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Importance of scale in visual reporting QT67

Posted by on May 14, 2018 in Blog, Quick Tips, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

Guideline:

Journalists must be vigilant in ensuring charts and infographics do not inaccurately depict the information nor should it mislead the reader. Be weary of data interpretations from others — especially those who benefit from the results.

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Respecting privacy and public space
important for photographers, too QT47

Posted by on Jan 28, 2018 in Blog, Quick Tips, Teaching, Visual Reporting | 0 comments

Student journalists should never invade the privacy of others while accessing information or photos for a story.

 However. it is their journalistic duty to know what constitutes invasion of privacy or what spaces they are legally allowed to access and what spaces they are not legally allowed to access.

Student journalists should check the legal and ethical parameters of public space and the latest recommendations for journalistic activity from the Student Press Law Center.

Bottom line: Student photographers should familiarize themselves with where they can, and cannot, legally take pictures in order to avoid legal consequences and/or stand up for themselves when legally taking pictures

Guideline

Student journalists should check the legal and ethical parameters of public space and the latest recommendations for journalistic activity from the Student Press Law Center.  

Question: 

What (and where) can student photographers legally photograph?

Stance

Student journalists should never invade the privacy of others while accessing information or photos for a story, however it is their journalistic duty to know what constitutes invasion of privacy or what spaces they are legally allowed to access and what spaces they are not legally allowed to access.

Key points/action

  • Public space = Any space that is deemed “public” in nature. For example,  the sidewalk, street, hallways in public schools or government owned buildings, etc. Journalists can take pictures of whatever they want as long as they are standing in a public place. If they can see something from that public space there is no expectation of privacy. (I.e. It is not an “invasion of privacy” for a student journalist to take a picture of a couple kissing in the hallway of a public school because there is no “reasonable expectation of privacy.”
  • Semi-public space = this is public space in a privately owned space (such as the food court at the mall). In this space, journalists can take photos because there is no “reasonable expectation of privacy.” In this situation, they do not have to stop taking pictures if a customer asks them to stop. However, they DO have to stop taking pictures in this situation if the owner of the space asks them to do so (or if authorities ask them to do so).
  • Private space = these are places where there is a “reasonable expectation of privacy” and journalists should gain permission before taking pictures. Note, these places are not always “privately” owned, but they always have a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” A locker room, for example, may be a public space but there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. Homes, offices, etc. all have expectations of privacy and journalists cannot invade that privacy.
  • Scenarios:
    • A classroom in a public high school – if the journalist is taking pictures from an established public place (such as the hallway) and the door is open, they can then take pictures as there is no “reasonable expectation of privacy” and they are standing in a public place. If the door of the classroom is closed, they issue becomes more of a legal grey area and, depending on the nature of the photographs, it may best to let everyone know pictures are being taken.
    • An open window to a house – if the journalistic is taking pictures of someone’s house and then shades are open, they can take pictures of the inside of the house as long as they do not trespass and stay on the “public space.” Because the shades are open, there can no longer be a claim for a “reasonable expectation of privacy.”

Student journalists have a legal right to photograph public spaces, regardless of what administrators may tell them.

Reasoning/suggestions:

Students should know their legal rights when it comes to accessing public and private spaces for information.

Bottom line: Student photographers should familiarize themselves with where they can, and cannot, legally take pictures in order to avoid legal consequences and/or stand up for themselves when legally taking pictures. Resources

Related: Transparency

 

 

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