Wednesday, 6 May 2015

#Blog Alert Vox Pox

oh how I hate the voice of the people, for those of you who feel the need to know a Vox Pop or in Latin - Vox Populi translates as 'Voice of the People.'  Every now and again Broadcast Journalists leave the security of their air-conditioned studios and thrust a microphone in the general direction of those 'ordinary' unwashed souls that inhabit the streets of out fair land.

I am pleased to report this is a method of journalism that is seldom used now, but seems to rear its ugly meaningless spouting head come General Election time.

The Vox Pop is hateful thing to do,  I once stood in Oxford Street in London asking questions about Angela Rippon.  The mere sight of me wielding a bulky tape machine and microphone, caused people to jump out in front of buses to avoid coming into contact with me.

Asking a handful of people about what they think adds very little substance to a news story. They teach you in journalism school to try and get a balance of diverse opinions to give some kind of accreditation to a vox pop.  Something that is impossible to do, as you only generally ended up with about four usable people.

But they are a quick and easy way of filling a report up, but it's all a manipulation of public opinion.  Despite your morals telling you to be fair and balanced, you really want to use the mad lady that says she is voting for the Cheese party. 

When I worked at ITN, they were and still are based in Gray's Inn Road so when a hapless journo staggered out of the building to record a vox pop viewers or listeners were treated to the kind of people that happen to pass the studio's in Gray's Inn Road.

For the most part they were either legal types working in the Inns of Court or drunken Irish people falling out of the large Irish social centre opposite.  Not really a balanced or fair example of society.

Very rarely does a vox pop add to a piece, occasionally you can find interesting and amusing people in the street. But not in any way is it an example of public opinion. 

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