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From the smartphone to the air: RNZ rethinks vox pops

RNZ’s latest piece of digital innovation is putting listeners’ voices to air through a self-recording app called VoxPop

Named after the term regularly used to conduct ‘man on the street’ interviews, VoxPop takes the reporter out of the equation by creating what it calls “talkback radio for the internet generation”.

The app enables listeners to record their thoughts and opinions on a list of chosen topics and send them directly to RNZ. The recordings may then be used on RNZ radio shows, with the station starting an initial trial on Summer Days with Jesse Mulligan from 9 January. Topics for discussion so far have included “What is the big issue in your town this year?”, “What have you learnt this summer?”, and “Tell us what you have been bitten by!”

As well as being broadcast on air, the comments will also be published on the RNZ website. 

RNZ’s head of digital Glen Scanlon says not only is VoxPop giving listeners the chance to have their voices heard on-air, it enables radio networks to quickly and easily collect, package and play their audience’s voices.

“In the past we have relied on reading out people’s reactions from emails and tweets, but now we have a way to make New Zealanders more part of what we do.”

Created by RNZ senior journalist Peter Fowler, the app is currently only available for Android users, while the iOS version remains in development. 

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