Week 3: General public vox pops transcriptions and evaluation

This week, our assignment was to go out into the public high street and interview a number of people on two questions related to our topic we have researched over the past few weeks. The purpose of carrying out interviews is that it allows us to gain valuable primary research that we may not be able to find anywhere else and it also adds some interest to an article such as the balance of facts to opinions.

Prior to setting off for the highstreet to interview for our topic, we wee reminded of a couple of tips for while we were out there and interacting with the public. For example, remaining professional and conversational at all times; respecting the interviewee’s opinions and answers- especially when it came to asking for their name, age and occupation. And finally, how to function the recording devices, which we used to record the interviewee’s responses.

After we went out and carried out our interviews, we transcribed the responses to our questions and wrote up an evaluation of the afternoon in the city centre.

public interview transcriptions

We used one of the questions we conducted to use around the college last week but we also conducted another question which kind of lead on from the frist question. The questions we used were:

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

“How do you think this will affect the unemployment rate?”

Interview 1- A group of ladies over the age of 60, not willing to give names.

Question 1- “Well if you’ve got the let them in, you’ve got to let them in haven’t ya? There’s nothing you can do. We’re going to the Eurotunnel tomorrow and I’m frightened in case they go onto the tunnel. I mean I feel sorry for them, I feel sorry for them. I don’t mind the genuine ones but they are probably not all genuine. Some of them are just taking advantage aren’t they?”

Question 2- “Well it’s going to make it worse isn’t it. It difficult isn’t it because unemployment is quite high in this country and when you’ve got all these other people coming in, I mean where do you find the jobs? It’s difficult, you know.”

 

Interview 2- Richard Wells, age 57, Semi-Retired.

Question 1- “I haven’t really thought about it that much. Yeah, I wish there was a better solution but it’s a solution I suppose, I’ve got mixed feelings about it really. I feel sorry for the people but I don’t necessarily want them coming to this country because we only have a finite amount of space.”

Question 2- “I don’t really know. Not in great affect. Not in isolation but when you add them to all the other people coming then it’ a bigger affect.”

 

Interview 3- Tim Allen, age 54

Question 1- “Doesn’t sound like very many to me, there is a load of people out there that need some help and that’s not enough.”

Question 2- “Well if it is restricted to those numbers then not at all. That is 1% of the unemployment.”

 

Interview 4- Ronnie Garden, Ex-Serviceman

Question 1- “My opinion on David Cameron is zero, that’s all I’m going to say. I would like to say worse words than that but I won’t say them. He’s a piece of s**t.”

Question 2- “It’s already affecting it, they come here and pretend not to speak English, a lot of them can speak English. All they have to do is come in here, make babies, pump them out and they get 1 bedroom house, two bedroom house, 3 bedroom house, garden. I was in the military for this country, I’m a single man, I get jack s**t. I fought for this country in the 70’s way before any of you were born, I actually fought for this country and I get nothing.”

Interview 5- Shania Meah, age 20, Student

Question 1- “I don’t know what his plan is. Oh yeah! No actually I think there is some right and wrong to it. In a way I do agree with it but then again people are trying to get jobs and their going to take up so much room, actually they are going to have to provide for the families and then again so do we so there is bit of a pro and con to that one. I’m a bit neutral with that one.”

Question 2- “Yeah.”

This is the evaluation I wrote for my group’s interviews:

Public interviewing evaluation

Public interviewing evaluation.

This evaluation will be about the interviews me and my group carried out in the public yesterday. We conducted two questions for this. They were:

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

“How do you think this number of refugees will affect the unemployment rate?”

Were you satisfied with the answers you got? 

When it came to the first question, I feel that I was quite satisfied with most of our answers because they were able to express their opinion as much as they felt comfortable doing, which is what the question asked for. Also, some of these answers made some very good and valid points, “I feel sorry for the people but I don’t necessarily want them coming to this country because we only have a finite amount of space.” (Question 1) However, with the second question I feel that some of the answers weren’t as detailed as they could have been because some of them were short and brief, “yeah”. (Question 2)

Did you stick to your plan/approach?

As a group, we made a plan that included all of us contributing to every interviewee and being in charge of certain tasks. I was in charge of taking down the interviewee’s name, age and occupation and Madisan volunteered to operate the recorder. Carris was confident enough to approach many people too. However, Ben thought that it would be good if someone different approached each time because some people may be more approachable to individuals within our group. All this worked out really well because we all felt more confident and looked more professional too. This also may have allowed the interviewee to have more confidence in answering the question as well, sue to our levels of professionalism and knowing what we were doing.

We did have a plan for ensuring that we got the number of responses we required: we did set out for a mixture of ages and genders to reduce the chance of bias but we did mainly aim for people sitting down or who didn’t look like they were on a rush. However, these were the people who did give us some good answers and valid points.

When you asked questions, were you easy to understand?

We did make the question easy to understand because we reused the brief introduction we used last week for in case an interviewee didn’t understand the topic much. This made them understand the topic a little bit better and have more ability to answer our questions. The first question also kind of lead on to the unemployment rate question because many people seemed to understand and answer that question quite easily and along with very good points, “Well if it is restricted to those numbers then not at all. That is 1% of the unemployment.”

Did your body language (including eye contact) make your interviewees want to talk? How did you go about this?

We did ensure that our body language and eye contact made the interviewee want to express their answers. This was because we smiled at every person when we approached and thanked them for their time. We introduced ourselves, said hello and thanks for your time politely and we all maintained eye contact throughout all the interviews. Not only did we want to create an atmosphere that would make the interviewee feel happy to give their answers to the question. However, when it came to asking the second question I feel like we should have made the interviewee feel a bit more aware that the question was coming by maybe introducing it next. This is because some of our interviewees didn’t really know their answer well enough to answer it straight away- probably because we didn’t introduce question 2 for long enough.

Conduct and professionalism- did you know what you were talking about? Did you act professionally? 

As a group, I believe we all knew what our roles were and what we were saying. Because before we set off to the city centre, we all went over our interview questions so we wouldn’t forget them. We also spoke loud and clear to the interviewees and all took part so that none of us looked unprofessional by just standing around. None of us used any slang language or stand too close or far away from them either. This was because the interviewee we would have ‘invaded’ the interviewee’s personal space a little and/or the audio wouldn’t have come through on the recorder. Also, there came times when an interviewee didn’t feel comfortable giving us their name, age and/or occupation. We acted appropriately on this by simply replying, “That’s ok, thank you very much for your time.”

Did you come across any particular difficulties? 

One of the main difficulties we came across was finding a suitable place in the city to interview people. This was because many people were rushing to different places and too catch their transport which made it hard for us to have ‘a minute of their time’. However, we did suggest and do in the end was walk around all parts of the city, whether it was the busiest or the quietest. Because we wanted a mixture of ages and genders but also because we would actually get these people if we moved around the city. However, we proved that we overcame this difficulty because we got a mixture of people- from elderly people, the middle-aged to a college student at aged 20.

What will you do differently next time?

Next time, even though we did aim for a mixture of people, I will insist that we aim for more people who are not sitting on benches because we want even more of an array of people. For example, more students and younger adults rather than over 40s.

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Week 3: General public vox pops transcriptions and evaluation

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