Newspaper Research: Target Audience Analysis

What is a target audience?
A target audience consists of individuals, groups or communities who influence the intended 'target' of a media. Newspapers attempt to appeal to certain target audiences by fulfilling the specific needs and interests of a target audience within its news stories, political bias etc.

Who are the target audience of Newspapers?
The target audience of a newspaper varies based on a number of different factors. The best way to identify the target audience of a newspaper is to use the technique 'RIVALING' which stands for Representation, Institution, Values, Audience, Language, Ideology, Narrativ e and Genre. Representation - is the denotation of people, places and events to convey hidden connotations in newspapers. It is how the audience is represented to themselves within a newspaper by expressing their interests, needs and points of view. Institution - A media institution is a large group of people who work for the same company to produce various platforms of media. Newspaper institutions are usually responsible for the production, publishing and distribution of a newspaper. Examples of famous media institutions include Apple, Sony, Nike, Disney etc. Values - The values of a newspaper are constructed by the interests of its target audience. The quality, structure and content of a newspaper are adapted to the needs of the target audience. Audience - An audience is the most vital aspect that ultimately decides the successfulness and survival of a newspaper. There is a powerful bond between a newspaper and its readers and without that target audience, a newspaper would have no market to appea l to. Language - The language of a newspaper is designed upon the demographics of its target audience. Semiotics is also a convention that describes how a newspaper is constructed through the careful use of signs, codes and symbols.

Ideology - is a set of aims, beliefs or morals a newspaper and audience share. Modern-day newspaper ideologies focus particularly on political influences because in recent years, politics has become more and more popular amongst a much wider audience demographic. Narrative - is how a newspaper can be read as a text in a particular format. Has the newspaper purposefully reported its news in a way that supports the interests of the target audience? Does the newspaper begin with 'hard' news or soft news? Genre - describes the classification of a newspaper/story. For example, my newspaper can be classified as a local tabloid newspaper and my lead story can be classified as a story regarding teenage health.

Who are the target audience for your researched newspaper samples?
As part of my research into audience analysis and newspaper conventions, I decided to take front and inside page samples from some of Britain's most popular local newspapers. The newspapers I studied were The Metro, Bromley Times, London Lite & the News Shopper. London Lite The target audience of the London Lite was primarily aimed at women under the age of 35. The reasons to support my judgement included the frequent use of bright colours and images of female icons along with news topics which covered fashion, beauty, health, fitness and celebrity gossip. The Metro The target audience of The Metro was directed at people commuting to and from London. It seems the majority of readers are male and their news interests span from current affairs, travel, weather, sport and politics originating from the local communities of London. Bromley Times The target audience of the Bromley Times is very similar to the target audience of the News Shopper. The newspaper is designed to represent news from within the local community of Bromley, however unlike the News Shopper, the Bromley Times incorporates news report on stories outside of

the Bromley community. The interests of the target audience mainly consist of national sport news and local 'hard' news. News Shopper The target audience of the News Shopper is directed at older aged men and women from within the local community. The newspaper rarely reports on news outside of the local community, but instead decides to focus on school fetes, councils and charity events.

Who are the target audience for your newspaper?
In order to identify the target audience for my newspaper, I must first create a 'demographic profile' by asking the following questions.
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What is the likely age of the target audience? What is the likely gender of the target audience? What is the likely ethnicity of the target audience? What is the likely educational background of the target audience? What is the likely social class of the target audience? What is the likely economic status of the target audience? What is the likely location of your target audience and will this affect the accessibility of your media product?

The demographics of my target audience:




Although the use of colour suggests masculinity and the images on the front and inside page of my newspape r represent men, the content of my news stories can relate to all teenagers of either sex within the local community. The age group of my target audience is between 13 -19 because my newspaper is designed to relate with the common needs and interests of teenagers. My newspaper does not target particular ethnic groups. Whilst I understand I have only represented white males on the front and inside pages of my newspaper, it is strictly designed to appeal to all teenagers of any ethnic background within the local community. I could assume that based on the typical age group of my target audience, the vast majority will have commitments to either compulsory or voluntary education at secondary school, college or university.


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The most likely economic status of my ta rget audience is a 'student'. However, a proportion of my target audience may have left secondary school and entered full time employment so it is important to consider the economic status of all teenagers within the local community. I also believe it is important to distribute my newspaper for free because the majority of modern-day teenagers do not have significant financial incomes. This could be due to university/college costs, a part time job with minimum pay or they may simply be too young for employm ent. My newspaper applies to social classes A, B, C1, C2 or D. It is important to consider the location of my target audience as my newspaper will consist predominantly of local news. Therefore it will not be distributed outside of the local community beca use the news stories will only be relevant to my target audience within the surrounding community.

Modern-day audiences are often more complex and difficult to categorise. Therefore, in order to categorise and gain a greater understanding of a target audience, I can use a technique originally developed by the market research and advertising industry called the 'VALS system'. The values system considers factors concerning attitudes, lifestyles and values of an audience.

The psychographics of my target audience:
Values: ACTUALISERS: Dynamic people for whom image and appeal is important as an expression of individuality. This enforces the stereotypical evaluation of teenagers. Rebellious, ever-changing personalities who obsess over their image as a way of demanding respect and recognition from their peers. EXPERIENCERS: Young, impulsive and highly -strung individuals who are determined to live in the moment. They spend large amounts of money on desired but not essential products/services such as clothing, DVD's, CD's, fast food etc. STRIVERS: Usually unsure and insecure of themselves and have low financial incomes. They continuously strive for approval from others around them by obtaining items of extremely high value, most of which they cannot af ford.

Attitudes: TRENDIES: Those who crave admiration from their peers. EGOISTS: Those who personify themselves through egotistic attitudes. REBELS: Those who go against the rulings of society and wish to re -design the world in their image. GROUPIES: Desperately seek acceptance and nothing else. COWBOYS: Individuals who want easy money with minimal effort. DROP-OUTS: Reject any kind of commitments.

Lifestyles: MAINSTREAMERS: Follow the 'status quo'. Do not want to stand out from the crowd. INDIVIDUALISTS: Very independent individuals who make efforts to separate themselves from the crowd.

How will you measure the success of your product's appeal to its target audience?
I will assess the impact my newspaper has on its target audience by uploading images of my front and second page onto my facebook account . The reason so that anyone can provide feedback on what they think is good or what they think needs changing. The comments are vital to the success of my newspaper and all comments will be considered thoroughly.