Image Ethics: The Moral Rights of Subjects in Photographs, Film, and Television

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Larry Gross, John Stuart Katz, Jay Ruby
Oxford University Press, Feb 28, 1991 - Social Science - 401 pages
This pathbreaking collection of thirteen original essays examines the moral rights of the subjects of documentary film, photography, and television. Image makers--photographers and filmmakers--are coming under increasing criticism for presenting images of people that are considered intrusive and embarrassing to the subject. Portraying subjects in a "false light," appropriating their images, and failing to secure "informed consent" are all practices that intensify the debate between advocates of the right to privacy and the public's right to know. Discussing these questions from a variety of perspectives, the authors here explore such issues as informed consent, the "right" of individuals and minority groups to be represented fairly and accurately, the right of individuals to profit from their own image, and the peculiar moral obligations of minorities who image themselves and the producers of autobiographical documentaries. The book includes a series of provocative case studies on: the documentaries of Frederick Wiseman, particularly Titicut Follies; British documentaries of the 1930s; the libel suit of General Westmoreland against CBS News; the film Witness and its portrayal of the Amish; the film The Gods Must be Crazy and its portrayal of the San people of southern Africa; and the treatment of Arabs and gays on television. The first book to explore the moral issues peculiar to the production of visual images, Image Ethics will interest a wide range of general readers and students and specialists in film and television production, photography, communications, media, and the social sciences.


A Moral Pause
2 The Tradition of the Victim in Griersonian Documentary
The Case of Titicut Follies
4 Access and Consent in Public Photography
5 Ethics and Professionalism in Documentary Filmmaking
6 Ethics and the Perception of Ethics in Autobiographical Film
7 Images as Property
8 A Study in Multiple Forms of Bias
9 The Ethics of Misrepresentation
10 Perspectives on the Television Arab
11 Hollywood Markets the Amish
The Gods Must Be Crazy
Minority SelfImaging Oppositional Film Practice and the Question of Image Ethics
Selected Annotated Bibliography
List of Contributors

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