National Press Photojournalists: A Code of Ethics
List at least seven things that the NPPA expects from photojournalists.
Ethical Considerations Scenarios:
Read the following scenarios and answer the following questions as both a photographer and photo editor. Post the answers in the blog section.
Photographer: You are working with a reporter on a story about a coach who holds some national records for weightlifting. You still need a shot of him working out, so you arrange to meet him at the gym and take pictures of him lifting weights just as he normally does. Make an argument for running your photo.
Photo editor: Do you run this set-up photo? Why or why not?
Answer:Yes, it is a good story but you must say this is not the competition but his training routine. You can’t claim its the competition because it is false.
Photographer: A baby left in a locked car died from the heat. You heard about it on a police scanner and were able to get a picture of the policeman taking the baby out of the car.
Photo editor: Do you run this as a warning to other parents? Why or why not?
Answer: I would run this photo with the permission of the parents saying this will benefit a lot of people, and will not name you or the baby. This is a news story so I have the right to publish it.
Photographer: A fire escape collapses during a fire, plunging a woman to her death. A child who also falls miraculously survived. You get a picture of them in mid-air, just as the fire escape gives way. The photo is a potential Pulitzer Prize winner.
Photo editor: Do you run this photo of a woman falling to her death? Why or why not?
Answer: I would publish this picture but with it publish an honor to the woman but keep the focus on the boy surviving not the Woman’s death. Because it is a news story I have the right to publish.
Photographer: A woman takes off her clothes in protest of being denied entrance to a building. You get a picture of her protest.
Photo editor: Do you run this photo of a nude woman? Why or why not?
Answer: I would not publish this picture because it is explicit. It can offend many of the viewers.
Photographer: During a news conference, an important political figure makes an obscene gesture at some hecklers in the crowd. You take the picture and turn it into your editor.
Photo editor: This is definitely newsworthy but potentially offensive. Do you run it? Why or why not?
Answer:I would publish it because it was his action so any offense was his fault. Also people don’t want politicians that will snap at somebody not being appropriate, that is the hired security’s job to take care of them.
Photographer: A man notifies the press that a newsworthy event will be taking place at a certain time and location. He makes a statement protesting a government action, then douses himself with gasoline and lights a match. You get some dramatic pictures of the event, potential prize winners.
Photo editor: Should you run the picture because it’s newsworthy or deny the protester the publicity he was seeking? Explain your decision.
Answer: It depends on what he was protesting. If I see it as a good argument then yes but if he was just a lunatic then no, I wouldn’t. Because it is not necessary to publish some guy doing a stupid action and potentially telling other lunatics that it is ok to do this.
Photographer: You photograph a family grieving over their son who drowned in a local canal. You capture them at the moment the authorities unzip the body bag for them to make identification of him.
Photo editor: Do you run this to urge other families to be cautious or respect the privacy of their grief?
Answer:I would publish the story but not the photo without consent of the family. Death is hard to deal with and this can possibly make it far worse for them.
Photographer: You photograph two students exchanging money and a bag of something. You realize this would be a great photo to go with a story your staff is doing on drugs on campus.
Photo editor: Do you run this? Why or why not?
Answer: No you cant run this because you don’t know what that bag had in it. This has the ability to destroy the two boys’ future because you lied about the picture.