Media studies revolves are seven key concepts:
These Key Concepts function as tools you can use to analyse a media text. Each Key
Concept has a set of theories and ideas associated with it. Once you've learned and
understood the theories, you can use them to support your own explanation of how a
media text is constructed and received. Usually, Media Studies exams will ask you to
analyse a text whilst focusing on one or more of these concepts, as specified by the
CODES AND CONVENTIONS
As well as incorporating Key Concepts into your textual analysis, you also need to consider
codes and conventions - technical, symbolic and verbal - and different potential
(preferred and oppositional) readings. Theories:
Masthead - the masthead is the title block for the magazine, usually this is the most eye-
catching convention on a page and has to be distinct.
Menu – the list of contents inside the paper
Pugs - to catch the reader’s eye they are well placed. A pug is in the top left hand and
right hand corner of a magazine – the price, logo and so on are positioned here.
Secondary Lead – a sneak preview of an inside article or story, it’s usually a picture.
Sidebar - an additional box next to the main feature of the magazine
Splash – the main story of the front page accompanied with a headline and a photograph
Spread - a story that covers more than one page
Stand First - sentence after the headline and before an article begins that ‘sells’ a feature
to the reader
Strapline – subheading, below the initial headline
Tag – categorizing the reader’s interest in a story by using a word or a phrase to engage
them e.g. sensational, new, exclusive etc.
Tip-on-affixed to the publication is a promotional item such a magnet or game piece.
CODES AND CONVENTIONS
Box-out – a coloured box behind some text, usually used to make the text stand out.
By-line – name of the reporter
Caption – text underneath a imagine explaining it
Crosshead – a subheading that shows in the body of the text and is centred above the
column of the text. If it is positioned to the side, it is called a side-head.
Feature – usually with a human-interest angle presented as a spread (current affairs)
Headline – the main statement, usually in the largest and boldest font – describing the
Kicker – this is a story designed to stand out from the rest of the page by the use of a
different font (typeface) and layout.
Lead Story – usually a splash, it’s the main story.
Lure – could be used as a marketing device, its usually a word or phrase that makes the
reader read the inside articles.
People who read music magazines would be passionate about music, in particular they
would care a lot about their favourite music genre (pop, rock, indie, country, R&B etc).
Also, the audience would prefer reading from a magazine rather than the internet to get
their source of information.
The audience’s purpose for reading a magazine could be a number of reasons. For
starters, it could be escapism – the magazine allows the reader to vanish from their
everyday lives for a short period of time. By diverting their attention to the magazine they
would forget about their problems. Moreover, they could be reading for pure joy – their
favourite singer/band enlightens them. For example, the writers’ in NME or Q produce
lengthy articles about the artists who appear in the issue, going into detail and setting out
a professional format.
A certain amount of people who read music magazines may have the desire to read all
matters music related. The magazine allows the reader to keep up to date about
bands/artists and their latest news.
Although, typically the readers are 20+ - young people such as teenagers may be
targeted as they also read magazines, thus social networking is promoted throughout.
Magazines may be becoming aspects of the past due to the internet and complex
technology, but it’s still flexible in terms of contact, hence magazines have created their
own websites like http://www.billboard.com/ to connect with the reader, also facebook
and twitter accounts which has a large appeal to the younger audience.
Representation is the process by which the media presents the ‘real world’ to an audience.
Different types of music magazines are represented
in different ways, according to their music genre
and audience. For example, an article based
around a rock band might include an aggressive
looking front cover or images inappropriate for
young readers. This might include alcohol or even
angry, scary looking faces.
However, for pop magazines such as ‘Top Of The
Pops’ - friendly looking articles are presented,
including happy facial expressions from the artist
and girly fonts are likely to be used.
Nonetheless, representation in music magazines can be seen as
stereotypical and biased in a way that they convey artists. This
could give readers’ the wrong impression which can cause further
problems within the music industry.
Clothes the artists’ wear are also a key concept of representation. These clothes will vary
depending on the music genre. For example the artists within the indie genre tend to wear
quite stylish and quirky looking clothes which normally catch the readers’ eye. On the other
hand, a pop magazine’s model’s style will be fairly casual.
Music magazines earn a lot of money from the adverts they contribute on their pages.
These normally cost a lot of money to publish and are chosen wisely by the
brand/company on whether they want it in their magazine or not. This is based on the
target audience of both the product and the magazine (if both are similar then the advert
will be successful). For example, in Q magazine they include adverts suitable for their male
target audience e.g. Aftershave, cars, beers, male clothes and so on. This is because their
target audience are seen quite fashionable and enjoy going out.
Furthermore, they also gain profit from the amount of copies they sell. The way a magazine
itself is advertised and promoted is important. This is why magazines have their own
websites and have recently got involved with more social networking sites as a way to get
word across about their magazine. Even though people argue that the internet is making
magazine sales fall, it has also opened new opportunities for magazines.
Subscriptions also help magazine sales. Although the reader can purchase magazines for a
cheaper amount, they have still made a deal with the magazine to keep purchasing future
Furthermore a famous magazine such as ‘NME’ already has loyal readership and if they
think they already gain a good product when they purchase the magazine, they will
continue to do so.