Video, week 2

This week we went over voxpops, interviews and editing.

Voxpops are opinions from random members of the public, cut together to give some different views. The idea of them is to make a news story more dynamic and interesting, as well as provide the “public opinion.”

Journalists seem to have conflicting opinions on the idea of vox pops. In an article on BBC News, the home editor Mark Easton argued that they are an insightful view of public opinion. He said that whereas polling shows what people answer to questions, vox pops show why they answer in the way they do. He used Brexit as an example of politicians, journalists, and high ranking officials not understanding the public mood, and vox pops are the way to capture that.

However, Alison Graham, associate editor at RadioTimes, argued the exact opposite. In her piece on the RadioTimes website, she said that the people who had time to stop and talk were usually “the deranged and the lonely.” She claims that due to social media allowing for anyone to share opinions at will, the need for vox pops has gone.

When filming vox pops, you should stay in the same location, which should fit in with the topic. For example if you wanted a vox pop about train tickets rising, you would do it in a train station or in a train.

The framing should be alternated to look more natural. One way to do this would be to alternate the direction that the person is looking so that when cut together it looks more like a conversation. The question should always be open because seeing people reply just “yes” or “no” does not make a good broadcast. As well as this, every single person should be asked the exact same question.

We then went over writing VT scripts, and how to write to pictures. This should be written after the rushes have been filmed. It’s important to know how long the broadcast has to be and to ensure the piece flows and makes sense.

I wrote a short V/O script for the following video.

Then we looked at a news story about Wagamamas, Pret a Manger, and Costa switching from plastic straws to paper. As I live on the coastline, if I were to take this story and make it more local I would go to the beach and talk to people about how they feel about the impact of plastics on the environment.

We then moved on to the power behind editing. Editing at its best sequences videos in a meaningful and accurate way, to tell a story and get a reaction out of people. Poor editing can lead to poor communication of a story and can imply meanings or suggest a sequence of events that are not correct.

When editing it is important to organise your content and find the most powerful parts of footage. This is the (current) editing plan for My Local Covid video.

  • Talk about schools being open, having been shut through the first lockdown, and that they face new challenges. Pressures on staff
  • Interview 1
  • Talk about rising infection rates within schools, staff shortages, pupils isolating.
  • Interview 2
  • Talk about Boris Johnson wanting schools open.
  • Talk about the covid infection rates during the last 2 months in Thanet.