Camp for Climate Action 2008 Policy

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Guidelines, Codes of Conduct and the agreed camp media policy

There has been much dissatisfaction with the camp media policy in previous years (despite it be formulated and agreed by consensus). The main concern has always been striking a balance between providing decent access to enable both mainstream coverage and our own efforts to document the process, and respecting peoples right to privacy and desire not to be under scrutiny the entire time. It is clear that no single policy can please everyone ([1]). However, each year has seen the policy modified and most people would agree that each revision has bought improvements.

The following considerations shaped the agreed policy:

1. It is balance between getting positive coverage and conveying our messages about climate change, and preventing the camp from turning into a zoo

2. Feedback indicated that half wanted about the same access and the other half wanted greater access.

3. Those attending the camp need to recognise that there is some degree of exposure just by attending.

4. Overly restrictive policies harm our ability to get our message across in a positive light.

5. Scummy journalists will never respect any access policy and everyone already acts as if a cop/undercover journo is in every public meeting.

6. Enforcement is difficult.

There are two main parts to the policy relating to 'journalists' in the professional sense of the word. One is a retention of the two hour facilitated media tour from 11am to 1pm (Sunday the 3rd to Friday the 8th of August) during which time filming, take photos, and record interviews etc is acceptable (subject to some conditions). The other is that journalists can register, sign a code of conduct and stay on site for as long as they like (wearing a press badge with their name and affiliation at all times) but can not use cameras or recording equipment on site except as part of the daily tour.

Of specific relevance to people involved in the 'be the media' space are the final two parts of the policy. One refers to a pool of Climate Camp photographers and videographers who will attempt to ensure that the Camp is well documented. The policy states that they will wear badges and there shall be a limited number of them at any one time. The other part relates to casual use of cameras by campers and really just asks that they respect others by asking permission of people who will be identifiable in the shot, and don't take photos in 'sensitive areas' such as the medic/wellbeing/legal tent etc.

While it is not spelt out, it is reasonably to suppose that staying in the spirit of the media policy might mean alt media people should pretty much follow the code of conduct expected of mainstream journalists, avoiding the use of cameras or other recording equipment in public spaces on camp except during the hours of 11am till 1pm, or joining the camp photo or video pool.

drafts texts for camp welcome book

The following are draft summaries of the media policy written up as guidance for journalists, campers and media activists to go in the welcome book.

Journalists On Site

We welcome journalists to the Camp for Climate Action 2008. Facilitated tours of the camp will be available each day (3 - 8 August inclusive) from 11am to 1pm. A member of the camp media team will explain how the camp functions, provide interviews or find people who can answer specific queries. While participating in the tour journalist are welcome to film, take photos and use recording equipment.

Journalists are also welcome to take part in the camp outside the two hour media tour, after registering and signing a code of conduct at the gate. It is not be permitted to use cameras or other recording equipment on the site but a comfortable, covered space, with a good view into the camp, has been provided at the main entrance. While on site journalists are required to wear a press badge showing name and affiliation.

For the duration of the camp this is people's home and workplace, so please respect people's right to privacy. For obvious reasons, some spaces such as the medics, well being and legal support tents, as well as some neighbourhoods, are off-limits (see code of conduct). The media team will aim to facilitate interviews with people working in these spaces if needed. When attending workshops, it is up to the facilitator to decide whether or not to allow journalists to attend.

Please note that journalists are welcome to participate in the camp in a personal capacity without registering, as long as they do not later publish or broadcast reports about the camp. Journalists found to have done so without having registered will not be welcome to attend future Camp for Climate Action events.

Camp Media Team

The camp media team will try to ensure that timely information about the camp and associated actions is reaching the mainstream media. They will also assist journalists on site and provide or arrange interviews on request. Each day there will be training for anyone who would like to learn about working with the mainstream media, brush up on their interview skills, etc.

Camp Documentation Group

To ensure that the camp is well documented, there will be a pool people working to provide a daily pool of content for the camp website and radio project. A limited number will be working at any one time, and they will wear a badge identifying them as part of the documentation group while working.

Be The Media

To compliment the efforts of the media team and plug any gaps left by mainstream coverage, campers are invited to tell their own stories under the banner 'Be The Media'. Hopefully making the camp documentation group redundant, our grassroots media acts a counter-measure to the often simplistic and conflict-based accounts presented in the mainstream. The true story of climate camp is a rich and diverse exploration of positive action on climate change, and it doesn't get told enough!

All activists who want to document the camp for any reason, be it legal, inspirational or artistic are positively encouraged to do so - write a daily blog, publish your photos or get involved with collaborative radio or video projects. During the day of action, please phone in reports so that the camp media team and websites can be kept up to date. You can also send photos in via e-mailed MMS (see reporting line details).

Aspects of the camp that often goes undocumented is the informative and intelligent workshops and plenary sessions which take place during the camp, along with the collective processes and infrastructure that make the whole thing possible. Help ensure that all this amazing work on site is well documented but don't people's right to privacy in the process.

Always get the consent of those who will be clearly identifiable in your pictures. Make sure you get the consent of anyone you record and if you want to record or film in workshops please ask the facilitator if it is okay. In public spaces, please only film or record between 11am and 1pm, or join the camp documentation group (see above).

The 'Be The Media' space provides opportunities to met up with others to collaborate on coverage of the camp and action day and is open to everybody who wants to be involved in grassroots media production and documentation of the camp. As well as internet access, there will be a photo desk to help you get the images off your camera, a space for those working on video, and a studio where the camp radio team will produce a daily show.

There will also be a series of training session and discussions (see workshop program) along with plenty of other opportunities to learn from each other how to publish reports and photos, or work with digital audio and video. When you go home, don't forget to continue to 'Be The Media', adding your experiences into global conversations on the most important issues of our times.

Possible Codes of Conduct

Working Journalists On Site

1. You are required to sign in and out of the camp and wear a press badge showing your name and affiliation at all times. Additionally:

a) In conversation you should make certain that all participants are aware you are working as a journalist.

b) This does not apply to journalists only on site for, and participating in, the facilitated media tour.

c) This does not apply to non working journalists participating in the camp exclusively in a personal capacity.

2. On site use of cameras or other recording equipment it is not permitted, with the following exceptions:

a) While accompanying the facilitated media tours (11am till 1pm), cameras or other recording equipment may be used.

b) At any time, cameras or other recording equipment may be used in the covered media space located the main entrance.

3. Be aware that some people are wary of cameras and respect their desire not to be photographed.

a). Get the consent of those you wish to film or photograph.

b). Filming or recording meetings and workshops requires the agreement of all participants.

c). Covert use of cameras or recording equipment is not permitted at any time.

4. It is up to the facilitator of each workshop to decide whether or not to allow journalists to attend the workshop. Journalists will be asked to respect the facilitator’s decision.

5. There are spaces which are off-limits to journalists, this includes medics, well-being and legal tents.

Note: If interested in off-limits spaces (eg. how well-being works, what a certain off-limits neighbourhood is like), the media team will do their best to facilitate interviews with any willing participants in those spaces (eg. an interview in a non-off-limits space with a well-being or neighbourhood participant.)

Journalists who breech of these codes of conduct may be asked to leave and refused access at future events.

General Camper Media Guidelines

Please respect the camp media policy agreed by consensus in climate camp gatherings.

If you are filming in public spaces within the camp then please do so only between 11am and 1pm or join the camp photo or video pool.

When possible, seek the consent of those who will be clearly identifiable in your pictures.

If you are in workshops please ask the facilitator if it is okay to film or record.

Make sure you get the consent of anyone you record anyone and use your equipment overtly.

During the day of action, please phone in reports so that the camp media team and websites can be kept up to date.

Avoid taking incriminating photos and should you do so, delete them at the earliest opportunity.

Consider carefully any photos which may identify people who might not wish to be identified. Either do not publish them or obscure identifying features.