Pages Navigation Menu

Student should ask permission to record
before interviews begin QT 44

Share

As school begins, advisers often find now is the time for some legal and ethical reminders about interviewing.

One of those areas easily overlooked is asking for permission to record interviews. Ethically — and in some states legally — students should always ask permission to record an interview.

A good practice is to start recording — not only does this clarify the source being on the record, it also allows the journalist to review what the source said to ensure accuracy in quotes and context.

Recording the interview may allow for nontraditional coverage as well. For example, the journalist may opt to have a side “In their own voice” podcast to accompany a web story.

Additionally, now is a great time to review the following terms: on the record, off the record, on background and unnamed sources. Additional resources may be found here.

The use of unnamed sources can be found here.

 

Guideline

Whenever possible, reporters should record their interviews. It may be legal in some states to record sources during an interview without their permission, but ethically, journalists should identify themselves as journalists and ask permission to record. Best practice for the journalist is to thank the source for allowing the recording for the student media program.

Social media post/question:

What’s the first question you should ask when you want to record an interview? (HINT: You should do it before you even turn on the recording device.)

Stance:

Students should record interviews whenever the source gives permission —  but only after permission is granted.

Reasoning/suggestions:

Ethically — and in some states legally — students should always ask permission to record an interview. Not only does this clarify the source being on the record, it also allows the journalist to review what the source said to ensure accuracy in quotes and context. Additionally, recording may allow for nontraditional coverage as well. Students should be reminded that a recording device is not a substitute for notetaking. Reporters should still take notes as if they did not have a recorder in case of technical problems.

Resources:

https://journalistsresource.org/tip-sheets/reporting/interviewing-a-source

https://www.spj.org/ethics-papers-anonymity.asp :

Interviewing a source: tips

Anonymous sources

Recording interviews

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.