Search

Liam Rogerson

Category

Unit 10

Unit 10 – Focus Group Summary/Evaluation

Instead of getting people to outright read my articles I did a Prezi presentation that explained what my articles were about without giving all of the information away. My reasoning for doing this was because I wanted to see if my focus group would find these kind of things interesting enough to want to read them off of there own back. For example if they saw this advertised on something like Facebook or a news website would they click on the link?

The first question I asked was ”After hearing about these articles would you be interested in reading the full things and why”. All of my focus group said that they would be interested in reading the rest of the articles. This is really positive news for me because I took a risk by not giving them the full article to read. Although if they were looking on a news website they wouldn’t be given the full article to read before they decide to read it or not. This is why I decided to do it this way.

The next question I asked was whether they thought that the articles were appropriate to their age group and they all agreed that majority of the articles were. The one that one person said they didn’t feel that it was for their age range was the Park Hill story. One person thought that it seemed too serious for them. But the others didn’t have a problem with it and that they found it interesting.

 

10.1.1 – Focus Group Summery

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

 

Unit 10 – Evaluation.

I have produced five news stories, a review, a blog and a mobile journalism package. In this report I will be evaluating the work I have done and discussing how they hold up as genuine pieces of journalistic copy.

First of all I had to brainstorm what kind of stories I would enjoy reading. I wanted these stories to appeal to young people who enjoy news outlets such as Vice, Highsnobiety and Complex. Because these are the outlets that I enjoy I thought that brainstorming what I would enjoy to read would be a good starting point because I am a part of the target audience.

When choosing my stories I tried to give a good variety of content in order to show that I can do a lot of different things. For example I did a story about Legal Highs in Prisons and how accessible they are. The people who spoke in the article were unnamed, as agreed, but they were my older brother, and a friend I grew up with. I went to visit as normal, sourced a pen and paper and spoke to them. I chose to do this story because I think it holds a good about of journalistic value and people will definitely find it interesting how prisoners can so easily access these drugs due to how shocking it actually is. I didn’t ask anything they didn’t feel comfortable answering and told them both if there’s anything they didn’t want me putting in the article. Their names was one thing they both didn’t want but the majority of things they had no problem sharing.

My stories shared a common theme which was that I know everyone involved with the articles personally. Apart from Theo and Matthew the people in the Vinyl Records interview but I do have a very messy transcript in my journal of the conversation we had. I do a lot of work outside of college which means I have built up a bit of a network of people which made finding quotes to support these stories easy. What I found more of a struggle was thinking of story concepts that would actually interest people. I didn’t want to produce copy that was thrown together and had no real journalistic value.

Ethical standards were something that I had to consider when I was producing my copy, most prominently the one about Legal Highs. My brother and my friend didn’t want there name to be given and truthfully I didn’t want to disclose there name either. The subject matter of that article was rather serious and there may have been the risk of getting someone into serious trouble which I wanted to try my best to avoid.

I feel like my copy is fit for publishing because my focus group proved to be very positive. The people I asked were all in my target audience and they all said that they would enjoy reading this kind of thing. Also when I compare it to published articles of similar subject matter my written style holds up as professional but not too professional which seems to be good for the kind of audience that I am going for. I didn’t want to be too formal in my written voice because I feel as though some times that kind of thing can put people of a younger age off a little bit. It seemed like the right thing to do in order to adhere to the codes and conventions of a website for my chose age group.

One thing that I feel as though I could’ve done better was my time management. I struggled a little bit getting everything done in the time that I had to finish them all. I feel as though this was because I spent a lot of time trying to find subject areas that were varied and actually meaningful. I didn’t to write easy stuff, I wanted to write things that people would be genuinely interested in reading and things that held some genuine journalistic value. I feel as though it was because of this that my time management was’t great because these kind of articles are far more time consuming.

In conclusion I am happy with how my copy turned out. I feel as though I produced a range of things covering different topic areas and I did a good job to make them interesting and appealing to people of my age group.

Multi Media – Interview With a Drug Dealer

 

Recently there’s been a huge talk about the effects of cannabis on social media. With the rapid increase of places in the world legalising the drug I figured it would be interesting to see first hand from someone in England who sells the drug what they think about it and why they sell it. This unnamed male, age 25, talked to be for a small amount of time and here is what he had to say:

 

 

 

Blog – Living in the Moment

Living in the moment is an odd thing. Generally, this means you live without thinking about consequences or without worry. It’s got a hopeless kind of feeling to it, but that hopeless feeling is what gives this lifestyle its appeal. Maybe it’s just a young thing. Many young people are in a position where they’re not really sure what they want to do. Also, it’s kind of scary being an age where you have to accept growing up and start doing things your parents normally do. Such as paying bills or operating the fuse box when the unbranded toaster you paid a fiver for trips all the electricity in your flat. We all have to go through this though, so good luck getting that little bit of sympathy you were expecting.

There’s no definitive directive or perfect approach to living. But as well as this you should know yourself well enough to know what you’re capable of. If you decide at the age of 16, 18, 25 or 35 that you need change there’s nothing really stopping you other than yourself. This is where living in the moment comes in. Humans are for the most part notoriously cautious and terrified of making a mistake. There’s something about the fear of appearing stupid that effects each and every one of us. That deep thud that crushes your chest, the cold anxious sweats that take over your whole body and that loud internal scream that bellows: “why the hell did you say that?’’. It’s normal. It’s human.

Let me get something clear though. Living in the moment doesn’t mean quitting your job, buying a camper van and driving around Europe searching for something you haven’t figured out yet. We don’t live in books and that would be an awful idea anyway. What I mean is embrace every situation you find yourself in. That is the only true way to live in the moment. Because let’s face it if we were to follow every little impulse that our brain gives us non of us would’ve made it this far. What I mean is be prepared to make mistakes, don’t spend your time worrying about the little things because not only is that a dull way to live, it’s also so limiting for you as a person.

 

Review – Mick Jenkins at Bungalow’s and Bears

Review – Mick Jenkins Live at Bungalows and Bears Sheffield.

As a lover of all things rap I was equally ecstatic as I was surprised to hear American rapper Mick Jenkins would be performing in my home town of Sheffield. The show took place at Bungalows and Bears, a rather small venue for someone who’s toured with the likes of Method Man and Redman. Mick opened with ‘’Jazz’’, one of his more well known tracks which set the mood well with its subtle tones and atmosphere. It became clear to me that this wasn’t going to be a regular show where you find people bouncing around the room screaming how great this is, Mick’s music is more sophisticated than that. Instead Mick encouraged us to vibe and feed off of each others energy. With the release of his debut album The Healing Component which promotes love and discusses the different kinds of love there is, I expected this. But what I didn’t expect was for him to sound so similar. On Mick’s records he consistently has a low, almost raspy voice which I was surprised to hear translated so well to a live show. His voice never got lost in the music and never sounded like he was being drowned out. The live drums were also a nice addition that gave the performance an authentic feeling.

 

Around half way through the show a fight broke out in the audience. This seemed to annoy Mick and ruin the vibe he’d created for the last half an hour. The show seemed to take a bit of a dip from here on. Mick never really seemed to be able to return the show to the standard that he set. Audience communication seemed to dip which ended up with Mick calling out fans who thought they were ‘’too cool’’ to put there hands up or shout his lyrics back to him. At this point things became bittersweet. The first half an hour was incredible, and even though the end of the show was very strong, once the energy was lost we was never really able to get it back fully again.

 

Overall, Mick Jenkins is an excellent artist as well as a performer. It is just such a pity that a special show such as thing has to be ruined by a few people in the crowd that clearly didn’t realise what they were paying to see.

Article – Park Hill

Park Hill: Eye sore or an important part of Sheffield’s Heritage?

Once hailed as the most ambitious inner city development of their time back in 1961 the partly renovated Park Hill has lost a lot of its beauty over time. Originally consisting of almost 1,000 flats, a newsagent, a laundrette, four pubs, a primary school, a doctor’s surgery and even a dentists you can tell why this project has always been spoke about with such high regard.

But by the 1980’s there was an abundance of stories that tarnished Park Hill’s reputation. People throwing themselves off the top, muggings, stabbings, I even recall being told someone used a sniper rifle air gun to shoot children at the primary school from afar. Whether this is true or not I couldn’t tell you, but I grew up on an estate less than five minutes from Park Hill and rumours such as that have always been passed on.

Now, Britain’s largest Grade II* building sits partly renovated with the building that can be seen from the City Centre  having new and colourful flats that are highly sought after. However the rest of Park Hill is dilapidated, boarded up and an area most wouldn’t walk through late at night. From personal experience walking through that part of Park Hill is not dangerous. But with the abundance of needles, graffiti, rubbish, and questionable things to see I can understand why people would rather walk around Park Hill.

More recently Park Hill has become known as a ‘’Homeless Village’’ in Sheffield due to the fact there is at least more than ten tents that seem to have settled there with no intent of moving on. Jennifer, 63, from a neighbouring estate in Sheffield said: ‘’It’s sad to see Park Hill go the way it has. I’ve lived here for more years than I can remember and it keeps on getting worse. Everyone around here has really fond memories of it and were proud of it too. We’re proud of what it was’’.

Darrell, 23, resident of the new Park Hill said ‘’These new places are amazing I love living here. But living next to the old place makes me feel so uncomfortable because of the people that congregate there’’.

Article – Alt Seen Eye

Remembering Alt Seen Eye

One of my favourite shops in Sheffield, Alt Seen Eye is sadly closing down in January. What made this shop so appealing to me was the whole feel of the place. When you walked in the door you were greeted with heaps of personality.

The shop was full with tonnes of art, independent clothing and music from local artists. The amount of aspiring creators that this shop helped out is endless. They gave a platform for young entrepreneurs to be seen, heard and supported.

Isaac, 20, co-owner of Sheffield brand GoldeN clothing spoke on the matter: ”The shop helped out so many people. Especially us. All the shop wanted to do was lend a hand to people with ideas and expect almost nothing in return. The largest majority of the sales GoldeN made in 2015 came from being in that shop. We and a lot of other people owe them a lot to be honest.”

I managed to speak to the owner of Alt Seen Eye, Nicole who I asked why the store was closing down and if she had any plans to continue: ”The shops just run its course that’s all. It was a project and a very successful one at that but it’s time to move on from the Alt Seen Eye at Church Street. We might be moving to London road. I think that’s a better place for this kind of shop. But at the same time I like to try a lot of different things and I may decide to just follow a different road”.

I wholeheartedly hope Nicole decides to keep the shops legacy going strong. A shop such as this is a one of a kind and we’d like to wish Nicole and everyone represented by the shop all the best for the future.

Article – Vinyl

The (re)rise of Vinyl Records:

Vinyl Records are for the most part seen as a thing of the past. More efficient ways of listening to music such as CD, MP3 and digital streaming have since overtaken Vinyl. However, in 2015 sales of Vinyl records were the highest they have ever been since 1996, and in 2016 they were even higher.

When you take into consideration that the majority of people can access the entire of the worlds library of music at their fingertips this is actually pretty amazing. It makes me wonder why this sudden surge in sales has happened.

It can be argued that Vinyl is the superior way to listen to music because it a lossless format. In order to store music on a CD or online it needs to be compressed. By doing this you run the risk of losing the true sound of the record. In fairness, you’re probably not going to notice the difference.

This is my reason for buying Vinyl records. Honestly, it makes me appreciate the album more. I met Theo, 48, from Sheffield in LP record store. He’s been collecting records for over 30 years and he had this to say about the sudden rise: ”My sons fascinated by them. He’s 17 and he’s always used Spotify to listen to music. But he’s started to buy his own Vinyl’s because he thinks they’re cool. He’s used to seeing CD’s everywhere but it baffles him that this is how older generations listened to music”.

He then phoned his son Matthew, 17 also from Sheffield who followed this up with: ”I love music and I’ve never once walked into a Record store and seen a Vinyl from little mix or some rubbish like that. I’ve discovered so much new music from Vinyl’s and just from looking at them it make me appreciate the production and the work that goes into them”.

Honestly, this was the kind of response I was really hoping to find. Truthfully, lots of people could be buying Vinyl’s because they think they’re cool and not because they actually want to enjoy the music. But is this actually a bad thing? The money they spend in some part will go back to the artists and support the industry.

Even if the conclusion we can come to on this topic are that people think Vinyl’s are cool and retro mania is the reason that they’re popular again, I’d say this is a good thing. Supporting the artist is imperative. Go buy yourself a cool portable record player and enjoy some nostalgia.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑