02/03/2015

Learn: Negotiated Portfolio, Comment Piece

For my comment piece I’ve decided to write about feminism! This isn’t really surprising as I manage to squeeze a bit of feminism into each piece of work that I do but in this comment piece I will be able to write about feminism more openly and actually discuss it in a more contemporary setting.

Previously I have only been able to write about feminism in relation to the focus of an essay, but as this is a comment piece I will be able to discuss feminism in a much broader context and discuss my opinion and not just cite the opinions of other feminists.

At the moment i’ve got the bare skeleton of my piece and I’ve written out the introduction. The only danger with this work is that I can see myself going over my 750 word count limit as I could talk about feminism for hours!

As I mentioned in the previous post, it’s important for me not to get carried away with writing and to actually think about where I could see this work being published.

Initially I thought this piece would really suit the style of Rookie magazine online, but after further consideration I thought that Rookie is already well established as a youthful feminist publication and the piece I am writing is serving more as an introduction to modern feminism for those that maybe don't fully understand what feminism is about.

Because of this, I’ve decided to write the piece for Company magazine online instead. Whilst company magazine isn't a print publication anymore they still have a thriving online website and this comment piece will be fit well within their online content.

The core readership of Company magazine is a youthful, fashion conscious, socially aware young woman. They will be interested in high street fashion, blogging and popular music but also have a keen interested in culture, travel and social issues.

As I mentioned above, the piece of work I am writing is intended to act as an introduction into modern day feminism and how various celebrities currently represent different elements of feminism. Most importantly this piece will explain how there is no singular or certain way to be a successful feminist.

As this is a comment piece I will also discuss how despite feminism becoming increasingly popular in the past 12 months there has also been an influx in negative reactions against feminism, and how these arguments are often based on a great misunderstanding of what feminism actually is!

I will update you on the progress of this piece in the coming days but for now I need to knuckle down and get writing!

Learn: Negotiated Portfolio

As I mentioned in my previous blog post I need to create four pieces of work for my next deadline on the 20th of March. These pieces of work are intended to be a showcase of the range of journalistic skills I have developed whilst at university and also need to reflect my attempts at getting work published in real publications.

With this in mind, throughout the process of developing ideas for each piece of work I’ve had to think of which publication it would be most suited for and make the work reflective of this decision. For example, whilst brain storming ideas for my comment piece I needed to not only think of a theme or idea to write about but also consider where this work could eventually be published. Once I’ve established this then my work can be edited and written to suit the style of the publication and reflect the interests of their readers.

Since my last post I have generated ideas for each piece of work and in future blogs I shall dedicate a post to each different piece of work, and then create a follow up post to reflect my attempts at getting the work published!

This has been quite a short blog post but I need to get on with my work and start writing up all of my notes!

I’ve already started my comment piece so shall try and finish that tonight, and tomorrow I aim to write up my review so expect to see more frequent posts in the next couple of days.

19/02/2015

Learn: Negotiated Portfolio

It's now week two of my final semester and it's time to knuckle down and start working towards my final few deadlines as a university student.

The first deadline for this module is on the 20th of March and includes:
  •      A 1500 word profile/interview with supporting photography
  •     Three 350-400 word news stories
  •     A 750 word comment piece
  •     A 600 word review

I have a couple of ideas for each piece but before I go into detail and get overly excited I need to send out a few emails and make some confirmations.

I initially planned on spending today being extremely productive but unfortunately I've somehow caught a terrible bug and my brain hasn't got the energy to do as much work as I wanted to. I'm still going to try and send out some emails and organise myself but it's typical that when you're feeling ill everything takes twice as long and leaves you feeling extremely fed up.

The main objective of today is now about planning my time, sending out emails and generating ideas for each piece of work that I need to produce.

An important point that was raised in my lecture earlier this week was to consider the audience and potential publication for each piece of work before I get carried away with writing something. One of the goals of this module is to try and get some work published and in order to better achieve this be aware of who you are writing for at each stage of the creative process. Also, as well as being aware of publication and audience think about the context and perspective of each piece and consider why anyone would be interested in not only publishing but reading it.

One way to achieve this is simply to read widely and find examples of successful profiles and figure out what makes it successful, then try to apply to this to my own work.

I will hopefully write another (and more eloquent) blog post in the next couple of days when this bug has passed until then, goodbye!

11/02/2015

Learn: the final semester of my final year!

Hello!

The last time I posted on this blog I was slowly approaching the deadline for my dissertation and I'm now happy to say that the storm has passed and my dissertation is complete and has been handed in! I haven't had my grade back yet so I'm not sure how to feel about the whole process, however I do know that I worked extremely hard and that my dissertation supervisor is aware of how much effort I put into my work.

Since my last post I have however received my grade for my International Journalism module, and whilst I don't usually like it when people post their results online (as it often comes across quite 'braggy' and people often try to down play how much hard work they put into getting that grade), because this blog is about my time at university I thought if it was appropriate to post this information anywhere it would be here! So I am happy to say that for my first module of my final year I managed to get a 1st! I'm really proud of my grade as I did work extremely hard and it's always a nice feeling when you know that your hard work has payed off.

After finishing the first semester and handing in all of my work I had two weeks off for an assessment period during which I travelled back home and spent my time off relaxing and finally catching up on all of the TV that I missed whilst I was working.

I'm now back in Falmouth and I have started my final semester of my final year at university! It seems strange to think that in a few months I will be graduating and will be out in the world trying to find a job that I love. I know that most news outlets like to emphasise the shortage of jobs for recent graduates and that in reality we should be grateful for any work we get, even if it is in a fast food restaurant (I want to point out here that this is still a valid job and I have endless respect for those that work in the service industry), but I don’t think that I will ever settle for a job that I don’t absolutely love.

The whole reason I decided to go to university in the first place was in increase my chances of getting a job in a field that I find endlessly fascinating. When I was in my final year of secondary school and throughout college the question "So, what do you want to do when you're older?" kept on cropping up, and at the time I had no idea what I wanted to do! I'm not sure how many people grow up knowing the answer to this question with absolute certainty, for me it was more of a gradual elimination process.

By the time I finished secondary school I knew that I was good at English and that I enjoyed writing (academic essays as well as creative writing, sometimes I even enjoy academic writing more) and by the time I finished college I knew that whatever I was going to do with my life would include writing in some context. However even though I knew that I wanted to write, I wasn't entirely sure of what it was exactly that I was going to write.

I decided to look at a degree in journalism as writing in any format is better than not writing at all. During the second year of my degree I created a magazine called yearbook, (and if you scroll down you will be able to read blog post about creating the magazine) and discovered that I'm actually pretty good at making a magazine. I adore magazines and working for one is pretty much my dream job.

As I mentioned, I'm now in the second and final semester of my university experience and one of the modules that I have to compete is called Negotiated Portfolio. This module is focused on creating a portfolio of work that I will be able to show to future employers once I have finished my degree. Because I want to work for magazines after university, all of the work that I create in this module will be created with this in mind. I want to create a body of work that not only reflects media subjects which I am highly interested in but my ability to write about these subjects to a high standard!

I will be writing a series of blog posts throughout this module discussing my progress as I create pieces of work for my portfolio and hopefully send them off to various publications for writing opportunities! This has been a fairly lengthy post but I hope you enjoyed it!

Tara x

01/01/2015

Learn: How to cope with deadline stress!

Hello again lovelies!

My deadlines are looming in the near future and I'm currently having to find a way to deal with the expected deadline stress, so I'm writing this post to share with you all the tips and tricks that I've picked up over the years that have helped me keep a cool head whilst at university. Some of them may sound silly, but they always work for me so why not give them a try!


  • Tidy your workspace, and I don't just mean your desk! Personally I can feel quite overwhelmed if I have too many tabs open whilst using the internet or too many icons cluttering up my desktop home screen. I find organising things into folders not only helps me relax but also makes everything a lot easier when it comes to finding something again.

  • Take breaks however best suits your working style. Sometimes I benefit best from one hour long break after working for a few hours and other days I find small breaks every half an hour more beneficial. Whichever method best for you, make sure you take breaks long enough to help you wind down but short enough that you don't get sucked into another Netflix binge.

  • Lists! I really do love writing lists! At the start of the day I will write down all of the work that I have to complete, and then a second list for all of the things that I hope to achieve during the day. As I complete each thing on the list I will tick it off and feel myself getting slightly more relaxed as I work my way through the list. At the end of the day I will write a final list of all of the things that I hadn't magaged to complete that I can start working on tomorrow. Somehow things don't seem so intimidating if you can fit them onto a post it note.

  • Don't leave everything until the day before your deadline. I know this one sounds obvious, and luckily I've never been once to leave my work that late but honnestly your life will be a lot easier when you just tackle whatever it is that you need to work on! And if you are procrastinating, try and figure out why that is. If you are feeling itimidated and overwhelmed with your work load there are always people you can talk to for support, from people at your school/university to friends and family.

  • Get a good nights sleep. Doing an all nighter may work for some people, but I've always found that instead of worrying through the night about work getting a good nights sleep and starting fresh the next day always helps me clear my mind and produce better work. This point also includes taking naps if you need them! After working for a while I can usually feel myself get a bit sleepy, so rather than writing whilst battling with my eyelids I find that having a short power nap works wonders! If you are afraid of over sleeping just set a timer on your phone for a certain amount of time and then hopefully afterwards you will wake up with a fresh burst of energy to carry on with your work.

  • Don't forget to eat! Again, this sounds silly but sometimes if I spend all day concentrating on my work I can forget to eat at appropriate times and I end up having a naughty binge on unhealthy food that probably doesn't help my productivity. So set an alarm for your meal times and make sure you drink water throughout the day.

So that's it! My little list of tips for you all. I hope they are useful and good luck with all of your deadlines!

Tara xx

Life: Hello 2015!

Hello once again lovelies!

I can only apologise for the fact that I haven't posted in quite a while, but it hasn't been due to laziness or blog abandonment!

In September (2014) I started my final year of university and I am now pretty much halfway through and I can (kind of) see the finish line. I'm still writing my dissertation at the moment and even though I only have a couple of weeks until my deadline I still have a lot of work to do! I would say I am about 2/3 of the way through and I will be turning into a little work gremlin until deadline day.

Because I have my own little methods to help deal with deadline stress I think I shall treat you to another post shortly after this one telling you my tricks to keep a cool head whilst doing your own work!

However because this post is called 'Hello 2015!' I shall now be telling you about my year in 2014 and what I hope to achieve in the following 12 months.

Overall, I would say that 2014 was a pretty good year! I turned 20 and got one step closer to becoming an actual proper grown up. I learnt boring grown up things about washing machines and standing orders but I also learnt other things like the fact that candles and tea towels are quite cool.

My dress sense in the past year somehow became more monochrome and my skin somehow got even more pale?! I don't know if this means that I'm actually turning into a vampire or not but come to think of it I have been spending more time awake at night compared to the day recently...

Moving on to more important things, this year I somehow managed to keep in touch with all my home friends whilst also making new ones at university (I realise this is only impressive if you know how socially lazy I can be and that I often find it difficult keeping in contact with people!). And everyone in the Pilkington clan ended 2014 feeling happy and healthy which is always something to be grateful for.

As I mentioned at the start of this post, in 2014 I started my third and final year of university, and at the moment I would say that everything seems to be going well! I've handed all of my work in on time (and in 90% cases I've done so a day earlier, quite swatty of me I know) and even though I don't know my grades for this year yet I'm hopeful that my hard work will pay off.

There are probably a lot of wonderful thing that I could write about that happened in 2014 but looking on my Instagram feed does a much better job as opposed to me rambling on.

I've never really been one for new years resolutions, but in the spirit of this post here are some things I'm going to try and keep in mind throughout 2015 and constantly remind my future self. Maybe some of these will also apply to you!

Things to remember in 2015
  • continue to work hard at university, you're nearly at the end champ you can do it!
  • actually get a proper grown up job and save some money. Your little bedroom at home is cosy but it's not really big enough for you anymore so start saving so you can move into a little appartment with your friends.
  • try and travel if you get the chance, because why not!
  • keep in touch with people, most of the time they're not really that bad you're just prone to being anti-social.
  • start writing that book you always tell yourself that you're going to write, and actually write it down properly not just in little scrawls on your phones notepad.
  • try to eat a little bit healthier, smoothies are quite nice so try making your own more often.
  • try to learn how to drive this year, even if you dont really need a car it's a good skill to have.


There are probably more things that I should keep in mind, but for now that seems like a pretty good list!

Tara xx

04/10/2014

Learn: Final year at university!

Hello again!

Since the last time I posted on here I somehow managed to complete my second year of university and I am now starting my third and final year of my journalism degree!

I have a couple of exciting things in the pipeline that I'm excited to share with you all, but I wont tell you just yet until they become more concrete ideas.

This blog has become a kind of online journal/progress report for my time at university and hopefully has been a somewhat useful reference/resource for people that are either at university, thinking about going, or just want to hear about my own experience so far.

One thing that I can tell you guys is that I'm going to be creating an online platform soon that will act as more of an professional portfolio than this blog does. Whilst I do love this blog I also know that it is quite casual and not a professional or academic reflection of what I would like my online presence to be.

However I do enjoy writing these more down to earth posts, so this blog wont be going anywhere! I'm not sure what format this online portfolio will take yet, but I know that I want a very clear and clean looking online space that I can fill up with all of my work to show future employers.

That's all I have to say for this quick little post but I thought I would let you all know that I am still here and I don't intent on abandoning this blog anytime soon!


Tara xx

10/06/2014

Learn: Case study reflection and dissertation thoughts

This is going to be my final post regarding my university case study and also introduce what I plan on doing for my dissertation.

Looking back at the process of creating the study, the main concern in that I have is that my results may have been completely different had I actually gained a work placement. However, this was out of my control and even though I applied for placements I had no luck. Other than this, I'm proud of all of the hard work I put into my case study and hope that I was able to reflect my efforts in my final piece of work.

Moving on to my dissertation...
Recently I had a lecture regarding my dissertation for my final year at university and I've had a pretty strong idea of what I want to do for a while. For quite a few years I have had a great interest in the way mental health is represented and portrayed in the media. From news stories regarding individuals with mental health disorders to the way mental health is portrayed by actors in films and television, I've always been interested to see not only how accurate these representations actually are but how the general public use these representations as a framework for how they view and understand mental health.

If somebody with a mental health disorder is portrayed as dangerous by a news story, and subsequently in a film, do people that have no prior experience of mental health disorders then only understand and view this disorder via the distorted realities in the media representation.

Recently there have been campaigns to try and break the stigma and silence surrounding mental health, and I plan to make my dissertation run alongside these campaigns. I want to try and establish how important it is to portray mental health accurately in the media, and how this can have a direct influence on the way people view mental health. I also want to talk to people that live with mental health disorders and establish their views on how they are represented and if they are satisfied with the way mental health is treated by the media. I finally hope that by creating this dissertation I can show that people with mental health disorders are not inherently abnormal or strange, but individuals that deserve the same amount of respect and patience as everybody else.

Learn: Yearbook updates!

Hello again!

Sorry that it has been a while since I last updated but I have some exciting news regarding yearbook. Over the past couple of week me and deputy editor have been going through the process of relentlessly sub-editing the first issue  in order for it to get printed!

I'm not sure how many copies exactly are going to be printed, but regardless the fact that it is getting printed at all is extremely exciting! I'm hoping all of this hard work will pay off and somewhere down the line this magazine will help me get a work placement or internship at a real working publication.

I'm incredibly proud of yearbook but I also don't want to brush over the fact that it has been extremely hard work to produce! Creating the final piece has required a couple of all nighters and caused one or two stress induced breakouts.  However, I wouldn't have been willing to put in all of this work if I wasn't sure that magazines are the industry that I want to go into.

Even though it is now the end of my second year at university and the news and magazine module is completely over, me and the rest of the yearbook girls hope to carry on the magazine during our third and final year. Over the summer I will prepare some interviews and be on the look out for even more people to feature in the magazine. If all goes to plan yearbook will be something that my team can pass on to new students when we finish at university and become a lasting publication!

I don't have much more to update you on just yet, but in the next few days I will post a link to the second issue of yearbook and hopefully have some photos to show you of the final printed copy of yearbook once I finally get my hands on it.


I'll talk to you soon!


Tara


28/05/2014

Learn: Yearbook Online! Part 5

So the deadline for the magazine is getting closer, but I am thankfully up to date with my work! I'm currently in the process of putting all of my work through InDesign and these are my two feature layouts so far...

Feature 1)


Feature 2)


As you can probably see my style is defiantly minimal, but with a slight twist. My main inspiration comes from magazines such as Hero and iD, as I like their use of white space and layout design. Everything looks very clean and organised, but not boring. I'm still not finished editing these layouts but I'm pleased with the results so far.

One primary difference between the second issue of yearbook and the first one is that in the new issue there will no longer be a 'news' section. From the start me and my group weren't that happy about the news section as it did not fit into the ethos of the magazine. Because we aim on making this a yearly publication, a news section wouldn't really fit in as by the time the magazine went to print the news wouldn't be relevant anymore.

Another difference with the new issue of yearbook is that many of the layouts have less limitations as the second issue has been designed with the intention of just being an online magazine. We may at some point get the funding to get the magazine published in print, but if we do then small changes may need to be made such as having images in the gutter!

Tomorrow me and my group are meeting on campus to put the magazine together and hopefully have it ready to put online!

I will update you tomorrow!

Goodbye lovelies!

13/05/2014

Learn: Case Study Development!

So, I've finally finished my case study!

All that I need to do now is edit down and review my work, create my appendices and get somebody to read over my work.

Even though I'm used to writing case studies, there are a few things that I hadn't considered doing until I was reminded in my seminar. For example the types of case studies I am used to writing are psychological studies, and obviously a journalism and literature based study is going to have some differences.The main difference that I found was how the results are written out. I'm used to writing out results for each method individually, rather than mixing all of the results together in terms of thematic categories. Once I was reminded of this in my seminar, I went back home to re-edit the study for this style.

For my appendices, I need to include a copy of my survey and interview questions, a transcription of the results I used most in my case study, and a copy of the two magazine covers that I referenced within my study.

I'm hopefully ready to hand in soon. After my tutorial tomorrow I will know if there are any more changes that I need to make to my study before I submit for marking!

I guess in terms of a "critical blog post" on my progress through this case study I would say that I'm quite proud of the hard work I've put into this study, I've paced myself nicely so haven't felt under stress and I'm ready to hand in before the deadline which is always nice! If I were to do this study again however, I would push harder to get a placement. Even though I did try extremely hard to get a placement, I would just persist more and maybe create more example articles to show to companies rather than just saying what I could write.

21/04/2014

Look: Inspiration, And While We Were Here

So recently I watched a film on Netflix called And While We Were Here and I have since become slightly obsessed with it.

Not only does the movie star one of my favorite actresses and style muses Kate Bosworth, but it is also set in the beautiful island of Ischia. I am a huge fan of films that are set in stunning locations, and as with this one I will watch them over and over again simply to take in the beauty of the location until I can travel there myself.

Also, with summer just around the corner this film has become my inspiration for my summer wardrobe. Although I don't tend to change my style much from season to season, I do like to add a few new pieces every so often to update my wardrobe. And Kate Bosworth in this film is simply stunning. From her natural makeup to her effortless casual style, she is my style icon for the coming summer months.

Below are a few screen shots I took whilst watching the movie. Every shot of the movie could be used on a post card. Even though this film is by no means fast paced and energetic, the blissful and slow paced theme fit's nicely with the summer aesthetic that it creates.





















14/04/2014

Learn: Case Study Development!

I can finally see the end of this case study in sight!

I'm currently in the process of writing up my methodology, results, conclusion and evaluation! I hope to have completely finished this by the end of tomorrow so I can start editing down my work and putting everything in order for my appendices.

I've now finished collecting all of my data for this study. I've done my content analysis of two magazines (FHM and Esquire), gotten back the replies from my two online surveys, and conducted my one-on-one interviews with three participants. So now I just need to sift through all of this data, try and establish a connection between the raw data and my initial case study question, and then draw my conclusion.

Even though the evaluation isn't needed until the end of the case study, I've already started to write it up as it was easier and more efficient to evaluate as I went along rather than leaving it all as a last thought and not really remembering what I could have done better/worse.

There's not a lot more I can really say in this post! I'm right in the middle of typing up my work so don't have much more I can say until I do my final case study post summarising the whole process of this case study and doing a brief online evaluation and retrospective look at the work that I have completed!


11/04/2014

Shop: ASOS/Urban Outfitters/TopShop Wishlist 11/04/2014!

Recently my blog has become completely dedicated to university related content and I thought it was about time I did another more casual style/music/lifestyle/inspiration post! So here is (a long overdue) post on things that I am lusting over at the moment in my three favourite shops: Topshop, Asos and Urban Outfitters!







As you can probably tell from this post, my style is still as minimal as ever! Packing to come home from university made me realise just how monochrome my wardrobe is. Under my bed I have two boxes dedicated to shirts that are black/grey, one box dedicated to white shirts and one box dedicated to my 'colourful' shirts (even then these shirts are primarily khaki green or a neutral shade of brown/pink/blue). 

However, I am attempting to branch out with my wardrobe and purchase things that have some colour to them. Most recently I did purchase a beautiful lime green/yellow coat from Topshop that is just amazing! In the future I think I'm going to make some posts dedicated to deconstructing my style and showing you all who my fashion icons/muses are. If you happen to follow me on Pinterest you will know that I have numerous boards already dedicated to my fashion favourites and spend around half an hour every day looking on the website at new inspiration!

I know I say this time and time again, but I plan on taking blogging a lot more seriously in my spare time and not just using it as a platform to talk about things I'm doing at university but also a place where I can write down my thoughts and feelings about various things happening in my personal life.