Step one: Whatinthehellis ethics?

So a first baby-step toward my personal code of ethics for documentary filmmaking is to start where others have “finished.” I began my career as a journalist. I spent 20 years teaching journalism. And about halfway through that time, I took on the project of learning documentary filmmaking and teaching that subject, too.

In my last post I linked to the Documentary Accountability Working Group. Thier recently published framework of values is a code of ethics of sorts because codes of ethics are nothing if not expressions of values in regard to a practice (confining myself to applied ethics here). Similarly, you can learn much about what journalists value (another non-fiction practice) by checking out the code of ethics published by the Society of Professional Journalists. It’s the oldest such expression in the craft and considered the starting point for any serious expression of journalistic values and ethics.

One new. One venerable. Each very different from the other. But there’s much to learn.

So these are my starting points.

Oh, and the question in the headline? Answer: An expression of values that guides the choice of what we ought and ought not do in the practice of ________.

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