Codes and conventions evaluation.

Mainstream Media Article: I followed the following codes and conventions that I identified in Mainstream media : firstly I chose a newspaper that was in the mainstream media which is the guardian. I picked the guardian, as mainstream newspapers either lean to the left or to the right and the guardian although slightly left leaning (labour) they’re infact liberal. I liked this as they’re for the people and are for a  global audience. This meant that they were less bias than other papers and I could write freely whilst sticking to the conventions of mainstream media by having a side the paper leaned to. I chose a topic that was topical as Orange is the New Black is a show that’s been featured in many articles and runs on Netflix currently and is very popular. They speak of current events and issues so they fit in with being general and would be of interest to those that read mainstream media as they aren’t interested in too niche of a topic. Another code that I stuck to was the use of punction and sentences that are structured well and are formal and intelligent, as mainstream media publications do. I did make the mistake of having my opening paragraph a bit to informal and personal which is not a convention of mainstream media, instead they like to keep themselves and their opinions, thoughts and experiences out of the article and they prefer to report factually and matter-of-fact. The guardian is a more artsy and relaxed paper so I felt that I could perhaps get away with it. Now having reflected I think I should avoid doing that and keep the tone of the article more professional and less like a diary in the beginning. Mainstream media publishes articles that are current and are usually the first to report on breaking news. Orange is the new black has been around since 2013 and reached its peak popularity over the past year, this means my reporting on it was not very current and it did not fit in with the code of mainstream media being current and speaking of topical news that is being spoken of that week. I would say that we were given the project about 2 months ago and I started research back then so to produce a very current topic would have been testing. I kept the reading age of my article between 8 and 15 so that it fit in with the conventions and was easy to read and understand whilst still not using any colloquial language, which doesn’t regularly appear in mainstream media. I printed my article in the layout and format of the guardian, having spent hiurs replicating the name and slogan with the date, price, location of publication and websit along with the different awards the paper had one. I kept to the font and font sizes of the guardian thus sticking to the conventions of mainstream media which is each publication uses a uniform layout, font and so forth. I failed to place an advert that was representive of a wealthy and successful company as I ran out of time and found a filler advert instead. This was not following the conventions as usually there is a half page advert featured next to or underneath the article and it is always for the same well known successful companies. Another fault was that I did not have any quotes from celebrities that are famous and would bring their fans in as potentially extra readers of the paper. I did use a picture of the cast of orange is the new black so that fans would see them and know the article is about them which is a convention of mainstream media as that way they get a larger demographic of readers. I kept my title relative to the show and used a catchy line that anyone who’s watched the show would recognise immediately. This another convention of mainstream media as bold, catchy titles are what they use to attract their readers. My title may have related to the show but it did not relate to the main point of the article, being female prisons. This fail to tie the two in, is something I would do differently next time as it just makes the article seem poorly put together.
Altogether I feel I followed the codes of conventions well but there are many improvements still to be made.
Independent Media Article: I followed the codes and conventions of independent media as best I could. I kept my topic niche and fitting in with the independent publication I had chosen, namely Attitude Magazine (a gay men magazine). The article was about how the UK has handled same-sex marriage since it was legalised in 2013, the history of how the UK treated homosexual people, Alan Turing and how the rest of the world is either like the UK or getting worse and it fit in with the magazine as the magazine’s articles only revolve around homosexual news around the world. I stuck with the conventions because I reported on Alan Turing who is a niche celebrity that was gay. These publications conventionly use celebrities that pertain to their niche topic and Alan Turing is an excellent martyr to homosexual people in their fight for equality. Codes of independent publications are that jargon pertaining to the niche topic is used and all adverts or competitions relate to the topic aswell. Attitude magazine doesn’t publish articles with adverts next to them so I didn’t get the chance to show this code. Another convention of independent media is that the articles are allowed to be a bit more relaxed and personal. The opening paragraph and the two paragraphs thereafter all follow this tone and thus keep in with the convention. The rest of the article speaks of news around the world, statistics and history but all related to homosexual people and the laws that have or did affect them. This fits in with the code that articles don’t have to be topical, as in current affairs, they can be just a perspective into the topic and general talk of it. My tone and use of language was intelligent but not too formal with a reading age of between 8 and 15 with use of some colloquial language and unconventional writing styles. Along with following the font, font size and layout of the independent magazine, I felt I successfully followed the code of how to present an independent magazine article. This also applies to the heading which was not too bold and catchy but just simple and easy to realise what the article is about. Lastly I was not able to update viewers on events for gay people, nor was I able to offer advice as firstly I am not gay and it would have been presumptuous and secondly my article was based on events that had already happened. These are conventions I did not follow, along with articles that have follow ups as I ran out of time to create a pretend next and upcoming article, in addition it is not commonplace in Attitude magazine anyway.

Experimental Media: It is there to push the envelope, make a statement and impact on the viewer, has an unconventional display and may have multiple messages that are not necessarily clear. I feel I followed these codes correctly as I presented my article on a mannequin which is unconventional and the symbols and the article along with how they were written on the mannequin all held messages relating to modern day feminism, our patriarchal society and other little messages this fits in with the code of multiple messages that aren’t exactly clear. I wrote around her genitalia and added nipple tassles, which assisted in making a statement and having an impact on the viewer.  I used the normal materials used in media such as pen, paper, paint and markers but I used them in an unconventional way to highlight the message, this is a convention of experimental media, along with the piece having a small budget, my student lifestyle allowed me to only spend £11 on getting one mannequin and fitting everything on there, I was both the artist, writer and editor. I have little wish to make money off of this work and hopefully it is evident in the sarcasm and tone of my article that it is a personal passion of mine. Yet again more conventions of avant garde work. The only characteristic I was not able to successfully fulfil, was that the work wasn’t entirely interactive but rather just a piece to look at. I would have preferred to have made a game out of it. Otherwise this was my favourite piece I did and I felt that I followed the codes and conventions well.


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