Law & Ethics of Photojournalism

Being a photojournalist isn’t always an easy job, we are always accused of false content and are told that some things we do are “illegal.” But, we tend to forget to hold the 1stamendment close to us to protect us from ignorance. What is the first amendment? Well, the first amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”


If we look close to the first part of it, it states that we have freedom of religion, from my understanding this means that we the people have the ability to exercise our own religion and the government isn’t allowed to tell us who and what we can believe in. Then, it states that we have freedom of speech and press, meaning we have the obligation to state and say how we feel, and are also able to voice our opinion. Lastly, we have is  freedom of assembly and petition. These two I would compare to freedom of speech and press, they kind of protect one another in a way because this means that the government isn’t allowed to create any law that would affect or disrupt any citizens peace.


So, with being a Photojournalist there are rules that you have to know before starting of what you should and shouldn’t do, overall it is called Code of Ethics. When doing the reading on the ( website, I noticed in total that there were 10 standards that were listed of what visual Journalist shouldn’t do. It began to state, “Do not pay sources or subjects or reward them materially for information or participation.” This was something that stood out to me because what I got out of it was by paying the subject or source, it can be looked at as a bargain, which is something that photojournalist don’t do.


Like John Long stated, “My purpose is not to give answers. My purpose is to provide you with a vocabulary, so you can discuss the ethical issues that may arise when using computers to process photographs.” ( For photojournalist it is hard for the people to give complete trust in us, they often time assume that we lie due to false news from other sources. I don’t completely agree with what Long is stating because I feel as though our job as photojournalist is to give the people answers and provide them with a vocabulary for them to discuss. We are the source, we inform the people on the local or world events that are going on. We are the reliable source, that they are suppose to lean on. (




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