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Recording sources during interviews

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sprclogoFoundations_mainEthical guidelines
It may be legal in some states to record sources during an interview without their permission, but ethically, journalists always should ask permission to record an interview.

Staff manual process
Members of the editorial board should develop a procedure for recording sources.

Suggestions
Statements may include the following guidelines:
• Always ask a source before the interview begins if it may be recorded.
• Keep audio recorders in clear view.
• Test equipment prior to the interview.
• Bring extra power sources.
• Treat digital recordings in the same manner as digital notes. In other words, students can play back a quote for verification but should avoid turning over the entire record or story for review prior to publication.
• Keep the audio/video file for at least one year.
• Establish a plan for how reporters will respond when sources want to go off the record.

Resources
Reporter’s Recording Guide, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Think Before You Record, The Poynter Institute
Audio: Asking Tough Questions, JEA Scholastic Press Rights Committee, Press Rights Minute

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