Ethical guidelines for production of media
- All student media needs to be produced subject to these ethical guidelines. Work that does not confirm to these guidelines may not be handed in.
- The people involved in a story need to provide informed consent. This means they need to be aware that the student is producing a story about them, where that story will be circulated, and give explicit permission for this, ideally in a consent form or media release form. Based on journalistic ethics, the exception to this rule of informed consentT is where a public official directly related to the story refuses to give consent for his or her comment or non-comment on a story to be published. This may be reported on if the student acknowledges being a journalist/ media producer in seeking out the comment and if the story is in the public interest.
- Stories that are in the public interest generally relate to issues of public safety, and accountability related to the spending of public money.
- Students may not engage in trespassing, secret recordings, or misrepresenting themselves and the purpose of their questioning. Students may not make up sources or comments and misrepresent these as factual journalism.
- Any work with children needs to involve written consent from one of the parents as well as the consent from the child, if the child is able to do so. Consent from children may be provided in writing, or recorded.
- Stories produced should not cause harm. Sources should not be encouraged to engage in harmful or dangerous actions such as reckless driving or illegal substance abuse for the purpose of the story. Students themselves should not put themselves in danger for the sake of a story.
- If an accusation of wrongdoing is made against an individual or institution, that person has the right of reply, and the student should seek out comment from that person to include alongside the accusation.
- Stories produced should not infringe on the privacy of individuals. Students should strive towards the journalistic practice of verification, where they do not rely on hearsay, but seek out confirmation on information received from sources. This could include: seeking out sources that are close to the story, assessing the interest people have in a story and following the money, and corroborating a story through additional sources or documents.
- If the student has an interest in the story, for example if the story involves a relative or partner or business interests in which the student or their family have a stake, this needs to be stated in a disclaimer. In exceptional cases of public interest, students may apply for special leeway in relation to these guidelines from their lecturer, in which case they will need written permission from the year board.
Last Modified: Wed, 04 Mar 2020 15:51:49 SAST