Media evaluation


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Media evaluation

  1. 1. Media Evaluation <br />By Rhiannon Wuttke<br />2010-2011<br />
  2. 2. The aim of the media was coursework was to create a number of pieces of media. In this case it was to create two magazines using varying degrees of professional software. To accompany it, I need to have a portfolio style scrapbook of my thought and and ideas and a blog that expresses the theoretical side of the reasons for certain choices in the layout/style of aspects of the magazine. <br />The first magazine was a college magazine. This was to be the first one to be attempted to be created. It was to be constructed using more basic software such as Microsoft Publisher. To me, this was effective at helping to get settled into the course as I was already very familiar with creating a magazine with this software due to using it to make a music magazine for my GCSE media course last year. <br />The second magazine was the main part of the coursework. It was a music magazine to be constructed on the professional software QuarkXPress. I came to the conclusion early on that I would create a rock magazine as it seemed the easiest genre to create. <br />
  3. 3. My main source of research was Kerrang. Through purchasing a few issues of their magazine and questioning what about them had attracted me enough to want to buy it, I used my own self as a experiment as to what sort of things attract my attention. I found that an appealing article, bright colours and the masthead and magazine title were all the most visually appealing things for the target audience. I asked other people ultimately what actually made them buy a magazine in the end in order to get various peoples answers. This allowed me to research what the selling points of a magazine is . <br />The Kerrang website was my main source of my research. Often I went on there to see what sort of things the online articles were about and also see the kind of layout used by such a well known and successful company. I found the archive of past issues useful to research the conventions of this magazine and also observe how they and other aspects such as colour schemes vary over time. Another way the website provided me with research was through seeing what type of artist/bands were the most sought after currently. By using issues from a year ago, it enabled me to see who were long term bands who stayed in the magazines spotlight (such as Slipknot, Guns and Roses etc.) and who were artists who were currently popular but may of lost their new-band sparkle as time went on. From this It helped me determine the sort of article my double-page spread should be like.<br />
  4. 4. Throughout the media course I had a few incidents which caused set-backs for me. My media blog was having issues with me logging in therefore unable to access it a lot for a lot of the period late November/early December and February. This meant that my blog is rather more scarce than I would of hoped it'd be when I started the media course in September. At the start of the course I found it difficult to know what to write in my blog to gain marks and also feared it may seem a little too informal when giving my opinions on things. <br />My major problem though was when, 3 weeks ago, I left the memory stick with my music magazine on it in the Mac computer one lesson. At this point my first draft of the magazine was three quarters finished and my article for the double page spread was complete. By the time I realised that I had lost the memory stick on Thursday when I needed it for English coursework (I lost it in the Monday period of Media), it had already disappeared from the computer. <br />
  5. 5. At this point I felt ready to quit the course as any chance of getting a grade higher than a D seemed impossible. I had lost the main part of my coursework and with it most of the morale I had retained through the issues we had with teaching earlier in the course. However my tutor assured me that if I use all the possible extra sessions to their full potential and refocus my attention to concentrate fully on recreating the piece I would be able to create a second draft of my magazine in time to be submitted. <br />Despite my position in media being more or less exactly were I was when I started in terms of the amount of work I had on me and the amount of time to redo everything I had mislaid being severely against me, I restarted my magazine. As I was at a disadvantage I think I had found more confidence in myself to argue a bit with my tutors and therefore demand their help and attention more than I did before I lost my work. I do honestly feel that though my coursework is slightly more limited than it could have been due to having a shorter time to amend the minor touches to the magazine to make it look as professional, the standard of the layout of everything was improved on greatly because of it. <br />
  6. 6. I am saddened to say that I do feel that I did not use the amount of time assigned to do the course to its fullest. Up until Christmas, I didn’t quite realise how fast the year was going and didn’t realise how little time I had to do the magazines. I did not anticipate how much time and effort would be involved in completing it to a good enough standard. As the college faced some long-running staff issues up until recently the whole class suffered from a bit of a morale dip. This teamed up with me underestimating what I needed to do in the time period are the reasons for my lack of good time management. However I do feel that once the classes were sorted out and our attention refocused on the task at hand, I began to use the time much better. After losing all my work I attended all the extra sessions available in a desperate hope of re-completing the magazine in time so felt my motivation and use of time improve greatly. <br />
  7. 7. I honestly do feel that this experience has been a learning curve for me. Whereas before I had never used a Mac computer before, I was suddenly thrust into having to use them constantly. Though I do not hide my frustration ranging to mild dislike of them due to finding them seem to overcomplicate simple tasks, I do feel my skills on a computer were enhanced because of them. I find them to still be rather complicated at times but do accept that for creating a piece of media such as a magazine or leaflet, they are very effective. <br />I also learned to use a blog. Though I do have a Tumblr account which is a blog, I tend to use it for rather casual informal anecdotes about life as oppose to properly blogging like I was required to here. On the recommendation of my previous tutor I chose to use BlogSpot to host my media blog. The more I used it the more I began to get used to the semi-informal style of writing I wanted to use to express my feelings throughout. <br />
  8. 8. Despite having to create a magazine for my GCSE media course last year, I found this one to be different. I felt I had the advantage over other people in that I already knew some very basic skills in using software to create a piece of media text. Yet in spite of this, I gained many skills. Whereas before the magazines were to be done on Microsoft Publisher, this course stated that the main music magazine was to be made using QuarkXPress software instead. It took me a long time to get accustomed to using Quark. However once I did I found it to be an extremely useful program that made editing very easy. I was able to develop my ICT skills to a level where I could alter the background, intensity of background’s opacity and also manipulate text to fit around a certain area in order to look professional and unique. I now feel confident enough to be able to make a basic piece of media with it and alter it to ft to a certain convention or genre. <br />
  9. 9. I feel personally like my blog is lacking some content. I put this down to my lack of motivation to do it with the problems accessing it and not quite knowing what to put making me not want to regularly update it. However the posts I do have are all varying in their purpose I feel. My blog has a mix of notes about aspects of media in society such as how women are portrayed in the media and suggests why, techniques used by the industry such as camerawork and editing and posts relating directly to my magazines such as stating the reasoning for my choice of image for college front cover and analysing my own magazines and finding out what I like so much about them. Due to this variety, I feel that my blog is diverse in its content and I hope I have managed to touch on most vital points in some way. I was pleased by my choice of blog site as BlogSpot was ridiculously simple to post and then go back and edit my posts afterwards. The act of inserting other forms of media such as video’s directly off YouTube and pictures was easy and effective. <br />
  10. 10. My college magazine, in my opinion at least, shows my amateur level of skills in creating a magazine at the start of the course. As I did it on Publisher, it is the one I felt initially quite confident about looking fine. One part of my college magazine that I do not find to be very good is the text boxes often being incapable of changing the background colour. Due to this, the text boxes are stuck with a white background which I find to be rather unattractive and visually unappealing. I tried to keep the layout of the contents page simple so not to overcrowd it with unnecessary items and make it look rushed and put together in a rush. I find the dark grey background to be a good way of adding an aspect of asymmetrical detail to the contents page without drawing attention away from the words showing the contents of this issue of the magazine with bright colours or garish prints. The main image on the front cover is a mid-shot of a group of people that focuses on their happy expressions. This sets the thought in the readers mind immediately that college life s a pleasant experience that can be very leisurely and light-hearted as shown my the chill atmosphere being portrayed.<br />
  11. 11. My Sketchbook is key to my development of ideas. By flicking through it, the progression of my ideas can be charted. The first few pages are showing the analysis a few different sorts of magazines. There is a equestrian lifestyle magazine which features very little text on the front and instead the contents page is very detailed. This is followed by a similar analysis of a TV listing magazine. My sketchbook progresses to show the long development of my ICT skills using Quark and Photoshop and how I altered the font, style, font size and slant of text to experiment with what is legible and effective for my magazine to use. The decisions over how far across the page the headers and mast heads should stretch and what camera-angles provide the best shot for an eye-catching image are also noted. I feel that my Sketchbook notes down the stages of my two magazines development in a way where, if deconstructed, the techniques used in the practical magazine can match some points made in the sketchbook. For this reason I find my Sketchbook to be fairly successful. One thing I do regret though about my sketchbook, is ignoring it a little early in the year and not annotating it very much as I went along, instead noting stuff down shortly and then fully elaborating I learnt more key terms or had my mind refreshed of them from GCSE media studies<br />
  12. 12. In the same way as how my college magazine shows my level of skills at the start of the course, this music magazine shows my current level of ability. It shows the progression I have made thorough the 8 months. This is evident by comparing both the front cover and contents page of my rock magazine “Electra” to my college magazine “College Life”. In the former the layout if far more realistic and the amount of conventions followed by it make seem to have a greater sense of attracting its desired target audience than the college magazine does. I feel that my music magazine looks rather professional. My target audience of 13-29 year olds who enjoy typically rock/pop-punk music were considered when creating the layout, font choices and colour scheme. This explains the bold eye-catching colours, mix of swirly and spiky font types and having the featured bands being rather modern, popular bands that are well known and credited for their youthful fans. It also is why my featured artist who is the main article of Electra is a young, up and coming artist who performed at a well established rock festival (Sonisphere) known for its popularity with all ages, genders and music preferences within the rock music sub-culture<br />