SOME OF THE PEOPLE who appear in a new documentary about the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal received cash for their time.
Specifically, those who received cash were the lower-ranking military members who were convicted of crimes.
“I paid the ‘bad apples’ because they asked to be paid, and they would not have been interviewed otherwise,” filmmaker Errol Morris told the New York Times.
But traditional journalism doesn't pay for interviews. According to the Times article:
American newspapers, magazines and television news divisions do not generally pay subjects for their interviews; their caution is rooted in a belief that the credibility of interviewees diminishes when money changes hands and that these people will provide the answers they think are desired rather than the truth.
Is the filmmaker in the wrong or have journalistic standards changed?
By the way, the image above is from a 2006 Philadelphia Weekly cover story about the Philadelphia attorneys who are handling the civil lawsuit on behalf the tortured Iraqi prisoners. Your journalism teacher wrote it.
9 months ago