Look, he's got a camera!

I thought I went out for dinner, little did I know I would be in the shoot of a TV show - recorded without my consent.

Sidrah Moiz September 08, 2011

The other night I was out with friends for dinner at a restaurant when a famous TV chef and his entourage entered the restaurant. As everyone started filling their plates the cameraman turned on a dinky light. I looked around and saw the celebrity chefs weren’t the only ones who were being filmed. Everyone in the restaurant was -- of course, without unanimous consent.

Surprisingly, I seemed to be the only one who had a problem with this. Suddenly, there was a wave of excitement and another spell of filming and clicking — local celebrity Zubeida apa (I hate calling her apa, since she’s probably my grandmother’s age) had entered the restaurant.

I complained to the manager, but he refused to do anything.

The incident reminds me of what I come across in my media classes. I had been taught that invading someone’s privacy is as offensive as trespassing into someone’s territory. There are laws backing this — laws of defamation, trespassing, nuisance and surveillance.

The proper way to conduct a shoot in public places should include taking permission from the people present, or at the very least, informing them.

Compare this to how someone would have complained had I started filming them with my personal camera without permission.

But the problem is that people get excited when they see the camera. Everyone wants to be on TV and have their 15 minutes of fame. They don’t mind being filmed. They hand over themselves to the media.

A corporate lawyer (who teaches a friend of mine) who handles media law told his class that people hardly file cases against media organisations when their privacy is breached. The lawyer says this is probably because people are not even aware that such laws exist and that people have the right to sue a media organisation.

As a media studies graduate, I came to know about the ethics of journalism and norms that journalists need to consider when reporting. All of us, as consumers, are responsible for how far we allow the media to encroach upon our lives. If we grant it unnecessary power then we have no right to complain about it.

Sidrah Moiz
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


ibrar arshad | 10 years ago | Reply @author So what you did was simply nothing. Instead of telling the cast and crew what they were doing was unethical, You opted to remain silent. You see the problem lies here. Every single person, when its their turn to actually do something , simply retreat to avoid any mess. Perhaps you were also craving for those "15 minutes of fame" - No offense.
GlobalNomad | 11 years ago | Reply Ok everyone, interesting write up, am wondering if photojournalists take permission when they shoot war grounds, or Abu Ghareeb Jail, and when when they cover accidents!!! do they first ask permission of the one being hit by a rickshaw or a bus and then film them. Someone talked about civilized world, the word papparazi did not come from Pakistan OK!!!!
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