Global Work Experience: Vox Pops

This week I’m on placement with the news team at Global Radio. They’re responsible for all the news content going out on Heart North East, Capital North East, and Smooth Radio, as well as contributing to other Global stations like LBC and Radio X.

First order of business: a quick tour of the office and a crash course in editing audio with the Burli Newsroom System. Then it was time to undergo the traditional broadcast journalism rite of passage – the vox pop!

I’m sure you’ll have heard them on the radio and seen them on TV. A news story breaks and members of the public are asked for their opinion on it. In my case it was a report showing two thirds of train passengers were unhappy with the service. So I was packed off to Central Station with an iPhone to gather opinions!

With the encouraging words “you seem quite chatty and confident so I’m sure you’ll be fine” ringing in my ears I took a deep breath and prepared to strike up conversations with strangers. I mean, everyone likes to have their grumbles listened to, right? The first person I approached turned me down, even after I attempted to persuade him with juicy lines like “it’ll only take 30 seconds.” Not a brilliant start – but I’d spoken to a stranger and not given up straight away, so that’s Peff 1, Social Anxiety nil.

My next target was a young woman with pearly bleached hair and, crucially, a large suitcase. This time – success! She was happy to chat and a minute later my first vox pop was recorded! Over the next half hour I had some hits and some misses, but ended up with 15 different voices saved. I had a range of ages, accents, and opinions. Perfect.

IMG_1612 (1)

“Excuse me, what’s your opinion on [INSERT TOPICAL THING HERE]?”
The next step was to edit the audio and create three clips of 15 seconds, each containing three distinct voices. Then I needed to write some short, snappy copy to accompany each clip. My linguistic inventiveness was put to the test as I had to work out three different ways to convey the same information, which wasn’t something I’d done before. But learning new skills is what work experience is all about, right? And I do love the discipline of tightening up copy, working to word counts, and being inventive with language.
It was a very proud moment to hear the audio I’d recorded and edited, alongside copy I’d written, go out on Capital North East, Heart North East, and Smooth!

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