Media Coursework Evaluation<br />By Liam O’ Hanlon<br />
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?<br />
Use and development of conventions<br />The image above is from the very top of my magazine front cover and in keeping wit...
Use and development of conventions continued<br />Another convention which I kept for my magazine was the convention of a ...
Other Conventions Used:<br /> The same house style being used for the masthead and on   my contents page of my magazine. <...
Challenges to the conventions.<br />The main challenge to the regular conventions seen on my magazine was the lack of obst...
Challenges To Conventions<br />Another challenge to the conventions of a music magazine, which I have applied to the front...
How does your media product represent particular  social groups?<br />
Representation of social groups: Front Cover<br />As the previous images suggest, there is a very distinct angle in regard...
Representation of social groups: Article<br />The article represents  what I’d say is reflective of a typical teenager, th...
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?<br />
Major Distributors<br />In many ways, I believe that my magazine would be suitable for something that would be distributed...
Smaller Distributors<br />However, there are also a number of factors which would lead my towards feeling that my magazine...
Verdict... IPC Media<br />However, overall I feel that my magazine would best lend itself towards an institution like IPC ...
Who would be the audience for your media product?<br />
Age, Gender & Similar Products<br />It’s fair to say that my magazine has a clear target audience of middle to late teenag...
How did you attract and/or address your audience?<br />
Colours, Exclusives & Pictures<br />The colour scheme of my magazine was  what I believed to be quite a mutual colour, in ...
Language, Attitude & Masthead<br />To reiterate the point made all over this slide show the attitude of my magazine is som...
How do you feel that your work has progressed from the preliminary exercise at the start of your coursework?<br />
The image to the right is my original preliminary task. As you can see, this magazine barely fills the most basic of the r...
Overall, I’d say that my finished piece is a testament to the journey my skills have progressed through. Whether it be thr...
What have you learnt about technology from the process of constructing the product?<br />
Strengths & Weaknesses: Paint.net<br />
What I’ve learnt from my construction?<br />The construction of my magazine has taught me many things in regards to the us...
What do you think about the final product?<br />
Positives<br />I like the main image on the front and the juxtaposition of the pink nails against the cigarette and pint. ...
Negatives<br />The feathering on my main image could have been done to a much better standard had I dedicated more time an...
Overall...<br />Overall, I am happy with my final product. In terms of authenticity I feel that my product is as much of a...
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Media coursework evaluation

  1. 1. Media Coursework Evaluation<br />By Liam O’ Hanlon<br />
  2. 2. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?<br />
  3. 3. Use and development of conventions<br />The image above is from the very top of my magazine front cover and in keeping with strong similarities between what can be seen in similar products such as ‘Q’ magazine. It is a puff with the intention of inciting the reader that this magazine has a particular selling point which only this magazine possesses, in relation to it’s competitors.<br />The pugs either side of this paragraph are another feature which, clearly I created, having taken direct inspiration from Q magazine, with the general aim being to give a casual reader a sense of the scale of reviews in the magazine and to make them reflect on the acts mentioned to entice them into reading the content of the magazine.<br />
  4. 4. Use and development of conventions continued<br />Another convention which I kept for my magazine was the convention of a barcode, featuring the date , price and web address – a feature kept for authenticity.<br />Another convention, although one which is not followed as strictly as many of the others by contemporary music magazines, is a cohesive colour scheme being used throughout the magazine, in this case the colour blue.<br />
  5. 5. Other Conventions Used:<br /> The same house style being used for the masthead and on my contents page of my magazine. <br />The use of pugs and puffs down the sides of the front cover. <br />This was one of the few conventions which was essential in the making of my magazine in that it is convention which is seen in every music magazine. <br />
  6. 6. Challenges to the conventions.<br />The main challenge to the regular conventions seen on my magazine was the lack of obstruction to the masthead. It was expected of us to have the main image layered over in a manner which covered part of the masthead, a convention regularly adopted by music magazines such as NME, as a sign of their own self assurance regarding the magazine’s status. However, because of the framing of my image this was not something which would have been wise as it would not have caused a slight obstruction but an obstruction which was overbearing and which would have made the masthead irrelevant. However, there are a number of cases within actual music magazine which have also followed this route as a result of the same problem, so it could be argued that this is not so much a challenge to the conventions as much as it is a formula for overcoming a problem experienced by many magazines.<br />The issue of NME to the right is a similar example to the problem I<br />Had as Florence Welch’s head would have too bee far too obstruct-<br />Ive and would have dominated 2 out of 3 of the letters in the mast<br />Head and it’s fair to say that even NME aren’t that self assured.<br />
  7. 7. Challenges To Conventions<br />Another challenge to the conventions of a music magazine, which I have applied to the front cover of my magazine is the placing of the masthead. Typically in music magazines, the name of the cover star(s) will be large and typically will stretch from the left side of the page to the right side, as seen on the NME cover on the previous page. However, in a number of music magazine, in cases where the cover star is extremely well known even their name faces similar obstruction (e.g. the Q Madonna issue).<br />However, the challenge to the convention faced in my magazine, is that the artist name only takes up half of the width of the page, which typically would be a convention seen more in fashion and general interest magazines. This is because the main focus of my cover image should be on the props of the pint and the cigarette and if I were to follow this convention attention would be detracted away from the props and would be more towards the artists name,<br />
  8. 8. How does your media product represent particular social groups?<br />
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  14. 14. Representation of social groups: Front Cover<br />As the previous images suggest, there is a very distinct angle in regards to how women are rep resented in my magazine. The magazine itself recognises a distinct stereotype which is placed upon women, in particular women pop stars, and consciously polarises this presentation through a ‘bloke’s’ representation. This, representation however was consciously coupled with the placement of bright pink nails so that it was immediately apparent to the reader that this was a presentation brought on specifically for the purpose of this magazine. The term “ladette” ,also, in light of the pictures bears endearing connotations, especially as this magazine would be aimed towards the age of people who would more appreciate this than older generation who would look<br />negatively at this.<br />
  15. 15. Representation of social groups: Article<br />The article represents what I’d say is reflective of a typical teenager, therefore bearing no negative representations, in light of the target audience, who will be reading this. As the magazine is aimed at (typically) the same type of people who use the ciloquol language and curse words used by the star of my article so in that way It could<br />Be argued that this representation is more positive than negative in that the star comes across as relatable to the target audience.<br />The star of the article does not come across as particularly clever or informed but does come across as endearing and down to earth which would be viewed as far more endearing characteristics to a teenage target audience than coming across as a straight forward, grown up.<br />
  16. 16. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?<br />
  17. 17. Major Distributors<br />In many ways, I believe that my magazine would be suitable for something that would be distributed by a major company. It seems from my contents page, that there is enough mainstream content within this magazine to warrant it’s placement within a major magazine distribution, for example content with artists such as ADELE, Kanye West, Florence + The Machine. Also, as there are many features and articles within my magazine which are similar if not the same as the type of articles featured within NME and Q magazine for example live & album reviews, features etc.<br />As this magazine resembles various styles and forms which would commonly be associated with existing magazines such as Q and NME, it could be that my magazine be viewed in a similar vein to them, meaning that it would fit as easily into the market as they do, within publication terms.<br />
  18. 18. Smaller Distributors<br />However, there are also a number of factors which would lead my towards feeling that my magazine would be much more suitable for a smaller distribution. Aside from the rough edges and general shabbiness of the magazine, one factor which distinguishes this magazine as a possible by product of a smaller publication is the mention of the acts which I have created, as well as the general focus on smaller acts such as Sky Ferreira and Streetcar.<br />Another reason would be that the magazine appears to have adopted a very streetwise British approach to journalism which could set it too far apart from it’s well known established counterpart magazines.<br />
  19. 19. Verdict... IPC Media<br />However, overall I feel that my magazine would best lend itself towards an institution like IPC Media. This is because it shares most of it's conventions and themes from existing popular magazines distributed by this company, e.g. NME. The music represented within the magazine’s is generally popular music, while still representing enough cool and upcoming musical taste like the ones represented in the contents to lend themselves to the similarities of NME and Q Magazine.<br />
  20. 20. Who would be the audience for your media product?<br />
  21. 21. Age, Gender & Similar Products<br />It’s fair to say that my magazine has a clear target audience of middle to late teenagers. This target audience is achieved through the use of colloquial language and frank tone of voice. The frequent use of curse words, straight talking article themes and even artist names build toward the blatant targeting of my magazine towards an older youth group. Within this youth group, however, there is no clear bias towards gender although there is a distinct niche market within these young people, in the form of people interested in smaller, more ‘indie bands’ , therefore it could be argued that my magazine is solely aimed at “indie hipsters”.<br />This is similar to the target audience of NME, expressed through similar methods of language and tone towards the reader and through interviewers. Aside from the style of editorial the view of new music and the magazine’s general contemporary edge is also something similar to NME magazine.<br />
  22. 22. How did you attract and/or address your audience?<br />
  23. 23. Colours, Exclusives & Pictures<br />The colour scheme of my magazine was what I believed to be quite a mutual colour, in terms of aiming towards a gender. The colour of blue (although typically being linked to connotations of boys) is an unbiased colour in regards to my publication and so therefore this would possibly help to attract a reader.<br />The use of the pug “43 big reviews” is a typical feature within music magazines and is a staple of attracting an audience in that is creates an impression that (regardless of the fact that the scale of these reviews is unknown) this magazine has A LOT to offer. Another selling point to attract the reader was the banner across the top of the page saying “The UK’s Biggest New Contemporary Music Magazine” which not only gives the magazine a sense of status and something which sets it apart from it’s competitors but also gives the impression that this magazine is something fairly recent and this alone may entice a reader, who would be under the impression that this magazine has gained itself<br />An accolade under a short space of time.<br />The pictures used within the magazine, as explained earlier, are fitting towards the lifestyle of the magazines target audience making it relatable, coupled with the fact that the stars are around a similar age and exert likable qualities through their body language.<br />
  24. 24. Language, Attitude & Masthead<br />To reiterate the point made all over this slide show the attitude of my magazine is something which is one of it’s best selling points. It relies on it’s sense of informality to gain a sense of empathy with the reader which helps establish the magazine as a reader<br />Friendly (in relation to the target audience of course) take on the journalism of the magazine, an attractive quality in itself.<br />The masthead of the magazine is broken and messy but in a more mainstream way that the shattered glass sort of image of Kerrang magazine. Yet the masthead itself is still accessible and conveys it’s message of not conforming to the norm without being OTT or signifying itself as overly extroversive. <br />
  25. 25. How do you feel that your work has progressed from the preliminary exercise at the start of your coursework?<br />
  26. 26. The image to the right is my original preliminary task. As you can see, this magazine barely fills the most basic of the requirements which were essential for our final piece of coursework. Whilst, I would not go as far as to say that I think this is really bad, it is clear from the lack of originality in both the title and masthead, the basic pugs and puffs and the lack of editing applied to the blurry picture that this is the work of a student who was in the early stages of their course.<br />However, there are a number of conventions evident which were essential in the making of my final piece, and in the using these I have displayed that even at the start of my course, some levels of skill and awareness in regards to the course and it’s necessities was evident e.g. The fact that a specific colour scheme was chosen in relation to the magazine itself, the fact that a barcode, issue number and price are evident and that pugs and puffs are used effectively.<br />
  27. 27. Overall, I’d say that my finished piece is a testament to the journey my skills have progressed through. Whether it be through the way in which I have learnt to develop a magazine which, I feel, does not rely on the generic sensibilities of it’s competitors and the conventions set or just through the way in which I have developed my skills in regards to the editing of photos and the manipulation of software in order to make my magazine appear more ‘finished’ and professional.<br />I, personally, would say that my skills have developed greatly throughout the process and the difference between the quality of my preliminary exercise and the final effort highlight the major differences and how I have progressed as a student as my knowledge and ability increased over the gap from October/November to January/February (as our study of conventions and applications increased).<br />
  28. 28. What have you learnt about technology from the process of constructing the product?<br />
  29. 29. Strengths & Weaknesses: Paint.net<br />
  30. 30. What I’ve learnt from my construction?<br />The construction of my magazine has taught me many things in regards to the use of software such as Paint.net, Microsoft Word and online services such as Picnik. The construction process of my magazines allowed me to experiment with the various methods of photo editing available with each of the software and this allowed me to improve my knowledge of what designs worked best for different pictures and how the editing process worked.<br />Also, the construction process taught me about the various ways in which pictures can be feathered and trimmed to make them appear more professional looking. This skill took a lot<br />Of care and detail and helped improve my editing skills in regards to the software.<br />
  31. 31. What do you think about the final product?<br />
  32. 32. Positives<br />I like the main image on the front and the juxtaposition of the pink nails against the cigarette and pint. This conscious move sums up the characterisation of the star and the overall tone of the magazine.<br />I think I took the inspiration from Q and NME in terms of the tone and direction of the journalism, well. This was a conscious move to relate to the target audience of my magazine and I think that this was done well as shown through the informal tone of the interviews and any other indications within the magazine.<br />A lot of the puns made throughout (however cringe worthy they may be with hindsight) are very much within the style of puns and jokes made within magazines, particularly those made amongst the contents page.<br />
  33. 33. Negatives<br />The feathering on my main image could have been done to a much better standard had I dedicated more time and patience towards it.<br />There were a few grammatical errors within the writing on my magazine which are still outstanding to be corrected.<br />I felt that at time my magazine has lost it’s identity as a cool contemporary music magazine through many of the references within both the contents page and the interview itself. If I could go back, I’d have made sure that being cool was a cohesive theme that I had maintained throughout the entire magazine.<br />There is ALOT within my magazine that makes me cringe after I’ve looked back.<br />
  34. 34. Overall...<br />Overall, I am happy with my final product. In terms of authenticity I feel that my product is as much of a representation of my progression as an AS student, as possible and I am happy with the different methods that I have used throughout and how they have developed my knowledge, not only of different softwares but of the media and magazine industry on a whole.<br />In terms of my final product, I am proud of the way that I feel it is authentic enough for it to be easily and instantly identifiable as something which has been made by a student, yet follow enough trends and conventions to warrant my aim of creating a magazine which is within the boundaries of it’s counterparts such as NME and Q.<br />

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