Video journalism/Ethics of the Gaze

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This topic is a work in progress...

Discussions around journalistic representation and fairness, or notions of privacy verses public interest, or comment on the subjectivity-objectivity balance; often become bogged down in their own problematics. The contradictions and problematics within journalism filmmaking are the centre of this work-in progress discussion which deliberately exposes ethical dilemmas in filmmaking. This topic reviews questions of representation and ethical practice in video journalism that employs the new, portable and unobtrusive digital camera. In particular, it looks at questions of ethics surrounding the camera gazing in on the very private.

Altered world-views[edit | edit source]

It is often said that television has altered our world. In the same way, people often speak of a new world, a new society, a new phase of history, being created – ‘brought about’ – by this or that new technology...

Most of us know what is generally implied when such things are said. But this may be the central difficulty: that we have got so used to statements of this general kind, in our most ordinary discussions, that we fail to realise their specific meanings. [Raymond Wiliams Television – Technology and Cultural Form Fontana. UK, 1974, 9.]

Read this essay for some back-grounding: Ethics in the Immersive Documentary by John Dentino December 2013

Academic deliberation[edit | edit source]

Writing about these issues works at finding a place in culture – for journalism, TV news and documentary. It also allows for a critique of the accountability in news and documentary in the context of the new world information order and perhaps most importantly, in the context of the documentary subject (the social actor).

Film making ethics provides the opportunity to analyse and critique genre and write about changes, trends and processes within documentary journalism and film culture. In this context, one can provide a reflexivity that is difficult to maintain in academic writing on documentary when there is no direct contact or experience with the medium.