Thursday, May 24, 2012

Magazine - Critical Reflection

To begin my research for the two magazine spreads I began searching the two places in which news, and events travels fast: Facebook and Twitter. I came across an awareness day and began to look into any upcoming awareness days or weeks in which to write an article upon. I discovered Foster Care Fortnight was due to commence from the 14th-27th May 2012.

Writing about an awareness day appealed to me, as I wanted to not only raise awareness but also to obtain a case study specific to the fortnight in order to being the campaign to life.

Having the dates set in stone I decided to contact the Foster Network to request as much information as they could offer about the fortnight and any facts and figures regarding fostering within the UK. I decided to write this article in such a way as to deliver as much information about the fortnight, with also a case study from someone who has not only been a foster child but who is also a foster carer now. I obtained this case study through contacting Foster Network. Having been unsuccessful in obtaining a first hand account from someone who had or is currently being fostered I was able to obtain a case study from Foster Network. By including this within the article, the reader is more likely to respond to the figures displayed throughout the article as they relate to someone who has experienced being fostered.

This article is set out with the majority of the text written in standard columns, and offsetting the case study to emphasise it. Information of how to become a foster carer was displayed in a text box and written in bullet points to ensure the reader had clear and concise information. In addition to the text boxes, I used the technique, ‘pullout quote’ for the figures relating to the number of foster carers needed currently. This is highly effective in drawing the reader’s attention to important aspects of an article. This technique was influenced by numerous ‘real life’ stories throughout Chat, Take a Break and Closer.

Foster Network sent the pictures I have used following a request to use both the pictures and the logos for Foster Network and Foster Care Fortnight - permission was given for all pictures. I decided to use an image of a boy alone looking quite upset, as this portrays the child being unhappy at home and reinforces the awareness campaign. The second image I chose to use was of a boy with a foster carer. Showing both the boy and the carer happy with each other shows the power of having a loving carer – again enforcing the awareness campaign.

This article is suitable for a magazine such as Woman and Home. This magazine targets successful women with positive outlooks. Presenting such women with an opportunity to begin fostering would be beneficial to the awareness campaign of the fortnight. [1]

The second article was based on a student teacher having the opportunity to teach in The Gambia for two weeks. This article is in the style of a confessional interview. I discovered this by talking to people in and around the university who explained how six Primary Education students had taken a trip to The Gambia to teach for two weeks. I subsequently contacted Laura Crane to request an interview. The interview took place in Laura’s home and was recorded on a dictaphone. I transcribed the interview and found it included many strong aspects which were needed for this type of story. The interview included emotions, thoughts and experiences which are key to writing an confessional interview in the first person. I wanted to obtain strong quotes to illustrate the experience clearly to the reader.

The article focuses both on the experience of a country contrasting England with regards to our wealth, as well as a student developing her experiences to benefit the children she will teach and consequently aiding her future career. The main aspect which portrays the experience of the country were the pictures obtained following the interview. These images were taken by Laura whilst in Gambia and consent was given to use the pictures alongside the article. I decided to use a picture of Laura whilst with the pupils, the students undertaking a task set by Laura – described within the article – and a picture of the pupils together as a class.

This article was structured to firstly present emotions prior to the trip before divulging into the experience and explaining it from a first hand account.

This article is suitable for Glamour Magazine. Although Glamour focuses on current events related to beauty, fashion, health and relationships it encourages women to succeed in the workplace. [2] This includes articles explaining how to secure a desired job following graduation. This article is very much representative of young women completing their university degree with the experience and drive to want to have a successful career.

The Foster Care Fortnight article could have been further improved with a case study that I had discovered. Being able to interview someone myself regarding their experiences whilst being fostered could have brought more emotion to the article and gained more awareness of fostering which is the essence of the awareness fortnight.

The Gambia interview I feel could have been more indulgent into Laura’s thoughts about people from under privileged countries. Because Laura mentioned the stereotypes of Africa generally it would have been much stronger if I would have been more inquisitive into her thoughts and stereotypes before and after the trip – making it a stronger confessional interview.

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