Week 5 – Making an article relevant to a new audience

An article always has an audience in mind when it’s written. So it would come as no surprise to see multiple articles related to the same subject written from a different angle and including different information.

The focal point of an article is often centred around it’s audience. For example, if the article is aimed at the general public they’ll usually focus on a purely factual based stance; if the article is written for middle aged women, different points will likely be stressed. This can be seen in many different forms of media, ranging from television to magazine articles.

A good example of this would be the portrayal of games journalism in the mainstream media. A general overview would be done of the story avoiding all industry related jargon, as to not confuse consumers who are not interested or invested in that field. A lot more background explanation of this would be explained to put the story into a more relatable context for the general public.

Below is a story relating to how Daniel Radcliffe received the job of a role in the new movie based on the game Grand Theft Auto. Now if it were to be written for mothers of teenagers it would be written from a completely different angle.

The article would not assume any prior knowledge to the creation of the film, as the original article does. It would lay ground work giving context; explaining what the film is and explain how popular the GTA franchise is and explain that it is very popular among the younger generation. In this regard, it would grab the attention of mothers who would be interested in knowing more about something related to their child’s interests.

After the initial brief overview, I feel the main focus here would be the relation to how Radcliffe got the role, choosing to present the fact that it was through a televised appearance. While fairly stereotypical, it would be worthwhile to make it more relatable by explaining (and likely implying) that the mother’s would have, most likely, seen the clip due to its becoming a viral video shared through FaceBook and other social media sites.

It would then likely follow up with information relative to Radcliffe; making it a much more personal piece relating to a very popular actor. Due to the actor growing up in the industry, many mothers are likely to have fond almost paternal like feelings towards him. Focusing more on the person and how it affects them rather than the story itself is likely to draw more attention to the story for this demographic.

Since GTA is such a big franchise (whose last game grossed higher than any film ever in history) it is likely to have been heard of so mentioning the game in the title would be beneficial to the article. However, it would be wise to refer to it as “the Grand Theft Auto movie” rather than using the colloquial abbreviation (GTA) used by fans of the franchise as it would likely not be understood by many. The article should still refer to the movie by name but make it very clear in the opening that it is “the Grand Theft Auto movie” and not refer to the film’s official title in the headline.

I would also exclude the negative comments mentioned by RockStar (the developers of the GTA franchise) which are vulgar in nature and would likely not appeal to more sensitive mothers. While this is quite a humorous and interesting comment for gamers who will likely slate the movie due to it’s inaccuracy, mothers who do not really understand the history behind the game, will likely not be as interested in this fact. There is also not much relation to a more personality driven piece and would not negatively affect the article in any way by omitting the information.

The nature of how Daniel Radcliffe got the role could also open up a discussion in the article, relating to him trying to break away from his previous role as Harry Potter. This would be a good way to transition into the basis of Daniel Radcliffe as an actor and how the nature of this role is very different from his original work.

The article would still supply the mothers with enough information to understand the story but keep their interest by exploring a different angle of the story. This would allow for the exclusion of industry jargon and keep it relatively simple; explaining it to someone who has little to no knowledge about the film’s subject material.

There is also the angle of the contrasting nature of Daniel Radcliffe going from being a child actor to doing a film based around a game that has been publicly criticised by modern media for it’s portrayal of “ultra violence”. This can then be contrasted as to previous public outrage at the genre and be used to either cause further outrage or try and calm the public; explaining that GTA is not as bad as people believe.

The article would be similar to articles found in the Daily Mail, who often cause a lot of public upset with their stories. As well as this the Daily Mail has a predominantly female audience with their readership being 60% women. Due to the controversial nature of the topic it would either spark a debate article (especially when considering how he got offered the role due to rapping on American national television), or call for a public outcry. The Mail also has a large middle class audience who could be considered to look down on a game based around  working class.

Article in question:

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/the-surprising-story-of-how-daniel-radcliffe-lande/1100-6431569/

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Week 5 – Making an article relevant to a new audience

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