While journalists have a First Amendment right to record people protesting in public places, there are other ethical considerations that may influence their decisions when reporting on a demonstration. The rise of police surveillance technologies has led some photojournalists to wonder whether they should blur subjects' faces to protect protestors’ identities. Activists have called on the media to pay closer attention to the language they use- to describe peaceful protestors compared to rioters. Media commentators have raised questions about the journalistic practice of telling both sides of an issue (both-siderism), when it’s evident that one side is misrepresenting the facts.
Join First Amendment Watch at New York University and the Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in a conversation about how reporters, photographers, and editors should weigh their responsibility to report on public matters balanced against ethical concerns such as the privacy and safety of their subjects.
Want to prepare for the conversation with some reading? Check out First Amendment Watch's teacher guide on the Right to Record Police Police (bit.ly/3becsa2) and the First Amendment Right to Protest (bit.ly/2NBPKAG).