As a class of students all of the same age we decided to split into small groups and conduct a focus group about the sheffield star. First of all, one of the most interesting things to mention is that out of the 14 of us in the class and the four groups we were split in to, not one of us would read or do read the Sheffield Star news paper. However, we all either do or would read it online. This shows how the industry has advanced into the virtual age.
The groups were a little bit divided on the front cover of the newspaper. Two of the groups thought that the bright colours and large images made the paper stand out and more striking to eye, which would encourage them to pick up and read the paper. Whereas I and my group felt that the colours were mundane and the actually cover story was not something that would appeal to us and out age group. Which I suppose is a bit of an unfair thing to say because a newspaper has to appeal to the large majority not just young people.
Something that every group commented on was the fact that it is far more easier to just access the information online for free. The physical appearance of a newspaper is not appealing. The paper feels horrible and they’re ridiculously flimsy, so why would you chose that over a nice, bright and free online newspaper that someone has had the creative freedom to work on?
Other groups said that everything is set out nicely. For example newspapers have to fit a lot of information and other stuff such as photos and advertisements onto their pages but the star manages to keep things set out nicely using coloums which makes the information easy to follow. Which is a positive because its easy to get lost in the abundance of adverts.
In our groups we thought of way to improve the Star for young people like us. What we said is that it’d be good to include more cultural stuff such as music, fashion and information about things that are happening around sheffield. Obviously this isn’t something that is normally seen in a newspaper but if they were to just have their own section for young people it is likely that far more young people would be encouraged to go back to newspapers. For example, it is freshers week and there are a lot of new young people coming to sheffield for uni. If the star had a section for young people they could include a section telling freshers how to survive uni and where to go in Sheffield. This would be incredibly useful because this is a completely new city for them and seeing as the star is the local newspaper it would be the perfect place to have something like this.