Foundation Portfolio Evaluation
By Alex Bowerbanks
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? The music magazine I have published is entitled 'FLIPSIDE', and was created to appeal to rock music listeners. I conducted my research using a variety of medias from handouts to interviews to online questionnaires, and decide on a target audience. My target audience is predominantly males aged between 15 and 30 in the socio economic groups ABC1 and I think by a hearing to the defined codes and conventions set by existing rock music magazines such as Q, Uncut and MOJO I would be able to attract the target audience as they get used to looking for particular features in a music magazine and are more likely to accept a magazine that is similar but has more of the features that, through my research have found out, are popular. For example, reviews of new CDs, concerts and interviews with the rock stars so the reader can connect to the artist. I conformed to the stereotype of some of the more heavy rock magazines with it's front cover picture in black and white which could show the contrast of the light and dark sides of rock music. Having said that, the splash of yellow on the 'caution' tape, which is raped across the magazine, adds a touch of color contrast but could be seen to enforce the negative as the tape could be thought to have strong links to the police and a crime scene. This is not true as inside the magazine the reader learns the tape is linked to the band's name and their love of CSI, which is a popular TV show watched by my target audience.
How does your media product represent particular social groups?
My music magazine could represent the rock music readers and the bands they listen to in a darker light as the use of black and white combined with low-key lighting presents a slightly sinister feel that is traditionally associated with rock music. Inside the magazine, it could be construed that an audience is represented by what they like, with the contents page littered with rock music artists such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Nick Cave and many more in order to keep the audience interested.
â—? What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? A local newsagents or supermarket as well as being distributed online via the magazine's website as, due to the funds that are demanded for publication and distribution, the magazine will probably be a subsidiary of a multinational conglomerate and as such will take full advantage of both horizontal and vertical integration. This will also allow my magazine to reach all potential consumers as it will be widely on offer.
Who would be the audience for your media product? As I have found out from my research, with the use of questionnaires, the National Readership Survey and so forth, I have established my target audience as 15-35 year old rock music listeners of the socio economic groups ABC1 as they are the most devoted music magazine consumers/subscribers and have the highest percentage for readership of rock music magazines.
How did you attract/address your audience? By sticking to the codes and conventions established by the already circulating rock music magazines, my target audience should recognise the traditional features which attract them to magazines. Such as a darkened front cover picture dominating the space combined with a free gift of the main featured artist's album which is a rare edition, offering something the competitors do not. Using only one or two colors I have created a contrast that is unique, catching the eye of the reader, making it stand apart. I have also used nappy callouts in an attempt to make the older readers reminisce about the 'Golden age of rock' almost daring them to buy the magazine to see if the new band is as good as the projected hype.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? I have learnt that a lot of time and effort goes into the production of music magazines. Be it the hours spent typing away at a computer to create the article, the precision needed to use photo editing software like photoshop to fine tune each image to be perfect for the issue. But this task has helped me to develop my skills as a photographer as I have learnt about different types of lighting and how they bring meaning to the piece. My photoshop skills as I have become much more ept in adjusting an image, be it the light levels, color saturation or using different layers to construct texture to the project.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? When I started the preliminary task I knew very little about how to create any publication or even use the software, let alone a produce a music magazine. The prelim task gave me the opportunity to build my skills from the ground up and, through the completion of the task, has allowed me to gain the confidence and ability to create a fully functioning media product. With full use of photo editing software like photoshop I now know how to edit images and create the different features required to produce a, hopefully successful rock music magazine.