To get a better idea about what type of people are reading The Star, I had a look on the Newspaper Readership Report for the Sheffield star (http://jiab.jicreg.co.uk/standardreports/paperreport.cfm?geogid=646&NoHeader=1&UID=13&SID=2.26.43.96&nslink=1&CFID=435400&CFTOKEN=59296705)

From this, I was able to conclude that the set target audience from the Sheffield Star (15-24 year olds), were the highest number of readers out of all the different age groups. However, I decided to set up a focus group in my class so that we could see what we thought about the Sheffield Star as we are in the target age range. We asked our self and others questions such as;

  • What do you like about The Star?
  • What don’t you like about The Star?
  • What other news media do you look at?
  • How can The Star be improved to attract the target audience (15-24 year olds)?

From the focus group, I have found out that a lot of people thought that the newspaper looked ‘boring’. After asking other people what they found boring about the newspaper, people said that although the newspaper is more colourful than other newspapers that they have seen such as The Daily Mail (which has a higher target audience), the colours look fairly dull because of the overall ‘dirty’ colour and quality of the paper itself.

People also said that they liked how there was a lot of visual aspects of the newspaper because the photos were rather large and took up a lot of the space on most pages rather than just text.

We thought that some of the articles in The Star related more to an older target audience which we found quite tedious. However, the stories that we found the most helpful/interesting were not as noticeable and were hidden out of the way such as the price of tram/bus prices going up by 10p.

We also said that the front cover didn’t really draw us into the magazine because the story that they had chosen to put on the front cover wasn’t very interesting to us. This would effect us on whether we would purchase The Star or not because you buy a newspaper/magazine based on what you see on the front, and if it doesn’t appeal to you, you wont buy it.

We thought of some ideas on how we can improve The Star. One of them being to include freebies such as coupons and vouchers for stores, gigs and clubs for the local area. We thought this would be a good idea because this is the difference between newspapers and magazines as magazines seem to be more successful in terms of younger people buying them.

We also thought it would be beneficial to have a social media section and also so that it doesn’t just include news related information, it could have more hobby related subjects and articles about this sort of stuff (music, film, fashion etc).

From doing this focus group, I can conclude that when I write my articles for The Sheffield Star, I need to write about things that will relate to more of a younger target audience. My three ideas are:

  • A story about a local man who is cycling from London to Paris for charity
  • Top tips for people who are moving away to university e.g cake in a cup or putting .cling film over your crockery to avoid cleaning up.
  • 10 vegan makeup products you should know about.
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