Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

As a cameraman I am very disappointed in todays “let’s trap the celebrity” culture that we seem intent on breeding. It’s all about the”exclusive” and less about the person’s rights you are abusing. Filming news ten years ago as a freelance cameraman we had two codes of conduct when filming celebrates which included politicians…

1st code was to remind the person wearing a radio mic that it was still live and NEVER to record private conversation.

2nd code was never to ask for their autograph.

Once again we see a politician caught with an open radio mic and broadcast for all and sundry. Gordon Brown had been asked if he could keep the radio mic on by Sky Television as things were hectic and it would save time between stops.

Sky in my opinion have breeched an unwritten code of conduct by recording albeit by mistake Gordon Brown talking to his aide in complete confidence or so he thought. This does nothing but harbour total distrust between celebrities and the media to the point that they have the right to demand no radio mics in the future, spoiling it for everyone else.

We the lesser mortals who have nothing to do with television still adhere to those unwritten codes and what is recorded by mistake remains a private laugh on the cutting room floor AND THAT’S THE WAY IT SHOULD BE !

UPDATE : Listening to BBC Radio 4 this morning not one mention was given to the fact that Sky were totally out of order recording this let alone playing it back to world wide media.

I also got a very good comment reminding me that… “Lets not forget that Bskyb and The Sun are owned by the same person who is trying everything to get Brown out.” It’s a disgrace…just in case you are wondering I am no big fan of Gordon Brown let alone politics in general but I do not tolerate unfairness and Sky have a lot to answer for in my opinion.

I think Gordon Brown has a strong case for abuse of his rights and should take this up with OFCOM…there is a clear understanding between a broadcaster who tells a client to keep a radio mic on “TO SAVE THEM TIME” that they will not abuse this very sensitive position by recording once the client is clearly OFF CAMERA.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

3 thoughts on “Have the codes of conduct changed in television news !

  1. Completely agree the media are ruining it for themselves. Yes Gordon Brown was stupid for not remembering he had a mic on but you are right it was a mistake that SKY have totally used for there own means.

    Lets not forget that Bskyb and The Sun are owned by the same person who is trying everything to get Brown out.

    But these tactics bring journalism down to extremely poor standards.

  2. I agree with whats been said above. On a lesser point incidents like this mean its much less likely that politicians and celebrates will be willing to do crews a favour by wearing a radio mike, s it spoils it for everyone.

  3. Yes, you are quite right. This will only make it harder to get truth aired in the future. A black day for broadcasters.

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