It is a question which arises time after time, especially for journalists working in dangerous areas and the developing work: at what point do you step into a story to provide humanitarian aid to your subject?
This was something we discussed with Chris Green from Future Voices, a company which offers training to journalists considering working in hostile environments. “You need to remind yourself that you are a journalist, you are there for one reason. Look after your team, look after yourself, get your story,” he told us at the time.
This week the BBC College of Journalism also takes a look at the issue in an interesting interview with Jezza Newman, director and cameraman for Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children a documentary repeated on BBC2 last week, posted on the site.
Newman says it is important for the overall message to remain powerful for the audience.
As awkward as it is for us to walk away, it should be awkward for the viewer to watch. By doing what we did and making the viewer as awkward as we made them feel we ended up raising £43,000 and we believe that what we chose to do, by not stepping in, contributed to what eventually is a good.
- Watch Al Jazeera’s Shooting the Messenger on YouTube
- CPJ: Call for freedom for detained journalists after releases from Libya and Iran
- CNN.com: Zimbabwe demands registration fees from foreign journalists
- BBC Editors Blog: BBC resumes operations in Zimbabwe (as does CNN)
- Digital Editors on Twitter – step two