Print Media in The Digital Age

A Media Ecology or Ecosystem?

Starter Question…

How does a magazine aimed at young people survive in an age when its audience gets most of its entertainment, social interaction, information and personal identity online?

Answer – it doesn’t!

Case Study – Teen Vogue

In 2018 Teen Vogue stopped running a print edition!

What are the implications of this?

How does a magazine survive when a significant portion of its revenue comes from the sale of the physical magazine?


In pairs explore the design and analyse the features of Teen Vogue’s online content and ask yourself – ‘how is the content working to engage the audience and how is it making money?’

Be prepared to answer the following questions:

  1. What is the colour scheme used in by Teen Vogue?
  2. What is the design of the Teen Vogue Masthead?
  3. What sort of issues and articles does it cover?
  4. What sort of images accompany the articles?
  5. What tone of voice does the headlines and copy adopt?
  6. What adverts pop up on their platforms?
  7. How does the content encourage clicks and shares?

Key Note Articles

Read through the article and use it to develop your answers and answer the following essay.

Follow up with this article from the BBC about winners and losers in magazine sales.

Essay (750 words)

‘New media will eventually replace traditional media.’ To what extent do you agree with this statement? You should refer to print media in your answer.

Structure the Essay
  1. Introduction and Context
    • Why are media institution moving online?
    • Name your case studies and identify the institutional context.
  2. Which online platforms are publishers using to reach an audience?
    • How does print media make its money and how does this change with the move online?
    • How is advertising placed and targeted in online platforms?
    • What is the importance of clicks, shares and audience participation?
  3. Why is branding still important online?
    • How is brand identity constructed online?
    • How is this integrated and coherent across platforms?
    • How are images and copy used to attract, interest and engage the audience?
  4. How does online content broaden audience appeal?
    • What sort of stories and issues are featured?
    • What ‘tone of voice’ do online publishers use in their headlines and copy?
  5. The Future of Online Publishing
    • What future do newspapers and magazines have in the online age?
    • Is there anything to worry about in terms of our freedom of expression?

So what am I up against?

You need to understand the market for your magazine.  This task will require you to do some research into what is available currently as print magazines and also online for your genre of music.

You will then analyse their formats and content to give you some ideas of where and how your magazine will need to be compiled.


  • Use this document to craft your narrated response.  Take a copy.
  • Then illustrate a google slideshare with plenty of examples, photos, inserts, screen shots, snips tools of the competition.
  • Save this presentation as a pdf and then import into
  • Narrate your commentary over the top of the slideshare making sure the images are relevant to your examples on the slides.
  • Embed the voicethread into your blog.

Star Image

Representation and Ideology.


  • The Star Image game.

TASK 2 – The Theory. 

  • This slideshow below tries to explain what representation means and how we can use music star image to illustrate the concept. Also this will act as research into the design of your own star, which you will be photographing in the week beginning 18th November.


Create a Prezi on the representation of a star.

  • Choose ONE music star who would feature in your genre of magazine.
  • Take a copy of this Prezi.
  • Find examples from a range of media texts surrounding your star (their meta-narrative).
  • For each of your media texts include a description of how they are represented through the image,the tweet, the article, the lyric…
  • How is the star image represented, portrayed, conveyed?
    • What is implied, inferred, suggested?
    • Underline or bold every adjectives and every time you use the term represent or a synonym.
    • Illustrate with photos, screen shots and examples to make it less of an essay.

TASK 4 – Design Your Star

Create a Google slide with images of what you would like your cover model to wear….include hair, make up, jewellery, accessories, costumes and any relevant props. Also, indicate how you would like them to pose – their body language, gestures and facial expression to convey their meta-narrative and fit the genre.  How do you want their star image to come across? How do you want them to be represented?

My Audience Profile

Media Theory Reminder

In order to create a magazine for a specific audience you should understand what makes them tick, especially what reasons they might have for investing their time and money in your magazine.

A couple of theorists who considered this were Blumler & Katz, who suggested that there were four reasons collectively known as Uses and Gratification. Their theory describes an active audience and suggested four reasons for people to actively seek out and consume media:


Information Self education to suit personal needs; advice on practical matters; information on events or issues of personal interest; curiosity or general interest
Personal Identity Media reinforces personal values; models of behavior; content explored to challenge, adjust or affirm sense of self
Social Interaction Identify with others to gain a sense of belonging; find basis for real life interactions; substitute for real life relationships
Entertainment Escape; diversion; emotional release; filling time; aesthetic enjoyment

Audience Theory Extension

Below is a slideshow on Stuart Hall and his ‘Reception Theory’. Consider what he says about audience.  He argues that an audience decode a media text through the filter of several things:

  • Demographics
  • Psychographics
  • Situation
  • Cultural competence.

Media Theory Booklet

Here is the Theory Booklet with all of Hall’s ideas on Pages 11 and 12.


So…what am I supposed to do with all this theory?

TASK – Create a dating profile for your…

Perfect Audience Member

My Research Process

I have decided to make a magazine similar to Kerrang.

Of course I had to understand my audience and what media they consume and use this information to give me ideas for my inspiration search.

I looked at a number of back issues of Kerrang and used YouGov for artists that appeared on those front pages. I took snips of their audience’s demographics and their media consumption, particularly the other musicians/ artists / bands which cropped up. Here is my research on my audience and what media they’re into.

Do similar research for your target audience, and then decide on the following features of your audience:

  • Which other bands/artists your audience would be into?
  • What other media they would consume, fashion tastes, musical genre preferences?
  • What are their values, attitudes and beliefs they hold about what’s important in their lives and the world around them?
  • What demographics describe your audience?
    • Gender
    • Age
    • Education
    • Occupation
    • Marital status
    • Cultural background
    • What ‘communities’ do they belong to?
    • Where do they live, work and play?


Here is a handout we gave you earlier this year which describes different audience groups / communities which is helpful in reaching some conclusions about their values, attitudes and beliefs, and how to describe their communities and social groups.

Use Google slides to design a profile for your target audience which they might upload to a dating site.  You may want to use someone you know to model the profile on – although don’t use their name or photo!

Give your ideal audience an image, name, gender, relationship status, groups, status, likes, dislikes…all of this should be through the filter of music and should help describe your audience profile. Make it as detailed as possible – why not consider someone you know (do not actually use them) who likes the music, is a fan of that music/band and use them as inspiration.

Here is a template that you may wish to follow:

YOU MUST ALSO USE THIS WEBSITE: and mention it in your introduction or even better, take a snipping tool screen shot of the profile target audience for your performer.

KEY TERMS needed in your reflection

‘Preferred reading, encode, decode, oppositional reading, demographics, psychographics, cultural experience, uses and gratification, target audience, producer, target audience, entertainment, education, social interaction and personal identity etc.

Media Ecology – Social Media – the pros and cons and THE DEMO + THE TWITTER TIRADE

Facebook is one of the major players in the world of Social Media.  They have changed society and impacted hugely on how audiences and media creators interact and how news, views, information, entertainment is distributed.

However, as a hugely influential company, they have responsibilities to society too.

The founders of Facebook had the mission statement to…

‘Move Fast and Break Things’.

Now that the genie is out of the bottle, should they be saying

‘Move Fast and Fix Things’.

How does it fit within our study of Media Ecology?

Facebook and Instagram have recently made a decision to ‘hide’ likes from posts.

  • Do you think this is a good idea?
  • What was the original purpose of the ‘likes’?
  • How has it been abused and manipulated and by whom?
  • In your own personal experience, how do you view likes or ‘response’ emojis?
  • Do you feel a sense of obligation to ‘like’ photos?

With your partner, create 2 placards that you could carry in a march designed to tackle the issue of Facebook/social media in our online age.  One will be pro social media platforms and one should be anti-social media platforms.

You will have to present and explain your placard and slogan to the class. Be prepared to explain the slogan and the reasoning behind it. Having some facts and stats will help your cause.

Next week we will be taking these placards and finding case studies, evidence, proof, facts and stats to back up your ideas.  This will all be really evidence for your Media Ecology question in the exam.

An Interesting Aside


Now that you completed your placards, decide on which one of you is going to be pro social media and which one is going to be con.

Using your placard as inspiration you must now as an individual do some research:

  • Find an interesting article, news story, feature, interview, piece of research that includes some facts, stats, case studies, news that could back up your placard’s slogan.  In the exam you will always be expected to provide evidence to illustrate your ideas so this is one way of gathering some up to date and contemporary research to use in the exam.
  • In 140 characters (the old maximum for any Tweet), summarise the message you want to get across using powerful and persuasive language. Use the group moodboard that will be shared with you.
  • Embed, link, attach the article to the document for reference.
  • Add in an image of your placard to create an eye catching tweet.
  • You will then be expected to read/present your tweet to the class and sum up the contents of the article – in particular, citing a useful stat, fact, figures, case study to back up your Tweet.
  • Extension – add in a GIF/MEME if appropriate.
  • You have a week to complete this as independent study.

Here are some articles to get you going:

Is Your Smartphone Making You Sick?

6 Positive Effects Social Media Sites Have on Society

7 Ways That Social Media is Affecting Us Positively



Magazine Audience and Brand Identity


What is the first thing you notice about a magazine cover on the shelves? Image or Name (Masthead)? Probably both, but the image and the masthead are vital design features to catching the reader’s eye and standing out amongst all the other titles on the shelves.

Together they form an instantly recognisable BRAND.

You can see from these mastheads how different they are in size, typography, language and tone. They are clear codes and connotation as to what the magazine is going to contain, the genre or music and therefore attractive to a certain target audience – a certain demographic. This is its BRAND IDENTITY and should be obvious from the front page of the magazine.

Masthead and Brand Identity

Click to see a range of Music Magazine Mastheads

You will be allocated a music magazine cover from the slideshow and it is your challenge to do some research about that magazine’s intended target audience.


Using the site and the profiles section, find the magazine (or the band from the main cover line / image) and insert the audience profile by using the snipping tool.


Then do some research as to the mission statement of that magazine. (google it)


Use this audience segmentation sheet to see if you can allocate a certain group to the intended target audience of your magazine and explain why in your annotations.  You will have to apply your ideas.  Reflect on who the target audience is and the evidence you have for this.

You will have to research typical fans for any of the artists on the front cover or inside. This too will give you an idea of who the audience is.


Embed the slide in Audience Profiling and reflect on what you have done, why you have done it and where it will take you.


Your teacher will share an editable class copy of this slideshow in classroom for you to to complete one slide of.

Blog Posts up to 13/9/19

Make sure you have the following blog posts done and dusted by Monday 16th September so that we can march on.

Make sure you reflect, review and also put the learning in context – where and how might it be helpful?  How might it relate to you as a media producer of a Music Magazine?

Also, remember to categorise the posts so that they appear in the right category. Check the blog league and ensure you turn the posts white if you want them to be marked.

The Brief Copied and pasted from the departmental blog on the home page HOME PAGE
So… Hello Media Studies What are you hoping to learn? What skills do you already have? What skills do you think media studies could help you with in other walks of your life i.e. transferrable skills like communication, time management etc. CCR1
The Media Ecology. Map of concepts and mediascape. Photo (jpeg) of your Ecology component and one of your lego land. Reflection on Media Ecology as a whole and then how your Magazine fits into this system and what you will need to be mindful of when producing it. CCR1
So…I’m a media prosumer A collage of the Media that defines you. Comment on how far it fits Blumler & Katz Uses & Gratification theory. And how will this impact on your own magazine production ideas? CCR1

The Media Ecology

Lesson 1

You whot?

Wiki says: ‘the study of media, technology, and communication and how they affect human environments.’


Some symbiotic relationships within an ecosystem:

Cleaner Bird & Crocodile

Meanwhile, the crocodile is also benefitting from this arrangement. Food stuck in the mouth of the crocodile can cause infection, and the plover bird’s picking cleans the crocodile’s teeth. Therefore, when a crocodile needs its mouth cleaned, it will open it and wait for the plover bird’s help

Clown fish & sea anemone

The clownfish and the sea anemone help each other survive in the ocean. The clownfish, while being provided with food, cleans away fish and algae leftovers from the anemone. In addition, the sea anemones are given better water circulation because the clownfish fan their fins while swimming about




GLOBAL Oceanic Currents + Tides

TASK 1: Create your own system – interdependency, symbiosis

Lego Lands:  in a group, using lego, create a ‘world’, ‘place’, ‘business’, ‘community’, ‘machine’ or a ‘system’ where the components are all linked and rely on each other – are interdependent.  Could be a shop, park, house, business, airline, forest, pond etc.

Talk the class through your ‘ecosystem’ once you have completed it.

A Media Ecology or Ecosystem?


In pairs your teacher will allocate one component from the Media Ecology listed in the slideshow.

Consider the significance of your component and thing of three arguments as to how it might work with or effect other components within the system.  You will have to do some research.


‘Our component of the Media Ecology is most important/significant because…’

Lesson 2

Create a info-graphic or diagram which includes all the components in the Media Ecology and show at least one IMPACT, BENEFIT OR RELATIONSHIP that each component has with (at least) one other…


Read this article about how behaviours of the younger audience are having a dramatic effect on the Media Ecology


My Media Consumption/Prosumption Collage

Get into the habit of reading up about your next  Media Lesson. It will be interesting to see how many of you actually logged in to our website this weekend, as requested, to have a look at it.  If you are reading this, then well done. This is a really good sign.

In Lesson 1 you will be creating a collage with a minimum of 15 – 20 pictures that illustrate what you read, watch and listen to.  In other words what media do you consume? When you watch, listen and read, you are called a CONSUMER.

Also, what media do you contribute to?  What apps, blogs, social media do you add texts, status and click and likes to?  When you interact and contribute to the media, you are called a PROSUMER.

Here is the exemplar we showed you in class: Click on the thumbnail to get a bigger version.


Here’s a snazzy new and improved for 2019 example – WITH some ideas about Blumler & Katz – bonus.

Then in Lesson 2 you will use the Uses and Gratification terms from Blumler and Katz, indicate which of these media you use for ENTERTAINMENTPERSONAL IDENTITY, SOCIAL INTERACTION or  EDUCATION AND INFORMATION.  Just add in a E, PI, SI, I – remember some of them you engage with for multiple reasons.

This is an example of Mrs C’s media consumption, prosumption – and what she gets out of it.

You only need about 6 of these to show that you understand how media is used for various reasons.

You should complete the collage using a google slide and then save it as a pdf – it will be your first blog post!


Remember always to introduce the post but do not be tempted to start ‘in this task we did….’. Try and weave in some personal observations, reflections and most of all some terms to show you ‘get it’, you understand why you have completed this piece of research and what you have learnt from it.