Planning, preparation and evaluation have to be finished by March 6
to give us time to look at them and make sure you’ve done your best
to get the grade you deserve.
• Planning needs to be thorough and show clear and excellent evidence
of research into existing media products. Where possible, link
relevant material on the internet to your work.
• Your final production MUST be your last post – i.e. the one people will
see when they open your blog. You can, of course, post it elsewhere
through your evaluation when you’re talking about specific aspects of
• You need at least 60 posts overall. You can add some in retrospect
going into ‘schedule’ on the new post page on blogger.
• Your blog has to show PROGRESSION – how have you developed your
ideas; how have you chosen and manipulated photographs and text – how
you’ve learned, in other words…
• You must vary your methods of presentation and these have to include
podcasts and pieces filmed – this can be you or some of your target
audience. You ought to vary your methods of presentation within the
bullet point; this way, you won’t have a filmed response or a slideshare
that’s too long.
• There is no option about the filmed response. You have to do it if you
expect to get a top band grade. You can, of course, film yourself or speak
to your webcam and I would definitely plan out what you intend to say.
• You ought to have some filmed audience response – don’t care whether
you coach and/or script responses as long as they look good
The Evaluation MUST address the following
questions and used these subheadings.
1 In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge
forms and conventions of real media products? So, compare the
conventions of existing product with your own and use the terminology
you have learnt – i.e. refer to shot distances, storylines, banners,
masthead, connotations etc. Use pictures of existing texts and compare
them to yours.
• How does your media product represent social groups? Youth sub-
cultures? Class? Gender? Is your magazine or the article
aspirational/inspirational? Does it represent them as rebels? In a
positive light? Would the readers be encouraged to think: we could do
that too? Why? Think about gender here too. Anything showing
women in a positive light, especially if they have to struggle with the
sexism of the music industry is worth commenting on; same with
anyone who’s struggled with a disadvantaged background or with
drugs, abusive boyfriend/girlfriend, parents etc.
• What kind of media institution might distribute your media product
and why? You’ve done work on this. Bauer is a good place to start.
Google it and find out about it – but look in the magazines you’ve been
referencing to find which company distributes them. Will you be
increasing their profit by broadening their audience or by reinforcing
existing product or would you appeal to a smaller, niche audience that
there’s no or little existing product aimed at? What would it compete
• What would be the audience for your media product? I would suggest
you not only look at age, class and gender but cheat and refer back to
the audience profile you created – if it is still relevant (age, gender,
interests, disposable income (and what they spend it on – and you
need to think here to make it relevant to your product) – i.e. my ideal
audience is… Bear in mind that you have targeted a primary audience
but there will be other people reading it – your secondary audience.
Who will that be? Look at
• How did you attract/address your audience? You need references to theory
here – Naomi Wolf (if you’ve used female artists), Marjorie Ferguson (if
you’ve used female artists on your cover), Uses and Gratifications - you are
exploiting the theory of Uses and Gratifications
• because your target audience will identify (though it may only be wishful
thinking) with the lifestyle it promotes. Some of you have used people of a
similar age to your audience to add to this appeal. Your audience will look
to your product for a sense of personal identity and possibly aspire to be
like some of the people featured or their lives and problems may reflect the
lives and problems of people you know. You MUST point out how your
specific magazine fulfils those needs – by using examples from what you’ve
created. Your theories need dates. Google them! Remember, it is
important to keep mentioning how you showed your product to your target
audience while you were constructing it in order to get feedback to
improve it – refer to/make up some specific examples from your work.
Mode of address:
• What have you learnt about new technologies from the process of
creating this product? This is not just Photoshop and InDesign – you’re
expected to talk about your use of blogger and the various means of
presentation on the blog.
• Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have
learnt in the progression from it to the full product? If you did Media
at GCSE, I would forget it and pretend you’ve learnt throughout this
year and show obvious progress. Talk about what you’ve learned from
your research, about the need to appeal to a larger target audience;
what you’ve learned about the conventions of magazine layout and
content; what you’ve learned in terms of skills. Remember, your
school magazine had a potential niche audience of just over 1000;
your music magazine has a much larger potential audience – possibly
worldwide, even if you have picked a niche genre and the research
you’ve done into audience and conventions has enabled you to do
this. In terms. Again, use illustrations of initial magazine and your
school magazine when answering this question.
• You MUST include audience feedback on your finished product and show
understanding of why this sort of thing is important in the real publishing world.
• From past experience, don’t be too critical of yourself. If you say, “I could’ve cut
out a particular photograph better,” my reaction would be: “Do it now and don’t be
so complacent.” If you say, “I didn’t have enough time to do such and such,” then
it’s clear evidence you’ve wasted time and you’ll be docked marks. In other words,
if there’s anything you haven’t done, get it done now – and quickly.
• This response MUST be illustrated all the way through with examples from your
work or existing product when you make reference to it. If you don’t illustrate it,
you won’t get a mark of C or above. The examiners want to see evidence of
• You MUST use subject-specific terminology – i.e. using the correct terms when
writing about the processes you went through on Photoshop or InDesign; talking
about the camera angles/distances correctly discussing conventions and what the
colours etc. have connotations of, especially in terms of your target audience.
• Ensure that you haven’t used ANY images that you’ve downloaded from the
internet; this includes backgrounds or background patterns. Barcodes are fine.
• Finally, if ANY of your photos resemble those used by someone else – i.e. if the
model is wearing the same clothes – go and take some more photos because you’ll
lose marks. This is one of the first things we highlighted when we profiled last
year’s work and you’ve been reminded constantly since then – even if you’ve used
a small photo of that person wearing the same gear on your contents page or as a
hook on your cover. We lost marks last year for this and we don’t want to this year.
• Remember, you have an excellent resource on the school blog in the form of work
from previous years. I’d recommend looking at the blogs of Hannah Wood, Sarah
Dick, Lucy Fearon, Matthew Johnson and Megan Burnett, for example – though
you’ll have to back to the beginning of their blogs to follow what they’ve done for
their AS work (start at http://heworthmediastudies.blogspot.co.uk/ ). These are A
grade candidates – this standard of work is what you need to compete against.