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Giving voice to the people

Though all of the 40 or so KMS students who attended the “How to Make a Vox Pop” presentation last month were familiar with the “man on the street” journalism technique popularized by radio and late night television, none knew the official term. A "vox pop", they learned, from the Latin phrase vox populi, means "voice of the people". It is a tool used in many forms of media to provide a snapshot of public opinion.

Thanks to Mary Rizos, Director of Education for the Vermont Folklife Center, the students now not only know how to identify the technique, but also how to make one of their own. Rizos heads VFLC’s Discovering Community Education Program, whose mission it is to get Vermont students out of their classrooms to learn from their diverse communities using media-making tools to document–and ultimately share–their experiences.

Twelfth grader John Bianchi applied his newfound knowledge at the Audi FIS Women's Ski World Cup in Killington. Bianchi joined the record-breaking crowd to ask some of his friends and fellow spectators their opinions of Killington as the site of the international event showcasing some of the best female skiers in the world.

Listen to John's vox pop here:

Eleventh grade student Tye McBroom chose a more personal setting to try out his new skills: his family Thanksgiving in Virginia.

Listen to Tye's vox pop here:

Rizos will be returning after the holidays to conduct more workshops for students on interviewing skills and digital ethnography creation. Founded in 1984, the Vermont Folklife Center is a nationally-known folklife education organization that uses ethnography—study of cultural experience through interviewing, participation and observation—to strengthen the understanding of the cultural and social fabric of Vermont's diverse communities.




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