newspaper was used across all three of the texts.
Alongside this there were a number of other elements used across the texts that were kept consistent, in order to help with identification and to provide a sense of continuity over each of the texts. These included...
During the research stage for my newspaper I discussed how newspapers use a consistent colour scheme to help readers identify their product easily.
As a result I decided to keep to a consistent set of colours for my local newspaper to ensure it was as realistic as possible from a design point of view to a real local newspaper.
I followed this up by using the same basic colour scheme across most of the other texts, namely with emphasis on one blue/purple colour and one red colour to distinguish each of the products as being linked to the main text, making it easier for a prospective audience to link the texts together by design.
However, to keep all of the texts unique and fresh, I chose to use different tones of colour when needed to avoid making the colours seem boring and repetitive.
Examples One example of how I used certain tones of colour on particular objects came from the purple and red used on the front page of the newspaper, both of which were used on certain parts of the website as well. Although I chose to keep these elements subtle, with both the website and the newspaper being predominantly white in design, it did allow me to link both texts together through the similar usage of colours.
What do these four areas of text all have in common? They all show a similar set of base colours- mainly blue/purple and red- but in different tones. For the inside page (2 nd image) and the website (3 rd image) I used the same tones as on the front page, but changed the saturation and the brightness to allow a slight deviation from the original colours, so that they would be more visually appealing to the viewer but still able to connect these ancillary texts back to the main text, providing a greater sense of continuity.
I did make an exception to the colour scheme for the poster, specifically due to the need for it to be more eye catching and urgent than the others due to its specific message. As a result, instead of using a blue colour I chose black due to the way it was able to compliment the bright red well.
During the construction of my three media texts I took a large amount of images of different places in the local area, some of which I was able to use in the texts themselves.
As there were some stories which were to be used throughout more than one of the texts (including the 'Save Our Castle' story- more on this later), I chose to use images from the same set, and sometimes even of the same objects, across at least two of my texts (mainly the newspaper and website). This was because it would be easier for viewers to identify these stories and cross link the news items on the website with those in the newspaper.
As well as this, there were some images used across multiple texts for different purposes, such as one image that was used in both a news story and an advert, due to the way these images were easily adaptable to fit a number of narratives.
Two examples of the same photographs being used in both the newspaper and website can be seen here. I chose to do this as both photographs related to minor stories that did not require a great detail of writing, but were able to provide an idea of continuity, by allowing the website to give the impression of providing a service similar to that of the newspaper in the reporting of these stories.
This can also be seen with the train photograph. Again, the stories featured are very similar, but in this case the differences between the newspaper advert (at the bottom) and the website advert (centre-right) make the use of the train more important in linking the stories together, as the photograph is, along with the logo, the only similar element in both adverts. It is also interesting to note how the difference in texts changes the whole style and wording of the advert.
This example shows how one image could be used across two texts in two different ways. The top image is from the newspaper, the bottom an advert from the website. As a result, it is an important way of showing how one image can be versatile enough to cover two very different stories.
The main problem with doing this was that it may well have been possible to link the photograph used on the advert to a negative story, thus making the advert seem unintentionally negative.
The reason I chose to use the same picture for two different purposes was largely due to the visual effect it was able to possess, even at low resolutions, which made it perfect to use as an image for one of the minor stories in the newspaper.
While I was making my main text, the newspaper pages, one of the main stories I used was one about a local tourist attraction, Portchester Castle, being closed down.
As a way of linking the texts together, and to give the newspaper a more community-based feel similar to those found in the relationship between local newspapers and their audiences, I decided to create a fictional campaign called 'Save Our Castle' to be promoted by the newspaper.
Through this, I was able to base a large area of all three of my texts, including a website page and the main design of the poster, around this one story, to not only show the wide length of the newspaper's support for the local area and its residents, but also to prove that all three of the texts could easily link to each other, not only through the message of the campaign itself but through other aspects such as designs, photographs and specific language features.
How does the campaign link all three texts together?
All three of the texts carried at least one mention of the Save Our Castle campaign, allowing all three to be linked together easily. Some of the most important points of linking the texts together were these:
Relevance to the local community- as the campaign is centred around something that provides an important service to the community, this is something I have included throughout the texts in different ways, particular on the wording used on both the poster and as part of the website page, to influence those reading that it is an emotional issue relevant to them, and that they should join the campaign as a result.
Relevance to the newspaper- due to the newspaper needing to remain influential to its readers, it needs to protect their interests, in order to make them continue to buy the paper. As a result a common theme throughout each of the texts is that I have used persuasive language and personified the newspaper to make it appear more sympathetic to the cause, which in turn makes it more popularly read by those supporting the campaign.
Each different area of the campaign could also be linked to one another through a number of different design elements.
One example of this was the use of the font Impact throughout the website and poster advertising. I chose to use this particular font due to its imposing visual effect, and its ability to fit into a large number of different media products with ease, as can be seen in the examples.
Alongside this was the use of specific images of the castle to help advertise the campaign, in order to link particular texts together. This increases the awareness of the story due to the similarities between photographs used in different media products. This can be seen by the images on the poster and newspaper front cover. Although they are not the same their closeness helps to provide a visual link between both media products that gives the reader a reminder about both the main text and what it is advertising.
The meaning given for the term synergy is that it is 'the interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.'
As a result, for my media texts to display synergy they would need to be able to work together to make awareness of the campaign and its relation to the newspaper greater than if they were on their own.
During the construction of my texts I made sure not only to provide a simple link between all three products, but put in different levels of information into each piece of text to make sure that the reader could not get the full details of the story without having access to at least two of the texts. Through doing this, I believe that my texts have synergy with each other due to the specific way they were constructed and how each one of the texts leads to one another through the particular message given out by each.
The way the texts are structured makes it clear that only the website offers the main bulk of the information about the campaign, as the newspaper only has a headline about the story.
The poster was made primarily to advertise both the newspaper and the website, something that is mentioned at the bottom of the poster (For more information, read the Castle News or visit the website). It fulfils the role of a 'teaser', giving the general idea of the campaign but not going into detail and instead relying on the assumption that the reader will need to buy the newspaper to learn more information.
Although the website has an entire page about the campaign, it needs both the newspaper and poster to advertise it in order for people to learn about it and get information from it. This is done by having the website URL on both the newspaper and poster, which can link it to the website easily and quickly.
Because of this, every text needs to be linked with at least one other to achieve the full effect, meaning that those with access to all three texts are the ones with the most information about the campaign. This is then used to the newspaper's advantage, to promote itself and sell more copies.
Although I am happy with the way the texts were able to link to one another, I do feel there were some improvements that could've been made in relation to this.
One of the main things could have been to make sure the visual style of all three was made much more similar, particular in terms of particular colour tones and fonts, as some of these were only used on one specific text and as a result looked somewhat out of place among the other fonts and colours used throughout the texts.
As well as this I may also have been able to use a wider range of photographs for particular areas of the coursework, particularly the website, to avoid using the same images across more than one of the texts, thus reducing their importance (and the importance of the story they are included in) to the reader.
I feel that I was able to combine all three of the texts extremely well in terms of design and content, as well as through the Save Our Castle campaign. In particular, I am very happy with the way in which all of the texts could easily be interlinked and recognised as being a part of the same media product, through both the similarities in reporting and visual appearance.
I believe that choosing to focus a large area of my coursework on the idea of a campaign worked better for helping to combine the texts than another type of story would have done, due to the large emotional and community-driven factor related to it, which helped not only to make the products seem more realistic to a real world situation, but also allowed for a greater amount of synergy between all of the products that would not have been possible with a regular news story, due to the much smaller human interest factor.