We split into groups and did a focus group about the Sheffield star. The majority of us are not people who would normally read newspapers or magazines. All of the groups agreed that the feel of a newspaper put them off from buying it because the material is really rough and cheap.
Views were mixed on the front cover, one group commented on the striking and and bright colours that catch the readers eye. Whilst another group said that they found it the complete opposite. It was more boring and uninteresting which discourages them to buy it.
The thing that all of the groups agreed on was that we all enjoyed how the articles were relevant to us. Obviously the Star is a Newspaper exclusive to Sheffield so it was nice to see things that we can relate to. I feel as though this would be the main attraction of the newspaper for us. Everything is laid out in a really neat way and set out in their own columns which allows for quite a large amount of information to fit on one page. The only problem with this was that sometimes you get way too much on an information overload.
The newspaper uses simple language which means it is accessible to almost everyone and something that was noticed was how at times the layout mimics that of a website. This increases the accessibility and makes it appeal way more to a younger person. Adverts were also a problem for us. Some of the adverts stood out way more than the article. Also, they were never relevant adverts to us. We understand that advertising pays for quite a substantial amount of the newspaper production but at least make the adverts relevant.
Ways to improve the star would be to give young people there own section. These could contain things such as vouchers or freebies that young people need. This would give them a reason to buy the newspaper other than for the news. Also you could have less mundane articles, such as ”how to survive uni” or something along those lines. Some young people are so disinterested in the news that they would need something such as this to even consider reading a newspaper. Also it could have a section devoted to things such as concerts, events and shows that are going on in Sheffield.
We thought of some names for our magazine:
- Student View
- Young View
- College Corner
- College Spread
- Sheff Col Corner
- Our Voice