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truth in reporting..

you are photographing an event which is open to the media. you photograph something that contradicts the official report.. you also witness, but do not record another aspect which also contradicts the official report. the first part is potentially damaging to the subject’s reputation.. the second has no potential impact, but the subject demands this truth remain hidden.. what do you do?

by julia s. ferdinand at 2013-05-01 08:12:37 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

This is always a quandary——I can think of only one time right now where this has happened and it gave me pause for thought and I ignored it in the end because it had no bearing on the story I was covering—-it was unpleasant for sure, but it was not the story and not illegal, so while I had complete media access with everyone aware that I was there—-it was just an odd event that took place——but again it was not critical to the story nor illegal and was not going to hurt anyone.

I am thinking of others but none are really dramatic——

I think also, you have to take into account the nature of the story—-I covered a story on a chef that was super “organic” and the story was on the chef’s volunteer work with a portrait in the kitchen working etc——but then I saw ingredients in the kitchen I knew not to be organic in the least—-so I was not really there to pursue that angle so that was that—-it could be that he rented out the kitchen at night to someone else and it was their ingredients or a wrong delivery——if the angle was different, I would have pursued the discovery by asking about it and then at least advising the editor about it especially if it was a feature story on the “organic chef,” and then let them decide what would be done—-maybe no story or then maybe it turns investigative—-in the end I think I advised the editor so in the event a feature was to be done in the future, it could be discussed at that time—-

Now lets say in your media event, it’s a book signing with an author and behind the scenes you become aware that the author did not write the book but someone else did——I would shoot it as planned and then make inquiries with the intent of doing a story on it——firstly allowing the author to explain, defend or come clean on the situation——not illegal to have someone write your book for you but un-ethical to tout the feat as your own.

Something more dramatic might be illegal drug use or say an animal rights activist mis-treating an animal or maybe a sexual pecadillo where someone is caught in the act of something contrary to what they claim in public and they are a public figure——-I think on your own it would be a mistake to just publish say with an agency a photo illustrating something unfit and incongruent --smart money says to hook up directly with a reputable media outlet and working with them to allow the subject to explain or least respond to what took place—-depends on the nature of the event if its worth it, if its illegal and it’s potentially harmful to others and really what your view of it with your ability to live with it or not——

good luck—-


by David Bro | 01 May 2013 15:05 (ed. May 1 2013) | Orange County-Los Angeles, United States | | Report spam→
It depends on the context but something else worth considering is that truths that carry an interest also carry collateral damage.

by Ethan Knight | 01 May 2013 23:05 | Bangkok, Thailand | | Report spam→
If you’re commissioned to photograph something in order to provide visual endorsement, like a PR person, then that’s what you do, and you’re blind to the stuff that is contradictory. You’re essentially being paid to support the commercial or political agenda. It’s propaganda. It happens all the time.
If however, you’re a journalist or photojournalist covering a story then, generally speaking (and knowing that your photographs will influence others, and knowing that readers/viewers anticipate that you will not mislead them), you have a duty to display and describe what you witnessed. Accurately.
I’ve been watching lots of rapportage about the domestic conflict in Syria, for example, and have been a little dismayed by journalists who’ve filed TV reports that blatantly only tell one side of the story – and, as we know, that particular story has important content on all sides. I also recall, in my power days, deporting a journalist who did such a thing: in fact, he wrote a story about a horrific incident involving police, police dogs and peaceful protesters – an event that did not occur. By deporting him I saved him from being lynched by his journalist colleagues…
It all depends on who you are, what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it….
(’m back in Sydney).

by Dr Chris Westinghouse | 02 May 2013 02:05 (ed. May 2 2013) | Bangkok, Thailand | | Report spam→

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julia s. ferdinand, photographer julia s. ferdinand
Chiang Mai , Thailand ( CNX )
David Bro, freelance editorial David Bro
freelance editorial
Orange County , United States ( LAX )
Ethan Knight, Documentary Photographer Ethan Knight
Documentary Photographer
Bangkok , Thailand
Dr  Chris Westinghouse, Photojournalist Dr Chris Westinghouse
(Generalist For Hire)
Melbourne , Australia


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