This week, one of the skills I’ve learned includes using Adobe InDesign to recreate a newspaper page from an actual newspaper. What I did was pick an existing newspaper page and re-create the layout, text, colours, format and pictures on it as close to the real thing as possible. But what I also had to do was measure each picture, text/text box and even the perimeter of the newspaper page itself because I wanted it to be as close to the real thing and so that if it was printed out, it would come out as close to it as possible too. Within the media industry, this can be applied to jobs such as newspaper and magazine designers and even journalists who specialise in photography since they will need to understand how to arrange different items and text to make them look professional and readable. This task this week required a number of skills- most of them were used in Adobe InDesign and involved applying the text in the font(s) and colour(s) that resembled the one on the actual newspaper page. This also applied to the pictures, text boxes and the overall layout of the page. But in order to achieve a perfect copy of the original, I had to measure everything (in millimetres) and apply them to the page size and the sizes of all the components. This was a vital skill which I had to use but is definitely used widely in the industry because means that the components of the newspaper page (pictures, text, headlines) can be placed into their correct positions based on their sizes/measurements and if the correct newspaper page size is put into the software, it means that when it gets printed, the layout will fill up on the page perfectly with no large spaces or careless overlapping. And the purpose of the skills I use in Adobe InDesign was to ensure that my copy of the newspaper page looked almost exactly like the original. For example, all the basic tools like the column tool, text and fonts tool, getting the pictures of the correct sizes ad quality, and entering the size of the page that I required too.
Another skills we learned this week was understanding how different forms of punctuation and grammar are used in pieces of writing to make them of a professional standard. This particular skill included using punctuation like colons, semi-colons, commas and capital letters in their correct places as well as understanding WHY they’d be used in this way too. This skills is of absolute importance in jobs such as any journalism, radio and interview scripts and when it comes to writing the actual report or article because if there are any spelling, punctuation and/or grammar mistakes, it makes the whole piece look very unprofessional and somewhat childish as well. And with grammar, it’s very important to put apply this correctly because it needs to written in a way that will make sense to the audience but also relates to the topic. In the industry, the workers or journalists producing the articles or scripts will most probable have proof-readers who would check their work before publication to ensure that all grammar, punctuation and even tenses are perfect. However, the overall purpose of these skills is to ensure that the best quality of the reports and articles are recognised by the target audience and that no grammatical errors including punctuation make their way into any form of writing or any form of media.
And finally, we also learned how to recognise and see what makes an ‘active’ news headline and what it actually means for a news headline to be ‘active’. This also applied to opening paragraphs and possibly sub-headings for news reports. We learned that it meant a headline would be containing verbs but also what the point of the report is; where the action has occurred and at what time the action happened.
And any active headline/opening paragraph contains all these elements in less than or in 25 words. This skill (just like the grammar and punctuation) applies to many jobs within the media industry such as journalism, radio reporting possibly and the writer who produces the final report/article. Learning how to use these skills is extremely useful and important because by just reading the headline and/or opening paragraph, it basically summarises the whole report in less than 25 words. This may make it easier for the reader to understand what the article is about rather than reading massive whole chunks of information and possibly becoming confused. An active headline also includes the three main points of the report as well, so it gives the reader a choice to decide whether or not they want to carry on reading, since all the information is given to them in 25 words or less- before they’ve even begun reading properly!