The First Amendment is First for a Reason

The First Amendment in our constitution is as follows:

“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.”

As a citizen of the United States, our First Amendment gives us a voice to express our opinions and a voice to criticize the environment and institutions we live. It grants us the ability to indulge is self-expression and to explore beliefs and ideas that shape us individually. It also allows us to share these thoughts, opinions, and beliefs with the public whether it be in the form of conversation, protest or press.

The First Amendment gives us a strong power that allows us to truly be in charge of our own lives if we abide by it correctly and ethically.

As a studying journalist and photojournalist, I’m taught to share information with my peers, no matter how harsh and brutal it can be. It’s my job to spread the truth and exercise my freedom of speech and press. However, it is extremely important for me to recognize my ethical boundaries, so I don’t abuse my constitutional rights.

However, it is extremely important for me to recognize my ethical boundaries, so I don’t abuse my constitutional rights.

Reading multiple articles and Photo Journalism The Professionals Approach by Kenneth Kobré discussing photojournalism ethics, I found a strong common rule embedded in each list that I thought was a strong rule to go by when trying to get a story.

That specific rule is called the “Golden Rule” which explains that you should never photograph, write, get involved with something, if you would never want that story released about you. You have to put yourself in your subject’s shoes at all times, you need to treat others how you would wish to be treated.

I also learned about what I can photograph and where, and found the possibilities I have to capture something is larger than I had imagined.

A major thing that contributed to this knowledge was the fact that photojournalists do not have to release the content they captured upon police request if they were shooting in a place it’s allowed, which is almost anywhere unless specifically stated.

This is specified in “The Photographers Rights” by Bert P Krages II along with other rights photojournalists have.

These rights along with limits, are extremely important to keep in mind as a visual storyteller. They will assist me in releasing honest, ethical and important stories. Even if there is a struggle along the way because the truth may be hard to see and hard to hear, I will fight with my rights because it’s the public’s right to know what’s going on in their world, no matter if it’s good or bad.

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