The vox pop, the news segment where reporters ask the opinions of the public, comes in for some pretty hefty criticism on social media and elsewhere. But far from dismissing it as pointless padding, I believe it is a vital ingredient in trying to understand Britain – and never more than now.

I am not going to defend the bad vox pop. You know the kind of thing: people are asked a simplistic question in a shopping precinct and we broadcast one person saying yes, one person saying no and the “hilarious” response of someone who misunderstands the question.


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