Monday, 30 November 2009

The Guardian and Absolute Radio

The Guardian newspaper and Absolute radio both deliver the news on a relatable level. The articles are clearly aimed at their respective audiences and are done so very well.
Absolute Radio (first broadcast in 1993), has a large news coverage on sports, traffic and travel. A spectrum devoted to it’s self proclaimed target audience of male 25-44 year olds. This target audience is catered to in forms of adverts, competitions and news coverage. The local traffic updates are sponsored by Renault car company-a fact repeated before and after the 5-minute broadcast. The competitions run by the station have names such as “Rock and Roll Football”, in which the prizes are tickets to football matches or local motorbike shows. The station functions by appealing to the stereotypical side of a man, while also taking into account that people such as taxi drivers are majoritively men within their target age group.
The news; broadcast at five, is short, factual and to the point. Called “Your daily `Up To Dates`” the news is given in an almost bulletin format. Quotes from other sources are frequently used in order to emphasise points and to expand the bulletins. Current news often covers the basics of politics and recent headlines. However, after the current affairs section, another part of the news is broadcast solely for sport. With Absolute being connected with Sky News, this information could possibly be assessed as being the most accurate and up to date of all the radio stations. This sports coverage is predominantly football. A very male and at the same time British sport. Based in London, its traffic coverage is devoted to not only central London, but areas such as the West Midlands and Warwickshire as well. These traffic updates are at regular 15 minute intervals during the approximated time of rush hour.

The Guardian paper, (founded in 1821), offers a wide variety of stories from local, to global. This is achieved by it’s many sections on topics such as sport, G2, media, and education. The largest part of the paper covers current affairs as well as any competing paper-but at the same time offers a variety for anyone to peruse at their own leisure.
Advertising rates are fairly reasonable, with the most expensive reaching a point of £17,000. This price is for a double page spread in color. The prices gradually decrease through prices such as £12,000 for an outside or an inside back cover, £9000 for a single page until finally £50 earns you a loose insert. There was roughly about £2000 difference between having color or black and white, with a 10% increase on anything you want to remain permanent.

The Guardian claims to have a target audience of financially aware individuals with a high income. This is reflected in its articles about the economy and current finances. Although other papers do also touch upon this topic, none go into such great detail as The Guardian; with articles spanning the entire length and width of the broadsheet page. The Guardian also claims that their readers travel frequently; with four out of five having flown in the past 12 months. This is emphasised in the papers global sections. Sections such as G2 have regular articles on places as far as Australia and Pakistan.
With an audience that supposedly has an income “double” the UK national average-reviews are printed in the paper on stores like Harrods. Opinions on Harrods new Christmas selection and decoration. The journalists are aware where their target audience would most probably shop and use it to their advantage. As a tabloid would have an advert for a supermarket, the Harrods article acts in it’s way like an overly elaborate advertisement.

The Guardians current main focus is Global Warming and the environment. Although it doesn’t take a stance or an opinion; it leaves the topic open to debate and has frequently posted conflicting articles. Though a recent article strongly suggested the idea of Global Warming was a farce-a recent booklet contains information on how to save the environment. With headlines such as “Green Buildings and the challenge of carbon reduction”, and “Concrete Cool: the most energy efficient material?”. This further reflects the Guardians variety and ability for discussion and debate. It doesn’t prejudice, it merely prints ideas and topics that may be of interest.
The Guardian is owned by The Scotts Trust Foundation- an organisation that is set up to prevent other people buying out the paper. In this sense, the paper retains an almost family feel to it. Again, reflected in it’s many articles on personal experiences as well as current news. Articles such as Mohsin Hamid’s article “Time to Move the Family to Pakistan”, share the same space as articles raising awareness for endangered animals. Articles that bring to light new art exhibitions for up and coming artists are within pages of articles about politicians and the current economy.

There is no necessary order in which to read these articles and features within the paper. The topics covered each have their own booklet; almost like a seperate paper dedicated to it. In this way, readers can read the content in their own order. Although the front page is always devoted to a current news story; in this way the paper can succesfully compete with others.
Both these forms of media are united in their sense of community, enabling the public to get involved as well as being an informative part of your day. In comparison to other media forms, they bear similarites but at the same time play more to their niche audiences than to the majority of the public. From past experience, many a reader of different papers had no idea that The Guardian was as varied as it is. The paper encourages people to write in their own articles as there is many a topic to choose from, and Absolute hosts many competitions, as well as leaving their stations to meet their listeners. Both forms of broadcast are relatable, as opposed to being just a detached form of morning media.

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