Since the readers of the Sheffield Star are aged 16-25 year old, 7585 out of 433856 in Sheffield, they want to target the newspaper more at that age range. To do this they are dedicating two pages of the newspapers to the Journalism students of Hillsborough.
Focus Group Findings
To help us work out what we could add to the newspaper we did a focus group and analysed one of the newspaper issues. Here are my findings:
After looking through the newspaper we collectively said what we liked and disliked. One thing we liked was the striking and bold bright colours on each of the pages. it caught our attention and pulled us to different parts of the pages. Also, the simple language used in the news stories and articles made it easier to read. The informal format of newspaper also suits any age. Furthermore, the non-traditional layout made it easier to follow and made it look more like a website. This would attract a younger readership. Moreover, the local stories give you a personal attachment to the newspaper.
As well as this, there was lots of different articles e.g. weather, sport, entertainment etc. There is something for everyone. Also, the articles are suitable for all ages. Furthermore, there are lots of large images that draw your attention to the newspaper and the different articles.
However, we didn’t like the fact that there were too many adverts on the page. It made the pages look cluttered and there was too much to look at. Since the page is cluttered and unorganised people can lose interest and want to read something else. Also, the texture of the news paper made it feel cheap. The content in the newspaper wasn’t interesting to 16-25 year olds, so we wouldn’t choose to pick up The Star and read it.
To improve The Star we thought adding more local based stories would grab peoples attention because they would want to know what is happening around us. Also, we would like to see more reality and gossip because it would attract a younger audience. Additionally, a page that promotes local businesses, such as restaurants, bars and clubs would attract a younger readership. This is because 16-25 year olds want to know where they can get a cheap meal near them or where to go on a night out. As well as this, we think that having a list of Sheffield based events and concerts.
After taking what I have said into account, I have come up with three article ideas. One idea is to do an article of places to visit in Sheffield. These can include places in the city centre and on the other edge, and are either historical or a place relax. For this I could interview different people and ask them where they like to go in Sheffield, I could also ask different age ranges to get a varied response. Another idea is to do a feature on body confidence and fat shaming as it is one of the most important issues. For this I can interview people and ask them on their opinion. My final idea is to do an article on Pokemon Go which became a popular app this summer. For this I could interview other Pokemon Go players and ask them on their opinion, why they started to play it etc.
Portfolio Focus Group
- What were your thoughts on the topics and do you think they targeted the audience?
- I believe people within the target target audience would be interested in topics related to the articles
- There’s a wide variety so it would target a wide audience
- The listicles, features and reviews were good but the articles don’t appeal to the target audience
- They targeted the audience and were a good mixture of topics
- What topics do you think would appeal to the target audience and why?
- I think the topics were very interesting because it gave facts and quotes which shows that you really did your research
- The listicles and blogs – quick to read and relevant/fun
- Listicles because they’re easy reading and helpful towards our age range
- Film, they give you ideas of what to watch
- Which of the articles would mostly likely read and why?
- The film reviews. I love the cinema and would personally take a huge interest in these reviews
- The listicles and blogs about mental health – my interest
- Listicles because they are topical
- Both film reviews, 10 films to watch on a girls night in, book to movie adaptations and the mental health article. They sound appealing and are relevant to what we enjoy
After conducting my portfolio focus group, I now have a better understanding on the range of articles and topics that would appeal to the target audience. I have also found out what type of article is most popular.
Taking this into account, when creating my webzine and future articles I know that the target would enjoy more listicles and film reviews.