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.

10/04/2014

Learn: Case Study Development!

So after having a few days break from working on my case study, I'm back to business!


Today I have started to go through copies of FHM and Esquire in order to conduct a semiotic analysis of the content of these magazines and also to run a general content analysis. The purpose of this is to try and establish the true nature of these magazines compared to the assumptions made by those that took part in my online survey, and see how the sections of the magazines are divided up and whether or not some sections are far more prominent than others.

Alongside this, I will also be conducting my one-on-one interviews with participants to provide more rich and in depth data into the way people view these magazines in a modern day setting. Also, as these participants are not going to be journalism students it will mean they are not assessing the magazines or answering a questions through a certain lens. The way they interact with a magazine will be due to different conditions to myself, meaning that the data I collect will be more representative of the real life day-to-day consumers of these magazines rather than me picking up a magazine and using my own knowledge of the industry to influence my reading and analysis of the product.

As you can see, at the moment I'm going through the main chunk of my work so everything is starting to get a little bit more hectic! However, I have divided up my time well so will be all set to start summarising, concluding and evaluating this case study before I return back to university after Easter!

02/04/2014

Learn: Case Study Development

Hello once again lovelies!

So I have nearly reached the halfway point in my case study, the 2000 word mark. So far I have completed the introduction, methodology, ethical considerations, background, theoretical context sections and I am in the middle of writing up a brief literature review. I tend to overwrite when it comes to academic papers, so I can see myself writing past the word limit. But it's better to have written to much and to edit down then it is to not write enough!

The next thing I need to do is finish collecting the data for this study. So far in terms of data collecting, I have emailed members of staff at various magazines and I am hoping to hear back soon. I have made an online survey to gather peoples general feelings towards 'lads' mags and I have also bought copies of magazines to carry out a content/semiotic analysis. All that's left to do is write questions for at least two one-on-one interviews to hopefully get a more in depth look at how people react to these magazines.

Next week I plan on gathering all the data that I have so far and analysing it for it to be put into the case study. The sections that I have left to write up include:
  • Collecting data (a brief summery of how I collected the data including; what my questions were in my interviews, showing images of magazine pages that I analysed etc)
  • Evaluating and analysing data (this will be quite a large section of the case study, as I will explain what my findings mean and how they relate to my initial assumptions from the start of the study, explaining what the implications of my findings are)
  • Conclusion/summary of results (what can I infer from my findings, are there any strong conclusions I can make from my results, how do my results compare to similar studies carried out)
  • Evaluation (summarising the case study, what did I do well and if I were to do the study again what would I do differently)
I hope all of you guys are having a nice Easter break so far! I will update you again next week!

25/03/2014

Learn: Case Study Development

So I'm in the second week of the Easter Holidays and after having a week off so I could enjoy relaxing for a while, I have decided to get a move on with this case study!

Even though I did spend a majority of last week watching The Office US on Netflix, I did spend some time preparing various pieces of work for this case study. For example I created two surveys online for people to fill out in regards to their attitudes towards lads mags (and if you are reading this and would also like to help out, here are the links!)

This survey is to be completed by people that do read 'lads' mags
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BT97N2X

And this survey is to be completed by people that do not read 'lads' mags
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BXZ2HMJ

I also spent some time writing down the basic structure that my case study is going to take. I have created case studies before when I was in college, however they were for my psychology A level so there will be some slight differences in the way I create/present my work. So far the basic structure of my case study is going to be:
  • Introduction
  • Literature reviews
  • Collecting the data
  • Evaluating and analysing data
  • Conclusion/summary of results and how they compare to original research question
  • Evaluation
  • Bibliography
  • Appendices

This week, I aim to finish my introduction and literary reviews and send off emails to various staff working at my chosen magazines. I also plan on writing down interview questions for at least two people so I can have a more in depth understanding of their views of these magazines. I want to interview at least one male who does read 'lad' mags and one female that doesn't read 'lad' mags.

Today however, I am going to focus on writing down notes from my chosen books so I can then move forward with my introduction and literary review. The books that I am using for this project are:
  • Getting Away With It (The Inside Story Of Loaded) - Tim Southwell
  • Masculinity and Men's Lifestyle Magazines - (edited by) Bethan Benwell
  • Representing Men -Ben Crewe
  • Making Sense Of Men's Magazines - Peter Jackson, Nick Stevenson, Kate Brooks

 So that's pretty much everything, I better get on with this work! I will keep you all updated on the progress of my work!

12/03/2014

Learn: Yearbook Online! Part 4

Hello!


So this week has been a much more chilled out week for everyone at yearbook! It has mainly consisted of everyone in the group chasing up people to see if they want to be in the magazine and seeing when they will be available for interviews. So far I've already confirmed a couple of people, so now it's just a case of constructing the interview questions and then writing up the answers afterwards.

Because this is the last week of sessions before my university breaks up for Easter, it has meant that I have had to ensure that everyone knows what work they need to complete for when we return. Also, if people are struggling for idea's it means that we have time whilst we are away to come up with idea's for content and features.

Even though we are still in the very early stages of the second issue, so far I am confident that everything will come together as well as, and even more smoothly than before!

My aim is to have completed 2000 words of content (this including two features, a news story and a review) by the time I come back to University so when I am back in the sessions I can dedicate my time to putting everything through InDesign onto a layout. I will also use this time after Easter to help out anyone in my group that is either still unsure on what to write up for content, not confident with InDesign or just offer general help to anyone who needs it! My other aim after Easter is to have all of the content so far written down, along with developing ideas so I can put everything into a flat plan so when it comes to putting the magazine together we already have a pretty good idea of the content flow.

Like I said, this week has been pretty chilled out so this post has been pretty short and sweet!

06/03/2014

Yearbook issue 1 finally online!



So here it is guys! Yearbook issue one is finally online and ready for all you lovely people to read! I'm aware that there are one or two minor typos on some pages but honestly after the amount of time spent editing this issue the fact that only two typos made it past me is quite good for the first issue!


So yes! Here is the magazine! Read it, share it, talk about it!
Issue two is being made right now so you will only have to wait a couple of months to see the issue two!



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