Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ethics for Videojournalists

What are some of the ethical issues facing videojournalists? How do they compare to ethical considerations confronted by print reporters and photojournalists?

As technology advances, there are an infinite number of ways that reality can be altered. Take the conundrums that still photographers encounter when capturing a single moment, and multiply that by 30 frames per second!

We're looking for specific examples of dilemmas that videojournalists have encountered while shooting and editing stories.

If a subject requests a "re-take" in order to give a more coherent response to your interview question, do you comply? Under what circumstances? Do you let the audience know?

In what situations is it OK to edit out of chronological sequence?

To what extent should you "direct" the action, or create more cinematically or dramatically appealing situations?

Is it ever acceptable to re-create a moment or situation or verbal exchange that your camera missed? If so, when?

Please share with us your experiences and questions -- hypothetical and real -- whether producing or watching video stories.

Does your organization have a separate set of ethics guidelines for videojournalism? Whose job is it to enforce them? Are they available to the public? (Can you email us a copy?)

We're starting a conversation about videojournalism ethics at the KobreGuide Facebook Group (click the "Discussions" tab), so please join us.

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