Week 2: Interviewing and vox pop practice

Interview skills

This afternoon was all about interviews and the skills we would be required to develop in order to carry them out successfully. I have identified the different skills required to carry out a successful interview, carried out an interview and written up an evaluation of the whole interviewing process this afternoon. Firstly, interviews are a source of primary research, which means the journalist carries out the research and their findings themselves. The advantages for this are that the journalist can gain information and facts that can not be found anywhere else or by secondary research, and because they can gain a better understanding themselves by listening to others.

We learnt about what are the key ‘ingredients’ that go into a good interview. They were:

Physical preparation and good research: planning the questions you’re going to ask; taking notes of the responds and answers and even planning a brief summary of the topic in case your interviewee has limited knowledge of it. Also, making people and the interviewee feel at ease: making the interviewee feel comfortable at first by not rushing into any difficult and ‘negative’ questions; giving them the little briefing on the topic and ensuring that the questions are open and easy-going to start off with. And finally, acknowledging them during their say: because if the conversation is interrupted, it could ruin the chance of any key information and facts being said. This includes a simple “yes” or “I see.”

Next, we were introduced to ‘vox pops’- a small number of questions asked to different people, in order to get their opinion on a topic. This also makes it more interesting, since ‘everyday’ people are voicing their opinions as well as people in power. We also learnt how neutral questions are used within vox pops, which means we word the question in a way which doesn’t get us a certain answer.

Later on, we created a neutral, open question in groups and then went out into different parts of the college to interview various people on our question.

Our question was: “What is your opinion on David Cameron’s plan to allow 20,000 refugees into the country over the next 5 years?”

The reasoning for this question was because it was relevant to a recent story that had happened in the news, so it was up to date. Also, it was an open question, so the interviewee was able to give their opinion and turn the interview into more of a conversation, rather than just a simple ‘yes/no’ answer.

We would be using our own conducted questions to interview various people around the college and collect their own opinions on our topic- which was the refugee crisis. However, we only started off with one question because if the interviewee struggles to answer one at all, we wouldn’t be putting them under any pressure to answer more. Our question was “What is your opinion on David Cameron’s plan to allow 20,000 refugees into the country over the next 5 years?”

Week 2: Interviewing and vox pop practice

Week 2: Double page spread analysis.

Magazine spread analysis

article example

This was the magazine spread which i analysed: I took note on various parts using the correct terminology for each feature. I have also written a little evaluation of this, stating what I liked about this double-page spread but also what I could improve on it if I could.

The headline is all the same font size and the same colour, most likely to coordinate with the picture to the right. The headline does vary in terms of the font size; the word ‘visions’ is much larger than the rest of the headline. With the picture, it  immediately grabs the reader’s attention because it completely fills up the right hand page of the double-page spread.

This double-page spread features a two columns of bodycopy (the actual writing itself). However, because the pull quote is right in the center of the two columns, the words of the article, the positioning of the article almost ‘works its way round’ the pull quote. There is also a pull quote within the left side page as well. However, this pull quote is right in the center of the page, and the two columns are arranged around it. This pull quote stands out more than the article itself because the font size it much bigger and it’s right in the center of the page to possibly be the first thing that grabs the reader’s attention.

A two word crosshead is featured at the very beginning of the story. This highlights the celebrity’s name in the article and along with the fact that it’s at the very beginning, it gives the reader instant knowledge on who the article is going to be based around.

At the bottom of the double-page spread there are folios, which are, in technical terms, page numbers. It also states at the bottom who photographed the picture and even the name of the magazine.


What I personally like about this article is the positioning of different features on it; for example, I like how the pull quote is in the center of the page because it could be the thing that makes the reader read it first. Also, I like how the font and sizes of the writing are all suitable for the magazine spread and its topic because it doesn’t look to overwhelming and would still be clear enough to read.

But if I were to change anything about this magazine spread, I would firstly rearrange the positioning of the pull quote because I feel that even though it has benefits for being in the center, I feel that it interrupts the overall look of the bodycopy (article) columns too much. I would also edit the picture on the right page so that I could maybe add some extra smaller ones too. This is because I think the picture filling up the whole page is a little bit over the top and could be smaller with some more pictures or even with more of the article on that page too.


Week 2: Double page spread analysis.

Week 3, session 1- Interview questions ( Volkswagen emissions scandal)

My interview questions

My interview questions: the Volkswagen emissions scandal.

  1. Has any of your family owned a VW vehicle before?
  2. Were you surprised or shocked at the fact that 11 million vehicles worldwide has emitted such harmful levels of diesel fumes around the world?
  3. What impact do you think the nitrogen oxide levels will have on the earth’s atmosphere?
  4. Who else do you think the scandal, along with the nitrogen oxide levels, affects?
  5. Do you think that it was a wise decision for the chief executive, Martin Winterkorn, to leave the firm?

I interviewed Scott about Volkswagen’s emissions scandal: I asked him whether his family has or had ever owned a VW vehicle. He said his family has never owned any, since they’ve never been able to afford it. He stated he was quite shocked about the emission levels, but it’s not that worrying to him; so little contributes to pollution against other substances. “Protest organisations would be upset by this scandal. Almost like creating an enemy out of the brand,” Scott answered. Even though Winterkorn’s leave would mean a fresh start, “They’ve got a long way to go before trust is built again.”


This morning, we were looking at interviewing skills which would help us complete and conduct a successful interview and also how to conduct interview questions. We also looked at how these skills would benefit our interview preparation and even how an interview itself can add value and depth to any piece of writing. Firstly, we did this by looking at the different types of interview questions: open and closed questions. Then, we carried out secondary research in order for us to create our five questions, relating to our chosen topic (given from a choice of three.) After conducting the questions (2 closed, 3 open) we were given partners who we would interview our questions to. Once we completed our interview, we wrote up a 100 word article based on the questions we asked and the responses given. we also had to include two quotes from our interview answers within our article.


Overall, I believe that my interview was a successful one because I conducted questions that were clear and related well to my chosen topic. This was because my partner seemed to understand my questions quite clearly and as a result, I was given the answers that actually answered each question. I also took careful notes of the responses and ensured that I didn’t rush them, which would result in them not making sense or being unreadable.

However, I do feel that I could have improved my research skills a bit by looking out for more up-to-date and relevant information, which would have given me ideas for different open questions and closed questions. I also remembered that my eye contact wasn’t 100% either because I was mainly looking at my notes and either reading the questions or writing the answers down. However, to improve these skills, I will try and remember at least half of my questions off by heart so that I can look my partner more. This would also make me look more professional and prepared. I would also consider my research more carefully and maybe investigate different types of information relating to whether the question is open or closed.

Week 3, session 1- Interview questions ( Volkswagen emissions scandal)

Week 1: double page spread (Peace one Day) and spread evaluation.

This week features my article about Peace One Day, which I created using a programme called ‘Adobe InDesign.’ This programme allowed me to create my article on a two-page spread so that it looked professional and creative. Once that was completed, I wrote up an evaluation of my two-page article, evaluating the software skills I’d learnt and how I applied them; a comparison of my finished article to an ‘inspirational’ article; my overall view of the article and what I would do differently if I did it again.

peace one day article (PDF)

Peace One Day article evaluation

Article skills used.

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This evaluation relates to the two pictures shown above: the one on the left is the one I created using Adobe InDesign. the one on the right is my ‘inspirational’ article I used to help me create my own one.

This was the article I created about ‘Peace One Day’ using Adobe InDesign CS6. In order to create the article in this style, font and format, I had to use a number of new skills to shape and organise pictures, create the columns for the writing and give the most suitable font for the article’s topic.

For the pictures in my article, I had to make them look of a good quality by ensuring that they were all in the correct proportion with the box they were placed in. What I had to do was firstly move the box into the size I wanted the picture to be. Then, I clicked on to ‘object’, ‘fitting’ and ‘fit frame proportionally’. The picture I wanted would then be the correct size to fit the box and make the overall article look tidier and professional.

But to actually apply the pictures, I had to go to ‘file’ and there was a ‘place’ option which allowed me to select the pictures I wanted for my article and then drag them on to the desired place on the page I wanted them.

Next, I had to obviously present the written elements of my article in a professional way that still fits in well with the pictures and title. I have decided to do much of my written work on one page with all the pictures presented neatly on the opposite page. I took this inspiration for an example of an article with a similar format to mine. I liked how the pictures were arranged on one page with the writing in neat columns on the other page.

However, the skills I used in order to achieve these columns for my writing, I clicked on to the ‘paragraph forming controls’ which lead me to the bar which I selected the number of columns I required- In this case, two. The positioning and number of columns in my article relates to the inspiration from the other article and the professional appearance it brings to it all.

Next, I applied the skills I would need in order to make the writing bigger and a suitable font for the article. For the headline, I created a box, which the tool for this can be located on the left hand tool bar. I clicked on the ‘T’ and it allowed me to draw my box and type in the text I required. This was the same method I used for both the columns which held my actual article and my main headline too.

After that, I headed over towards the tool bar on top of the page to vary the font sizes and types in order to fit the theme and style of the article.

Comparison and overall layout.

I have used the left article example as an inspiration for me to gain ideas on how layout my article on Peace One Day. I feel that because I have had an idea in my head of how I’d like my article to look like. Now that I’m comparing my finished article with me inspirational article layout, I have very mixed opinions on my own work; the positive feelings I have are that I think that my article looks very neat and organised, and the colours look very professional and relate well to the topic of Peace One Day. However, looking at them both together, I feel that the way I’ve organised my pictures is a little bit too similar to the way that the other article has. And the writing on the other page is very similar too, with the headline on top and the article in two separate columns. However, I do feel that the font of the headline is more interesting and colourful on mine, whereas the other one is all the same font and plain black.


Overall, I believe that my article definitely looks the part of the topic of Peace One Day, due to the written quality of the article and the presentation of the double pages too. I feel that the colours of the headline box and the pictures I’ve used definitely blends in well and relates to the article topic. I also feel like most of my pictures are a good choice for the article too. However, I feel that they look a little bit untidy, due to the fact that there are a number of gaps between each picture. Even though the pictures look very aligned with each other, the gaps didn’t go unnoticed to me and I would have changed them if I went back to it.

If I was to go back and change my article in any other ways, I would firstly consider more carefully how I would arrange all my pictures to be more creative and different to all the others out there. I would also think about how I would arrange my columns of writing more differently. I could possibly altered the column sizes in a way which I could have also included more pictures or colours in that page of writing too.

Week 1: double page spread (Peace one Day) and spread evaluation.

Week 2: Conducting research: the 5 W’s

Sheppey crash article

How is Kent Online incorporated in the CNN article?

Kent Online is incorporated by the words of Martin Stammers, the quoted witness of Kent Online, who said “it’s horrific. I’ve never seen anything quite like it in my life.” This shows that the report has used a form of secondary and unofficial research because the quoted source has been provided by someone else who has experienced the situation for themselves. This would be classed as unofficial too because the quote was taken for this article by someone who didn’t intend it to be used by the writer of the article. This may also be because the crash was so severe that not many people could gain access to the Sheppey Bridge and so, all the reporter could rely on was the secondary research.

What perspective?

The report is written in a very basic language with only the outlines of the event and in a very straight-forward structure with short sentences and paragraphs. It only gives the basic but essential facts with a maximum of three short interviews, one of which from the Kent Online newspaper and the other two from the witnesses of the crash event.

Refugee crisis secondary research

My next piece of work is looking at a specific news topic and identifying three main things: The 5 w’s (who, what, when, where, why), looking at how each multimedia report or article is presented in perspective of it and the two main types of sources- official and unofficial. And also the pros and cons of each type of source too.

Refugee crisis.

My news topic will be based around the occurring refugee crisis that is happening all around the world. I have used three various forms of secondary research and pieces of multimedia that give all the relevant information for my chosen topic. I have also included the 5 w’s (who, what, when, where, why and how) involving each source. The purpose of the 5 W’s is to help dig deeper into the information a source or an article holds, which could help the researcher find out more and even play a massive part in the article or report. is  I’ve also stated whether or not it’s an official/unofficial source and the pros and cons of each;

This news topic is about the fact that the refugees are being blocked off from the boarders allowing access into central Europe.

What? This article about the refugees and Hungarian borders is an unofficial source of information, meaning that it was written and not intended to be used by other writers/journalists. But it also provides the readers with the relevant and basic news outlines they require and can even be used by other writers/journalists to expand upon.

Why? This is due to the fact that Hungary has made the decision to close off the southern border with Serbia, which also holds a well-trusted road by the refugees. Refugees then rushed into Croatia, which then tried to push them back into Hungary and Slovenia.

Who? The article was written by Emma Graham-Harrison of the Guardian. This article focuses on the refugees who have been turned away from the Hungarian borders.

Where? The refugees are being turned away from the Hungarian, Croatian and Slovenian boarders leading into central Europe.

When? This report was written by Emma Graham-Harrison of the Guardian on the 19th of September 2015.

The pros of this unofficial source are that you can have quicker access to them and journalists can still use them to assist with their own articles. Some of the cons, however, are that it may not be entirely true and that a part of the source can mislead someone away from the main points of the story.


This is the YouTube video which outlines how the borders of Hungary Serbia closed and resulted in the refugees seeking a new border to cross into central Europe.

What? This is an unofficial source of information because it is a video simply outlining the latest news on the refugees and the Hungarian border issues. However, it is explained in a slow and clear tone with only the basics of the story. As a result, it’s easier to understand.

Where? The video shows snapshots of the refugees attempting to cross the borders in different locations, such as entering Croatia from Serbia. This also shows refugees walking along a railway line in Roszke as an alternative to get in- which was blocked off by the police shortly after.

When? This video was published on the 16th September 2015

Why? Refugees had arrived at Croatia as a hope of finding a new route into central Europe, since the Hungarian border was cut off with Serbia.

Who? This video is entirely devoted to the refugees who are being banned from crossing the Hungarian border to central Europe.

Pros of the unofficial source can be that you can compare it with other articles to gain more information and you can also examine another source and expand on it in a new article.

The cons of the unofficial source can be: The contents of the source may be biased at times and could even be completely different and lead the reader away from the main point of the story.

This is a brief news update about the Hungarian border becoming cut off to the refugees. This source is an unofficial source coming from the UN Refugee Agency. This may be an unofficial source but it does feature the quotes of a couple of the victims of this event.

The next one is related to a brief news update about the Hungarian border becoming cut off to the refugees. This source is an unofficial source coming from the UN Refugee Agency. This may be an unofficial source but it does feature the quotes of a couple of the victims of this event.

What? This report is stating that because the Hungarian border has been closed, the refugees have had to sleep the night out in the open and even on fields for some. This source is unofficial with some official elements in them too. This is because a couple of the refugees have been briefly interviewed and expressed their feelings, “I am telling the police I don’t want to stay here. Either let us go to the camp by walking, or let us go free to go to West in buses or taxis.” and also, “We must leave as soon as possible simply because living here without tents, without blankets, is too difficult.”

When? This report was written and published on the 9th September 2015.

Who? This report was written and published by “Don Murray in Roszke, Hungary.”

Why? This report is not just outlining that border becoming closed to them, but also the worst that has now happened to them… being left out out in the open with no shelter for the night. This report, along with the words of the suffering refugees, seems to bring out the horror of what is going on and happening to these people, along with how they’re all being treated too.

Where? This report was addressing the refugees in Roszke, Hungary.

Pros of the official source include the source being up-to- date and the fact that you can access the facts which, sometimes, may not be available to everyone else yet.

Cons of the official source though mean that the information could be too pain and simple- and as a result, not enough research can be gained from it.. Also, many other other people could have gained access to the same information as you.

Week 2: Conducting research: the 5 W’s

Week 1: News conference notes.

This week, we split into groups of two and researched the latest front page news stories going on around the world. We had  to outline the main story; state why is was a main news story; who it was aimed at; and how the story was represented.

My news story: A front page story from the Daily Mail Online of an 18 year old veiled Palestinian student who had a rifle aimed at her by an Israeli soldier. This student was killed in a matter of minutes later after an attempt to stab a checkpoint guard.

This was the main story of the day mainly because there has been much tension between Jewish and Muslim countries for decades now. And so, the tension seemed to become more recognisable to many readers, since this tension  has caused an innocent 18 year old student to die this way. She died when she was shot by the same Israeli soldier 10 times after refusing to remove her veil and present the contents of her purse.

This story looks like it’s mainly aimed at our country’s leaders, governments and leaders of the Jewish and Muslim countries too. This could be because a young adult had been shot to death due to conflict between their countries. This may also make them become more alert of the problem and think of this horrific event as a wake up call to come up with solutions and prevent the tension and this situation from happening sooner.

This story is presented on the Daily Mail Online website as one of the top stories of the day. The report is written in a very factual manner with frequent paragraphing.It does, however, show some very graphic and violent images of the event, featuring the soldier pointing his rifle at the student, who is kneeling on the floor with her veil still on. The level of graphics in these images may show how bad the situation has actually gotten and may even encourage country’s leaders and even the public to voice a solution.

When we were sharing our story with the rest of the group, we had a couple of comments that were good point for this; One of them was the fact that other countries around the world can legally request to see your full face on demand if asked. this would be due to the safety of the public and public services in those areas. I did agree with this, but with a situation like this, I don’t believe shooting a student 10 times just to prevent her from stabbing would be necessary, especially if it was linked to decades of conflict.

Whilst sharing our news stories as a class, some of them had me asking questions: One group announced their story on the huge number of refugees that would be let into the country. Approximately a third of 120,000 would be let in over the next 5 years according to prime minister, David Cameron. This made me question this because of the fact that the UK has it’s own citizens in the same position- struggling to find shelter, a home and that many are relying on food banks too. We also discussed that the government and news are constantly sending out mixed messages about accepting these refugees into our country, whether we should or shouldn’t, legal or illegal. But overall, we concluded that the news story of the boy being washed up on the beach should be the ultimate message that these refugees should be accepted into our country legally to be given the help that they need. Also to prevent the same situation happening to anyone else as it did to the boy on the beach.

Week 1: News conference notes.

Induction: Peace One Day

Peace One Day artical

This is my written article about the ceasefire World Peace Day that has existed since 1990 and outlines the journey of one man who believed he could create that one day in the year where almost all peace was eliminated.

Peace One Day.

Ever wondered what it would be like to have one day in the year where all violence and conflict was eliminated around the world? Because of the organisation ‘Peace One Day’ which was founded in 1999, the ceasefire peace day 2015 is just round the corner, with billions around the globe now aware of the event and millions acting more peacefully on behalf of it.

On the flip side, there are any more of those who believe there’s more to peace day than just ‘peace’. And one of them is actor turned film-maker Jeremy Gilley. You could call him the brains behind this non-profit organisation; since the 1990s, Gilley had begun to question the meaning of ‘peace’ and the nature of humanity. And so, along with inspirational recordings of mothers and children suffering in conflict-infested countries and the demand for his questions answered, Jeremy Gilley embarked on his documented journey to have Peace One Day as an official date on our calendars. But one thought has stuck in Gilley’s head all since the beginning of his documentary: if he fails, “the world would not be willing to change…”

The journey of all Gilley’s endless ambitions, obstacles and immense hard work was all worth it when, in 2001, his efforts were rewarded as the United Nations finally adopted the first day in which the world’s citizens would celebrate the first every ceasefire day. And so, Peace One Day was officially born.

Since its grand opening in 2001, millions around the world are becoming more and more aware of the purpose of this day. Statistics show that in 2012 across the world, 280 million people knew about this organisation along with its special day. But 2013 shows a staggering 68% increase in people being aware of Peace One Day- with over 470 million people! And as a result, 1-2% (4-8 million) of those exposed behaving more peacefully with non-violence.

From 2001 to 2014, Peace One Day has risen to what us humans-especially Jeremy Gilley, thought would never be possible: From 280 million people aware of the day to an unbelievable 1 billion people worldwide! With millions within this group celebrating in many ways. Also from what was just a documented journey to change the world to successfully becoming official dates on our calendars, Peace One Day has now educated humanity on the meaning of ‘peace’ for over a decade.

Sources: http://www.peaceoneday.org/welcome

Induction: Peace One Day