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  • Writer's picturekelleyoneill22

Being Ethical

The First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. #firstamendment

What is your ethical foundation?

As a photojournalist in 2019 there are a lot of new types of media and technology. This can

often confuse the public into thinking that everything is fake or manipulated. It is our obligation as photojournalists to “report visually report visually on the significant events and varied viewpoints in our common world,” said The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA Code of Ethics). “Our primary goal is the faithful and comprehensive depiction of the subject at hand.”

As far as the actual code of ethics, photojournalists are accountable for upholding the following:

Be accurate.

Don’t stage photo opportunities.

Be complete and provide context while avoiding stereotypes and bias.

Treat subjects with respect and dignity.

While photographing, don’t contribute to or alter the event.

Editing should maintain the integrity of the image, do not be misleading.

Do not pay sources or subjects.

Do not accept gifts, favors, or compensation from those who might seek to influence coverage.

Do not intentionally sabotage the efforts of other journalists.

Do not engage in harassing behavior and maintain the highest standards of behavior.

In the end readers should be able to trust their news source. Some helpful basic tips to starting off in ethics include: Not redoing a shot, not posing shots, not removing anything from the photo, and not accepting any gifts. If you think you are doing something wrong you most likely are so be careful when shooting.

Where can you shoot and not shoot?

Being a #photojournalist means you must always be aware of your surroundings and make sure you are not trespassing or putting yourself in danger. There are no laws prohibiting the taking of photographs on public or private property. If you can be there, you can take pictures: streets, malls, parking lots, office buildings, etc. If a property owner demands you leave, you must. If a place is open to the public, a mall, office-building, etc. then permission to enter is assumed, but it can be revoked! Generally if you feel like you shouldn’t be in that place taking a photo then you are probably correct.

Some high-risk photos include:

· Photos taken when trespassing,

· Photos taken with “intrusion” technology: long lenses

· Photos revealing private facts about people that are offensive and not newsworthy when the person had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

· Photos that place a person in a false situation.

· Photos that inappropriately use persons image in a commercial way.

Why can't you manipulate a photo?

One of the more serious ethical code violations, and the easiest to do, is to remove a distracting element, either physically or electronically, or add a missing element in the photo. It is very easy to feel tempted when editing photos to remove unwanted items or even simply change the lighting, but remember this isn’t truly what happened and you are creating a lie. In 2019 people always seem to think a photo has been edited because the audience no longer trusts the media because of previous #manipulation.

“The cumulative effect is the gradual erosion of the credibility of entire profession and I am not sure we can win this war. We are being bombarded from all sides, from movies, television, advertisements, the Internet, with images that are not real, that are created in computers and documentary photojournalism is the victim.” NPPA Digital Manipulation

Under the law, what are your limitations?

More limitations within photography are based on the #journalismethics but there are some very serious legal limitations as well. Some of this has to do with private and public property, copyright laws, commercial use, and model or property releases. Photographers can also be held liable for violation of privacy if published photo reveals private information about a person that is not newsworthy.

“Journalists, however, often possess different notions of privacy and newsworthiness, and know that the question is more complicated. Reporting news stories in a way that serves and informs the public will often entail publicizing facts or displaying images that will embarrass or anger someone.” The Photographers Guide to Privacy

Another thing to be aware of is when posting on your social media or sharing your photos online you face someone stealing them and claiming them as their own. Although this is illegal sometimes you wont ever know until it’s too late. Just be aware of your online presence to prevent getting caught in any sticky situations. #pressfreedom

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