Vox Pops – Worth the Effort?

Today we were asked to go produce vox pops. These are the bits of most news items where the reporter asks Joe and Josephine Public about the issue at hand. Whilst sometimes entertaining, I’ve never really seen the point in them. Does anyone care what Barry from Darlington has to say about the Syrian crisis? Why does Doris get to comment on stem cell research when she thinks stem cells are a baking item? So today was an interesting chance to see them from the production side.

We set about campus trying to find anyone willing to be recorded, and somehow acquired some reasonable quality audio. So what did I learn from it?

  1. People are pretty helpful, and love the chance to say their opinions into a mic.
  2. Interrupting people in headphones is not worth the effort. Instead ambush smokers or anyone ambling along slowly
  3. When asked to pick a story for ‘vox-popping’, don’t pick one that requires much knowledge. Though you would think students would know a bit more about Jeremy Corbyn.
  4. Vox-pops are actually pretty handy. They add some flavour to your work and help link even the most highbrow of issues to your audience. Even if the differences in David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn’s policies on inequality is boiled down to Cameron being up his own arse.

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