For my assessment I decided to do a feature about the variety and healthiness of our canteen food (University of Westminster). I chose this idea because I did not think that the quality of food offered in the canteen was good, and I wanted to find out more about what other students had to say about it, and whether they felt the same way as me.
As a starting point I bullet pointed my own opinion about the issue, ready to record later on. Then I went to the canteen at lunchtime and got vox pops from various different students. I was careful to interview both genders and people of different ethnicities and students at different stages of university life, in order to get a fair and balanced view. I interviewed about eight people in total. Next, I needed to interview someone from behind the scenes at the canteen, so that I could get their opinion about the food that they offered. I managed to get an interview with the ‘head chef’ of the canteen, the man who was in charge of supervising and making the majority of the food in the canteen.
Once I had recorded all of the pieces of my feature, I had to think about how to make my content tell a ‘story’. As most of the students thought that the variety and choice offered in the canteen was average or even good, I made my feature about how although I was unsatisfied with the quality of the food, other students seemed content. Perhaps I was being too fussy, and simply needed to learn how to cook. As the head chef backed up this view, I also incorporated his opinion.
Some difficulties I faced whilst producing my feature was the fact that many students gave me the same view about the food. I did not have a variety of opinions, and a lot of content sounded repeated. I dealt with this by cutting down on the number of vox pops that I used in my feature, to make them seem varied and not similar opinions being regurgitated. Another issue was that I could not get much access to people who had more insight into the canteen. The catering company’s protocol meant that the canteen staff at the university were reluctant to allow me to record their opinion, in the fear that they would say something that would upset their employers. In hindsight, I should have tried harder to get in contact with the company and get permission to record, as I may have obtained more interesting content. This is something that I would bear in mind next time.
I have learnt that preparation is essential in order to reduce the challenges that you face while producing and obtaining content. I also feel more competent in using ‘Audacity’, although I was moderately educated in how to use it before the assessment. One final thing that I learnt is how to use music to successfully complement an audio piece, and adjust the volume in order to make it more effective.