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XCheck
10-04-2005, 06:56 PM
It looks like my life is getting more interesting by the hour (I hope I don't have distant Chinese relatives who put a curse on my head).

Here is a story: Yesterday, some kid fell off the cliff at the place where I live:
http://www.bohemia-images.com/content/Aerial/images/98352acs.jpg

It's a townhouse condominium in Toronto (not in the picture, just off its edge). There were firefighters, police, EMS, and, of course, TV. Thankfully, no serious injuries, so just a little excitement for the community.

Today, a fire truck appears on the property once again. My wife is on the condo's board of directors, so she went to see what's up. She saw some people climbing out of a fenced-off area where a portion of our land recently collapsed due to natural erosion of the bluffs, and she asked them why they were in what was obviously an off-bounds area. This turned out to be a TV crew (a different station than the one covering yesterday's events). Instead of answering, they turned the camera on, and started blathering something about doing a story on public safety. My wife responded that this is a private property (which they should have known because we have a large sign at the entrance), and that they shouldn't be going into the unstable area of the bluffs.

At this point, the reporter got into high gear - basically accusing my wife of endangering public safety. She asked them to leave, which they refused to do, so she asked the firefighters for assistance. They said 'just don't talk to them and walk away', which she did.

Some time later, the TV crew left but the firefighters stayed for a while. My wife went back to ask if they knew anything about the TV crew's story. It turns out that after she had left, they rounded up some kids in the community, and had them stand on a really steep area of the cliffs (which is no longer on our propery but in an adjacent public park), and took a footage of that. Then they left.

Never mind that they were tresspassing on a private property. They didn't leave when a lawfully elected representative of the community asked them to do so, and then they endangered safety of our minor residents, without their parent's knowledge or permission, by having them stand on the steepest area of the bluffs. I think our lawyers will have a field day with them (hey, we can be American, too! :thumbsup: ), especially if they run the story and somehow suggest that the (unfenced) cliff is on our property.

So I have a little project in my mind. On Friday, I am going to go to the station with my DVX, flash a laminated 'PRESS' card and insist that I am doing a story on fire safety, and that I want to film the sprinklers in their offices - see what happens, and have the whole thing filmed. Anyone in Toronto who wants to join me?

Josh_Boelter
10-04-2005, 07:19 PM
Sounds like fun. Don't think I can make the five-hour drive to Toronto though. Post some clips and let us know how it goes.

David G. Smith
10-04-2005, 07:24 PM
Go get 'em XCheck!! :thumbsup:

XCheck
10-04-2005, 07:25 PM
Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Barry_S
10-04-2005, 07:30 PM
I think it would be much more effective to send a letter of complaint to the station and letters complaining about the illegal and unethical behavior to every major news outlet in Toronto. Contact your equivalent of the City Paper--they're always hot to publish lapses in journalism. If you were to actually show up at the station with your camera, they'd thow you out pronto. Fight the media with their own tools. You can also file a trespassing complaint with the police.

XCheck
10-04-2005, 07:36 PM
I think it would be much more effective to send a letter of complaint to the station and letters complaining about the illegal and unethical behavior to every major news outlet in Toronto. Contact your equivalent of the City Paper--they're always hot to publish lapses in journalism. If you were to actually show up at the station with your camera, they'd thow you out pronto. Fight the media with their own tools. You can also file a trespassing complaint with the police.Barry... BARRY! You know me... that would be... too civilized. Not BOHEMIAN enough! I actually WANT to be thrown out! :laugh: And have it on camera! :lipsrseal

Well, I don't know what I really want to achieve - I am not on the board, and I wasn't present, so I don't think I can file anything with anyone. But having some fun with them - why not? It would show nicely with the rest of my reel :thumbsup:

Alexa
10-04-2005, 07:37 PM
For the most part, I would just leave it, don't go out the station. you'll waste your time.

if you want to let off some steam and perhaps prevent the abuses again, you should just call the news director at the tv station where the reporter and crew were asses. bring up the public safety thing, the total lack of respect and discourteous behavior, refusing to leave private property, etc.

then knife them by telling the station their news is vapid, sensational, crap and they just lost another bunch of viewers in the neighborhood. You like print,radion, and internet better anyway..you will bring it up at the next community meeting, to remind everyone of what a dis-service station XXXX is to the public and to avoid watching them ever.

if you want more, call the reporter directly and chew him-her out. they should know better and also endangered their own crew in the process.

David G. Smith
10-04-2005, 07:39 PM
I think it would be much more effective to send a letter of complaint to the station and letters complaining about the illegal and unethical behavior to every major news outlet in Toronto. Contact your equivalent of the City Paper--they're always hot to publish lapses in journalism. If you were to actually show up at the station with your camera, they'd thow you out pronto. Fight the media with their own tools. You can also file a trespassing complaint with the police.

Send a letter to the Corporate owners of the station, if there is one. I've worked for large corporations, there is nothing more frightening then a call from the home office about your conduct. Does not matter if you are right, just having to explain to the big boss about what you did is punishment in itself and has been known to stop careers right in their tracks.

Josh_Boelter
10-05-2005, 05:29 AM
Write the letter and go to the station with your camera! You don't have to be belligerent when you show up, but simply show them how their own style of so-called journalism works when it's turned around on them. Yeah, you'll get thrown out, but I think it will be effective, as long as you don't get too nasty or anything.

Rasquachemedia
10-05-2005, 07:02 AM
xcheck will soon be canada's version of michael moore :)

galt
10-06-2005, 06:59 AM
Get your camera and a full tank of gas, and start following the news crew around. Don't tape the news, tape them doing their fake setups and giving people instructions on what to say, interview people afterward about what "really" happened. Sounds like the making of a great documentary to me. And since they are tresspassing, they would have NO grounds to throw you off any property they happen to be on or stop you in any way. In America, I would wear my NRA hat just to keep the hotshots from getting too combative. :)

Josh_Boelter
10-06-2005, 07:25 AM
Great idea, galt.

vanZutten
10-06-2005, 11:47 AM
I'm with galt all the way. The fact they were trespassing, and endangering their own lives... I see no harm done really, so why the fuss. I do this myself sometimes, especially with a lot of the most beautiful places becoming private property. Anyhow, I find the other part where they got the kids on the cliff to do a story about public safety more interesting. I'd follow up on that.

Btw, what station was it? I'm from the Toronto myself, and kind of like the fun side of the project. I won't be here on friday though.

XCheck
10-06-2005, 02:47 PM
xcheck will soon be canada's version of michael moore :)Call me Mickey. :evil:

XCheck
10-06-2005, 02:50 PM
Btw, what station was it? I'm from the Toronto myself, and kind of like the fun side of the project. I won't be here on friday though.It was Global. The fact that they are part of CanWest is another compelling reason to go after them.

I aint' no leftie, but media conglomeration is bad on either side of the equation.

BTW - there is a difference between trespassing and refusing to leave when asked. Also, they violated my wife's right to privacy, and that is my biggest problem with them. We keep talking here about how we need releases and permits and all that shit. Does that not apply to news crews? Are they not obliged to respect private property and a proper release? My wife has been interviewed by major newspapers in the past, and in each case they had her sign a release. Why not now?

A police report has been filed and we also filed a complaint with CRTC.

XCheck
10-06-2005, 02:57 PM
Get your camera and a full tank of gas, and start following the news crew around. Don't tape the news, tape them doing their fake setups and giving people instructions on what to say, interview people afterward about what "really" happened. Sounds like the making of a great documentary to me. And since they are tresspassing, they would have NO grounds to throw you off any property they happen to be on or stop you in any way. In America, I would wear my NRA hat just to keep the hotshots from getting too combative. :)Great suggestion! I was thinking something along those lines, too.

MarcM
10-06-2005, 08:53 PM
OK, here's the scoop (so to speak). First, a firefighter is not a cop. They don't police. In fact. if there's a fire and they want people to stay away they call the cops to keep the public safely away. Second, when the news crew was told to leave private property and they didn't the police should have been called to remove the trespassers. News crews CAN shoot anywhere they want as long is it's public land. As soon as they wander onto private land they have to get permission to be there. I know, I was a news photographer for fifteen years. Sometimes we'd go onto private land to try to get some shots but if asked we had to leave. No arguments from me , we just left the private property and got what we could from somewhere public. In the case of a house. A news crew walking into someones house that say, just got robbed is not an option unless the owners said it was OK. If not, well then we'd get creative and ask the neighbor if we could shoot some video from their house next door over the fence or something. Whatever it may be news crews will try to push the boundaries but if they're told to leave private property then get your lawyer and go american on 'em. Get the tapes. slap a tresspassing lawsuite on them. Knock yourself out. Keep in mind that a news station probably has a lot more money for lawyers than you, so...

Daniel_Runyon
10-07-2005, 02:02 AM
I say do it and post the clip, purely for our entertainment. Whatever you do, DO NOT let them confiscate the tape....you run like the wind if you have to, and throw it in the bushes and come back at night in a ninja suit to get it. And tape that too while you're at it.

XCheck
10-12-2005, 03:49 PM
Ha ha - I went to the station. Took some footage outside, then went inside, talked to a security guard. It's all on camera (the sec. guard is sound-only). I had found earlier who the reporter was by calling the newsroom, so I went there to see if I could talk to him - he wasn't there (of course :shocked: ).

The reporter called me back yesterday. At one point he said - if your wife had a problem with us being on your property, she should have called the police. How arrogant is that? Right - I am sure they would have waited until the police comes. They had already gotten their footage anyway... I asked him about the tapes - he said they've been recycled already. Well - this looks like something that should be changed. CRTC (Canadian version of FCC) requires the stations to keep their tapes for 28 days, but he claims it applies only to the final broadcast, not the raw footage.

I ordered a CD ROM with the broadcast clip from a media monitoring outlet just to be sure I get the footage - I don't count on the station allowing me to have a copy of the clips.

It looks like our property mgmt company has problems of their own with the broadcast. They are contacting a city councillor who appeared on a follow-up newsclip the next day and apparently made some 'untruthful' statements (to be a little Orwellian here). As far as I know, they also want to talk to the station mgmt, so I don't know what turn this may take.

On a personal level, I am still quite upset that they broadcast the footage of my wife despite her clear request to be left alone and leave the property.

I've had some ideas on how to turn this into a documentary that is not a personal "vendetta", so I have to write down a treatment and start pursuing it as an issue of general interest.

XCheck
10-24-2005, 06:31 PM
Hey, thought you folks might be interested in an update...

So I finally saw the story. What a piece of bullshit! They violated several articles of Radio Television News Directors Association of Canada
Code of Ethics (http://www.cbsc.ca/english/codes/rtndacode/rtnda.htm). So my wife and I took the camera, the story they aired, and went back to the station (yeah - I know you folks said not to do that :thumbsup: ). So, we get there and call the newsroom, she explains she wants talk to someone about this whole story, gets to talk to the news director - all while we are right in front of the station.

At one point, he asked if the conversation was taped (he probably saw us from his office), and when my wife said yes, he hung up. Rightly so - I'd do the same thing, and don't blame him at all. Except...

Their own broadcast story included a taped conversation with the property manager where he finally got fed up with them and hung up. I doubt they told him they were taping it, and I know for fact he didn't give them the permission to broadcast. What they didn't include (surprise) was his explanation that he himself cannot give interviews regarding the property without an authorization from its owners, and that the owners were represented by a volunteer board of directors who were not available at that time (in the middle of a work day).

So, we go back to the car, and I turn around to take a few last shots of the building and the impressive satelite dishes. What do you know? A security guard is approaching, and he says that we are on a private property, and that we should leave. So I ask him why, and what difference it makes if a reporter is asked to leave a private property versus a private citizen... a lot of uh's and er's follow, with references to non-existent professional associations , looking to the ground, throughly embarassed that he was the one picked to deal with the pesky cameraman (the poor thing probably wasn't even instructed what to say). I actually felt a little sorry for him.

To make the story short: everything they did in the story, they have objections when the lens turns in their direction :shocked: .

We eventually left, of course (no desire to get arrested), but it's all on tape, and it's quite a rush to watch it.

I have very little time to edit, and still want to pursue some other ways to record the lack of respect for the community they work in, but I promise this will eventually go online for everyone to see... :beer:

I am pretty sure they see that we are serious with the complaint we filed with CRTC (who shuffled it to CBSC, who shuffled it to the station - what a ridiculous bunch of bureaucrats). We got their attention - we'll see where it goes from here.

Long live freedom of press, and responsible journalism! :beer:

hotchkiss
10-24-2005, 06:52 PM
xcheck will soon be canada's version of michael moore :)

Except for the fact that it's Michael Moore who is the decieving and dishonest media purveyor. The TV station is the one standing in for Mr. Moore and disseminating falshoods on an ignorant public.

As an ex-news photographer- stick it to them Xcheck ! Take any chance to expose the news media's shenanigans to the public. If I was closer than Arizona, I'd join you.

Great idea !

XCheck
10-24-2005, 07:14 PM
Except for the fact that it's Michael Moore who is the decieving and dishonest media purveyor. Not to disagree. I think that Rasquachemedia just reacted to my well documented dislike of Mickey Moore :beer:


As an ex-news photographer- stick it to them Xcheck ! Take any chance to expose the news media's shenanigans to the public. If I was closer than Arizona, I'd join you.

Great idea !Thanks for the encouragement!

Joe Kras
10-25-2005, 06:25 AM
Not sure if they'd go with it, but what about pitching the story to any competing stations in the area?

They probably wouldn't bite, for fear of getting their own warts exposed, but you never know...

Nice job in following through.

denverdvx
11-16-2005, 03:56 PM
It's unfortunate that a few morons like these make the rest of us who work in the media look bad.

I'm a news photographer in Denver and it pisses me off to no end when other crews pull this kind of crap.

I realize that you've already approached the station about this, but your best bet would have been to call and talk to the news director and complain in a diplomatic fashion. You'll get better results this way (i.e. the persons involved will be repremanded). Walking up to the station with a camera rolling gets you nowhere and you won't be taken seriously.

Believe it or not there are those of us who are in the TV news business that do practice ethics. It's just that you never hear about us. It's the ones who cause the problems that get the attention.

Daniel_Runyon
11-16-2005, 04:41 PM
Walking up to the station with a camera rolling gets you nowhere and you won't be taken seriously.


Perhaps not, but it does provide something far more important....our web forum entertainment! Thanks, Jerry! I still say the Ninja thing was the way to go.

XCheck
11-16-2005, 07:49 PM
Oh, entertaining it is...

Since an official complaint is being processed (well - their deadline set by CBSC expired yesterday, but we are giving them some slack), there have been no more Ninja stunts in the last few weeks. But given that the news director promised to get back to us within a week (it's been almost four), and we haven't hear from them since... we might be donning the black suits once again :thumbsup: .

We (my wife and I) have written a short treatment to get a 'public interest' documentary going, not sure yet if we are going to pitch it anywhere, or go indie all the way (probably the latter). While it's triggerred and inspired by our own experience, it will aim at helping the viewers understand what they can do to be prepared against such attacks.

Should be fun - we'll see! Now if only a week had 10 days, and every day had 40 hours! :cry:

JPatnaude
11-17-2005, 07:19 AM
[QUOTE=hotchkiss]Except for the fact that it's Michael Moore who is the decieving and dishonest media purveyor. The TV station is the one standing in for Mr. Moore and disseminating falshoods on an ignorant public.

Thank GOD! I'm not the only one here that knows the truth about Moore. Very irresponsible filmmaker (notice I didn't call him a journalist).

I shot news for a while also. I think what you are doing is great.
Definately cvall them on their behavior. But be carefful if you go swatting that hornets nest.

Good luck!

Jeff Patnaude
:thumbsup:

XCheck
08-02-2006, 07:33 PM
All right - it's been some time. Ten months and several complaints later (escalated to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council), we finally received a ruling by the CBSC. The station was found in violation of journalistic ethics, and was required to broadcast the following:


The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has found that Global Ontario breached provisions of the Canadian Association of Broadcastersí and Radio-Television News Directors Association's Codes of Ethics in the news reports dealing with safety issues on the Scarborough Bluffs which aired on Global News on October 4 and 5, 2005. The news reports contained inaccurate information about the ownership of a condominium property and the venues at which its news story had been shot, contrary to Clause 5 of the CAB Code of Ethics and Article 1 of the RTNDA Code of (Journalistic) Ethics. The news reports were also found to distort the ease of accessibility to the eroding parking area and the provision of notices regarding that endangered area, as well as the reaction of the property manager and a board member of the condominium association to the Global reporterís questions, contrary to Clause 6 of the CAB Code of Ethics and Article 3 of the RTNDA Code of (Journalistic) Ethics.


It's a small victory (they still didn't agree with our complaint about violation of privacy and some issues with endangering minors while getting their story), but at least it shows that one can get somewhere - if you have the patience and the persistence. The next step will be getting a written apology from the station - something I am sure they will resist doing.

Now that the story has come to a point of closure, I hope to find some time to do a couple more interviews and cut it into my own short doc...

Cheers to the little guy :beer:

Bus No. 8
08-04-2006, 12:22 PM
You've read the thread - now see the movie!

Can't wait!

Tainted
08-04-2006, 02:23 PM
Video tape the idiots and blog about it and let the TV station know what you've done. Heh.

Joe Kras
08-08-2006, 08:04 PM
Way to go, XCheck!

It IS nice to see the little guy prevail for a change.