Lies, damn lies and documentaries.

By: Winston, Brian.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : BFI Pub., 2000Description: iv, 186 p. ; 24 cm. (pbk).ISBN: 9780851707976.Subject(s): Film, Television and Radio | Ethics | Television | Documentaries | DocumentaryDDC classification: 791.43655WIN
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Book 791.43655 WIN (Browse shelf) Checked out 02/10/2020 F02723
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Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • 1 The Price of Popularity
  • 2 In from the Cold
  • 3 The Short, Sorry History of Documentary Ethics
  • 4 The Poisoned Chalice of Journalism
  • 5 The Documentarist's Ethical Compass
  • 6 The Rights of Documentarists
  • 7 Bibliography
  • 8 Statutes and Cases
  • 9 Bibliography

Reviews provided by Syndetics


A background in British broadcasting will be very helpful for readers of this excellent study of the current nature and ethics of the British television documentary, since Winston (Stirling Univ., UK) targets primarily readers in the UK, who are aware of brouhahas in the British press about "fakery" in the making of certain recent documentaries. American readers should not have difficulty piecing together something of the nature of the scandals from the information Winston offers concerning The Connection, a documentary commissioned for Britain's Channel 3 about a new drug-running route from Colombia to the UK, but some of the references to other documentary programs will be unfamiliar to most US readers. The two chapters on British law and regulation may be of interest for comparison with broadcast regulations in the US. What will be of particular value to a US audience is Winston's closely and convincingly argued discussion on the difference between journalism and documentary making. The final chapter, "Ethics," is also worthy of a close reading, since it examines truth telling, reconstruction, informed consent, and the audience's "right to know." Highly recommended for faculty, researchers, and upper-level undergraduates studying the British media, public service broadcasting, and media ethics. M. R. Grant North Central College