Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Keep an ear for an ethical echo

I know I preach a lot about getting audio. I think it’s the easiest transition for print reporters to make, because they already are comfortable with recording interviews. We all just need to learn to keep our mouths shut and listen more, unless we want a nightmare on the editing end.

But as we all enter this, we all must remember that journalism ethics doesn’t go out the window when we hit “record.”

Melissa Worden offers these words of advice.

For most of us, they go without saying, but they’re always worth repeating and reading again.

Mindy McAdams offers more helpful guidance her eight rules of audio ethics

"The cardinal rule is the same as in written journalism, when you write quotes into a story: Never change the meaning of what the person said. Never misrepresent what the interview subject meant."

While these examples talk about photographers, as more reporters are asked to gather audio, video and pictures for slide shows, we need to keep this firmly in mind, too.

And of course, all of this is covered in the SPJ Code of Ethics.

Print it out and tape it to your terminal.

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