Freedom Fone

Vox Pop

A vox pop is a short journalistic format, combining a variety of statements from ordinary people (latin: vox populi = voice of the people) about a specific topic. Statements are oral, coherent thoughts, opinions or explanations, to be understood without hearing the question. A good vox pop is informative and entertaining.


  • Offers a variety of different voices (male/female/young/old).
  • Offers a contrast of opinions (for and against).
  • Overall length: 1 to 1.5 minutes; length of each statement: 5 to 15 seconds.
  • In radio, the vox pop is usually combined with an interview or a report.


  • To reflect public opinion.
  • To encourage people's participation.
  • To provide authenticity and credibility.
  • To make topics more lively and attractive.
  • To overcome the gap between radio and listeners.

The question

  • Should be personal (it should touch people's lives), current, relevant and immediately understandable. A question that requires explanation won't work.
  • Firstly imagine what statements you might find – and what you want. Phrase the question accordingly.


  • Choose the right spot: semi-crowded, relatively quiet (no unwanted noise e.g. loud cars, music, wind, planes). A place where people are at ease, not in a hurry.
  • Record, keeping any loud noises behind you (turn your back toward the noise).
  • Don't record your question – you don't need it. Hence aim the microphone at the interviewee right from the start.

The encounter

  • Watch your body language - be self-confident and interested.
  • Introduce yourself briefly: greet, mention your name, your 'station', explain – in a sentence – that you are asking people their opinion about the chosen topic, then ask your question.
  • Don't comment on the person's statement whilst they are speaking ("…aha… I see… right…"). Just smile and nod encouragement.
  • Don't interrupt people. When they stop talking, wait two seconds to ensure they have really finished their statement. Sometimes this encourages them to continue talking, and finally gives you the statement you were looking for.
  • Re-phrase your question if necessary – but only change some words, not the topic.
  • Keep recordings short and snappy.
  • Don't ask interviewees for their names – they need to remain anonymous.
  • Thank the interviewees for their participation.


  • Choose only interesting, audible statements in good recording quality that serve the goal you want to achieve with the vox pop.
  • Choose a variety of 5-7 male/female, young/old, for/against, long/short statements.
  • Choose a strong start and end for the vox pop. The first one has to be an attractive, ear-catching statement. The last one is the one the listener will remember.