Week 2 – Vox Pops: Transcription and Evaluation

Interview preparation – Group Work

What information are you looking to gather from this interview?

People’s opinions on Jeremy Corbyn.

List the questions/questions you will be asking?

How do you view Jeremy Corbyn as a politician?

Are they open-ended or closed questions? Why?

Open-ended because it means that the interviewee can give a detailed answer, and opens up conversation and allows for a broad answer.

Explain how you made sure you used neutral questions?

The question is balanced as there in no emotive language is used.

Provide a written summary that introduces the topic you are covering. This is to be read to interviewees that have no prior knowledge of your interview’s subject matter (to bring them up to speed).

Jeremy Corbyn has recently been elected as the leader of the Labour Party. He has been in the news a lot recently regarding his views and ideals towards issues such as the migrant crisis “How do you view Corbyn as a Politician?”

Vox Pop Interviews answering the question – “How do you view Jeremy Corbyn as a Politician?”

“Best thing to happen to British politics in like forever. When everyone else wanted to raise taxes for the poor and lower them for the rich and everything like that, he was fighting against the Apartheid and bringing about nice things”

“I feel he is very different to other politicians that are currently that currently surround him, whether he will survive as a Politician is down the media and that is not a good thing.”

“He’s useless. That’s it.”

“I think he’s a bit of a d**k head to be honest, like when he first joined, he went to the Pub straightaway.”

“I like him as a Politician because as far as I’m aware, he seems to have stuck to his political opinions and his standpoints – he’s stopped them. Lots of Politicians have changed their tactics depending on the current mood of the country. I don’t know, I could be wrong, he seems to have kept the same thing going; same opinions, same views. One of the things I like about him is that he appeals to the things that I care about. Things like Palistein, he’s a big supporter of that cause. He has the courage to stand up and speak about his views. He’s got my respect for that. As far as I’m aware he’s got an honest mind and if people don’t like it, that’s fine because that’s why we have democracy and stuff.”

“Well he’s different for a start. I don’t think that he has enough backing in terms of young people and trying to get them engaged. As a Politician, I’d like to see him do something for the Labour Party, being the President of the Union here, it’s important that he does speak out to younger people and that he does speak for Trade Unionism, especially against all the cuts the Tori’s are making. I admit I didn’t vote for him but it’ll be interesting to see where he comes. He has a more left wing approach, which at the end of the day, is getting more people engaged. I mean membership has gone up, which is a good thing so maybe he is the one to lead us to a 2020 victory.”

“I feel that he is radical and stubborn in a good way and that he’s sticking to what he’s promised. I feel that Labour needs a shake up because to me it’s drifted more and more right wing, where I was always told that Labour was left wing but I didn’t see it, so right now it needs to be shaken up.”

Evaluation of interview technique

Week 2 – Vox Pops: Transcription and Evaluation

Week 2 – Interviewing and Vox Pop Practice

Interview questions relating to England’s Rugby loss to Wales on Saturday 26/09/2015

  1. What do you think of Wales’ recent victory over England?
  2. What do you think of Rugby in general?
  3. Do you think England have a good chance against Australia considering the injuries sustained by several members of the English team in their game against Wales
  4. If England lose to Australia we will be the first nation to not qualify while hosting the event, how do you think this will affect the team’s morale in the upcoming match?
  5. Many have blamed the loss on Chris Robshaw’s decision to go for a kick to the corner rather than going for a tri which could have secured a draw, do you agree and why?

Answers from Vox Pop style interview

  1. I think it’s a shame really we started off well and we just have to try our best to win against the Australians.
  2. It’s boring and a brutal sport, I would never play it myself – when I think of Rugby I think of big bulky guys with missing teeth.
  3. No to be perfectly honest, Australia have bigger players when compared to England I guess it depends on whose injured and available to play against Australia
  4. In some ways it’ll give more of a push to win but on the other hand if we lose we lose, it just shows we’re crap at sport.
  5. In some ways I’d agree going for a safer option makes more sense. It’s like gambling if you go for the win you could lose it all or play it safe and go away with a draw.

5 useful quotes from interviews

“We just have to try our best to win against the Australians”

“It’s boring and a brutal sport”

“If we lose it just shows we’re crap at sport”

“It’s like gambling if you go for the win you could lose it all”

“I would never play it myself”

Flash Article

England’s Rugby match Saturday proved to be a very difficult time for fans, losing to Wales 28-25. This puts England at risk of not qualifying for the world cup, if they lose their next match against Australia, making England the first host country to not qualify. The English team sustained 4 injuries during the game. Many have blamed the loss on Captain Chris Robshaw’s decision to kick from the corner rather than going for a try to secure a draw, “it’s like gambling” one member of the public said “if you go for the win you could lose it all” when asked to comment on Robshaw’s decision.

Notes

Research in journalism is mainly used to check for a bias and to collect information for an article. The main responsibility of a journalist is to hold power to account and this cannot be done with the necessary information.

There are two forms of sources which can be further broken into two more categories. These being secondary and primary which can be further broken down into official and unofficial. An example of an official secondary source would be a press statement, an official example would be twitter or facebook from members of the public.

Primary sources are those which are directed by the author of the article. This is usually through interviews. This is original information and includes trying to personally experience the story, personally checking facts first hand, contacting those involved with the story and to conduct interviews.

The benefit of an official source is it factually information and if verified and correct. However this is just PR and can be biased and withhold information.

It is important to identify the questions you want to ask before going into an interview, you need to know the answers you want to get in order to acquire relevant information you want for your article. Doing an interview will add both a human element as well as giving the article a form of validity.

There are two main types of questions, open and closed. Open questions leave it open to broaden the topic of conversation such as – how are you? Close questions are looking for a specific fact/answer such as – how often does this happen to you?

A vox pop is when a journalist interviews 3 or more people on the same topic asking the same questions to get a public opinion.

Analysis on interview

While I am pleased with the overall outcome of my interview I believe that my technique could use some practise. In my interview there were a lot of opportunities to gather more information by asking further questions to clarify the opinion of the person being interviewed, and a lot of information I could have tied into my questions to follow on to get further opinions based on answers given. For example after being told they thought it was a “brutal sport” I could have led into asking their opinions relating to the injuries sustained during the game, which I did mention but didn’t ask for a comment on. In order to improve this I will try and take this into account with future interviews and, instead of commenting on what the person has said, use this as an opportunity to lead into another question or ask for them to elaborate on a point. For the most part I believe this will come with practice, and therefore will continue conducting practice interviews with peers.

I believe that I used eye contact well when asking questions in order to make the interviewee feel they were being asked a direct question and is good interview etiquette. I listened well and took notes on what they were saying, asking if they would remind repeating certain points I wasn’t clear on. While in future I believe this won’t be an issue due to the use of voice recorders I think it would have been better to avoid having to ask for clarification if possible as it may come across to some that I was not listening intently enough.

In terms of my article while I used found a lot more quotes from the open questions I did not use them as I don’t think they were relevant enough to include in a short 100 word article as it did not tie into any of the factual information put across in the flash article. Therefore I found the closed questions much more valuable based on how I got specific opinions relating to a section of my article I already knew I would be including. In this respect I think I picked my questions well, as I had a base outline of what facts I wished to get across in my article and aimed for my questions to replicate this. While open questions are good in a more personality based interview, when the story is factual based a more focused answer provided through a closed question was of more value to me.

I did find however that the open questions did allow for a lot of lead on in terms of opening up conversation. This then allowed for me to focus in how they responded and use this to flow into a closed question. This allows for the interview to flow better and makes the interviewee feel more comfortable and allow them to answer questions more naturally as it flows more like a conversation. In this regard I think opening with an open question and following up with a closed questions is a good way to go about interviews I conduct in future. This allows to gauge the knowledge of the interviewee on the subject so I can pick or word the closed questions taking this into account.

I think I gave across a good sense of my questions and was clear in how I spoke and explained any possibly unknown information through the question. I also thought that my research helped to give me a good knowledge base on the article since I did not know anything about the story being looking into it. This allowed me to then give the interviewee any information they may not have, this is especially good for getting a base reaction to someone who may not be actively following the story before being impacted by personal bias.

I found I have a quite calm and friendly tone of voice when interviewing and this allowed for the person being interviewed to feel more relaxed and not worry. I think this is an important skill to perfect and one I will continue to try and develop, as someone who is interested in being interviewed and enjoys the company of the interviewer will supply more in depth responses to someone who they find talking to a chore.

Vox pops serve a very important purpose in the journalism industry. As a primary source of information it helps to humanise a story and often makes a story feel more reliable as it isn’t just facts and figures and official statements which can carry a bias in the way they are presented. This also ties into the issues of secondary sources such as press conferences being used as a PR tool where they word the facts in a way to support an agenda and can withhold information to give a certain portrayal. Having this source of primary information allows for people to feel more comfortably believing what has been said in the article. It also allows for a journalist to express the opinion of the general public (at least partially) which makes readers trust the article more.

Week 2 – Interviewing and Vox Pop Practice