'Patricia Aufderheide Talks Ethical Issues in Documentary Field

Ethical Issues in Documentary Field

It’s time

to put “values into action” in the documentary field, argued professor Patricia Aufderheide at

Prioritize the

needs, wellbeing and experience of the people associated with the film, treat potential audience members

“If your

participant is a young Black kid who wants to play basketball, like in [Steve James’] ‘

In the

end, they received almost $200,000 in royalties from the film

Still, such

a solution won’t make ethical sense every single time

“If you

are making a film about Elon Musk, Elon Musk does not need to be compensated

As pointed

out by Aufderheide, practices associated with journalism don’t have to apply to documentary films

Sometimes, showing

the film to the participants in advance or even offering producer credits for shaping the

“[Not doing

it] might work when you are investigating a corrupt public official

It doesn’t

work as well when you work with a traumatized individual, or a whistleblower, or

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