Multimedia editing ethics

The NPPA Code of Ethics should absolutely apply to video and any multimedia being presented to the public as journalism. Manipulating video can be unethical, as was the case for the Las Vegas station KLAS that added gunshot sounds to the surveillance tape their aired on television. Al Tompkins lists on the Poynter Institute website five standards for “Sliding Sound, Altered Images.” There are as follows:
1.    Do not add.
2.    Be judicious in your use of music and special effects.
3.    Use special editing sparingly and carefully.
4.    Exercise extreme care when altering an image.
5.    Use File Tape Sparingly.
The last standard surprised me. Regardless I agree with it. Television news should consciously monitor the amount of file tape the use repeatedly. The public frequently argues that the news media is too negative. Using file tape sparingly should help lessen public distaste.

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