In Connecticut, every year is an election year, and when there’s a hot statewide contest like the 2006 Senate race there is no shortage of political events to attend and film for your blog. That said, I’ve found that it’s best to do the following before you show up at any event with a video camera:
- Make sure you’re invited — This may seem really obvious, but not all events are open to the public or the press (if you’re reporting on the event, you’re considered press for all intents and purposes).
- Get permission from the event organizer — You may be invited, but the host may not know you’re bringing your video camera along. On the plus side, if you let the organizer know you’ll be filming, he or she can make sure the candidate knows you’re there and have him or her give you a statement on camera.
- Find out the expected attire — Don’t show up looking like a blogger. I made this mistake once, and was welcomed at the event anyway, just thoroughly embarrassed for myself. It never hurts to blend in at these things.
As a citizen, you have the right to film a lot of things with your video camera. It is entirely up to you to ensure that your video recording and filming activities are legal, ethical, and cause no harm.