Rus Articles Journal

What to do if to you forbid to remove in the public place of

One of questions which journalists - TV men ask in Board of lawyers of mass media more often than others, sounds so - “Where it is possible to remove and where - it is impossible?“ Operators of TV companies daily face need to explain to various security guards (militiamen on point duty, the staff of security companies, etc.) who “permitted here to remove“. Most often, having learned that the operator has no permission, from it demand to stop shooting, proving a ban by “the order of the administration“. Let`s try to understand, such position is how lawful and that the journalist can tell and make to perform the work - to shoot the reporting in this place and in time to bring it to edition.

The answer to a question where video filming is allowed and where it is forbidden, it is impossible to give in the form of the list of concrete places. Legally correctly it is possible to answer this question as follows: “The journalist has the right to remove freely everywhere and always, except those places and cases in which shooting is directly forbidden or limited to the law“ (See the Act of the Russian Federation “About mass media. Article 47 - “Rights of the journalist“).

There is a lot of examples of such restrictions. So, for example, criminal procedural, arbitration procedural and civil procedural codes limit trial video filming, allowing it only with the permission of the judge presiding in this process. Separate restrictions for aerial photography, use of a photo - are set by video - and cinematographic equipment on planes. There are restrictions for use of such equipment (especially with flash) in the museums. It is forbidden to carry by without the permission of administration it (and, of course, to use) in correctional facilities, on some objects in which the mode of protection of a confidential information, for example, of the state secret is set. There are also other cases when “to remove a general law everywhere“, given to the journalist by article 47 of the Law “About Mass Media“, is legally limited to other federal laws. Generally all of them are connected with need of protection of any secret protected by the law, for example, office, commercial, medical, personal and family, secrets of private life, a consequence, telephone negotiations, etc. But the reference to a provision of the law which not just proclaims certain information confidential is for this purpose necessary, but also directly forbids use of the equipment for audio - videos, cinema - and photographings otherwise, this or that place.

So, we will imagine a real situation: the cameraman with the correspondent came, for example, to remove picket before the building of regional militia or the reporting on high prices in the market. Most often, right after the operator lifts a chamber on a shoulder, the person in the uniform or in plain clothes approaches it and demands: “stop shooting“. Let`s try to analyse step by step actions of a film crew which will allow to convince the security guard not to disturb it to remove.

1. What to begin communication with?

Conversation with the security guard needs to be begun with a polite request to it - to be presented. The knowledge of the one who exactly (by name, to a position and the place of work) demanded from you to stop shooting, is key in order that subsequently you could challenge legality of its actions and in case it allowed violation of the law, to make him and his employer responsible. While the person who approached you is behind the pseudonym “security service specialist“ or other similar mask, you completely before him are unarmed as you do not know against whose actions you need to appeal to whom to make claims. Conversation should be continued only after you study its official ID. Before presentation of the certificate it for you - the ordinary passerby (let and dressed in a camouflage) who illegally prevents you to perform an editorial task and to which indications you can not listen. Having shown the certificate, the law enforcement officer or the private security company, as a rule, becomes more polite and careful as understands: he is responsible for each word and, especially, for validity and legality of each requirement directed to restriction of your rights. Therefore, most often, the following requirement sounds so: “turn off the camera“.

2. Whether it is worth turning off the camera?

It is the best of all not to turn off the camera to the last - until, it will not become clear yet that it needs to be switched off for your physical safety. For the successful appeal of actions of the security guard you need to have the evidence of what between you occurred. The included chamber or dictophone strongly increase your chances to prove legality of your actions and illegality of actions of your opponent. If you understand that not to turn off the camera is unsafe, try to appeal to passersby to be late for a minute and to observe the events. Ask them to give you numbers of their phones that subsequently they could become witnesses and confirmed the fact and circumstances of violation of your rights.

3. Whether it is necessary to be presented most?

Certainly. To show the editorial certificate in your interests. The right established by article 47 to carry out video is the special right which allocated only journalists. Your opponent will bear responsibility for violation of this right only if it is proved: he knew that you - the journalist, but, nevertheless, imposed to you unreasonable requirement about the shooting termination.

4. How to force the security guard to doubt legality of the actions?

As a rule, attempts to tell the security guard about the rights of the journalist come to an end unsuccessfully. To it at the skilled security guard immunity was developed long ago, he most often just ignores such indignations. Your readiness to obey to his requirements can be a good way to force the security guard listen to you, strangely enough. But before stopping shooting, try to explain that he should bear personal responsibility for the actions to the administration.

5. How to distinguish the requirement from a request?

Cases when law enforcement officers and security companies try to convince lawyers that they did not demand from the journalist to stop shooting are frequent, and addressed to him with “a human request this way to act“. Despite all doubtfulness of this position, sometimes they manage to insist that the journalist himself, voluntarily stopped shooting and if he did not want it to do, he could remove quietly further. To exclude doubts in this respect, still politely ask again the security guard whether he addresses to you with a request which you are free not to execute, or with the requirement to which you are obliged to obey. You can also specify and what will occur if you do not obey to such requirement.

6. Of what the staff of security companies is afraid?

Despite a camouflage and existence of the weapon, the staff of the private security companies is extremely limited in opportunities though somehow to interfere with the events on the objects entrusted to them (if, of course, this is not about a robbery, armed attack and other similar states of emergency). According to the Law on private detective and security activity, almost only power of the security guard the call of militia is. Its attempt to seize you, to select a chamber or to otherwise limit your rights can cost it freedoms, and to his employer - licenses. In conversation with the employee of PSF it is worth mentioning that its requirements if they are illegal, will be an excellent opportunity for the appeal of the journalist or TV company to the licensing body (Ministry of Internal Affairs), which, by results of the check having the right to suspend or cancel the license of this PSF.

7. Of what militiamen are afraid?

In the majority law enforcement officers are afraid only of the immediate superior. And wellbeing of militia chiefs in many respects depends on what “statistics“ is shown by the division entrusted to it. If the journalist or mass media`s editorial office appeals to the prosecutor`s office with the complaint to violation of requirements of article 47 of the Law on mass media proved and supported with proofs, the prosecutor`s office will be obliged to carry out an inspection according to such complaint: to send inquiry to the chief of division in whom the militiaman who allowed violation serves, to receive his explanations and to draw up the statement of public prosecutor`s reaction. If the fact of violation is confirmed, the prosecutor`s office takes out idea of its elimination. Such acts of public prosecutor`s reaction spoil statistics not only the relevant police station, but also the Department of Internal Affairs of the area, the city, area. So, over the point-policeman demanding from you to stop shooting as a sword of Damocles, all power vertical of the Ministry of Internal Affairs hangs if subsequently it turns out that its requirement was illegal.

8. What else the TV company can demand?

One more fine way for TV company to protect the rights if her journalist had to stop shooting in connection with the unreasonable requirement of the police officer or security company, there will be a presentation to the employer of such employee of the claim for compensation of the losses caused to them. The good accountant of TV company will be able always to put its expenses on payment of a salary of the journalist, payment of change of the operator, a chamber, the driver, the car by which they came, to add on to it expenses on rewiring of a ready plot which should be taken off the air as for it it was not succeeded to remove necessary “picture“ from the place of events, expenses on shooting of other plot etc. And the TV company incurs all these expenses only because the security guard illegally demanded from the journalist “to stop shooting or to show permission to its carrying out“. The figure of the claimed damages in several thousands or even several tens of thousands of rubles, of course, will not ruin either PSF, or the Ministry of Internal Affairs. But the administration will hardly praise the security guard “thanks to“ whom his employer had to answer in court in the claim of TV company. And the security guard, as a rule, well understands it.

9. What can be a compromise?

The following can be the best exit for both parties (the journalist and the security guard) from the created ticklish situation. The journalist continues shooting and brings the finished shooting reporting to edition. And the security guard reports that on the object entrusted to him allegedly illegal shooting was made. After that the administration of the security guard finds out a question of with the administration of TV company whether it is possible to air such record or any federal law the bases on which such record can be recognized as disclosure of confidential information are really provided. If the editor-in-chief and the lawyer of TV company understand it, they, of course, will not allow an exit of such record in air as disclosure of the secret which is specially protected by the law admits abuse of freedom of mass information and can entail the termination of activity given mass media.

The act of the Russian Federation “About mass media“

Article 4 (“Inadmissibility of abuse of freedom of mass information“):

“Use of mass media … for disclosure of the data which are the state or other specially protected by the law secret is not allowed“.

Article 16 (“The termination and suspension of operations“)

“The basis for the termination of activity of mass media by court are violations, numerous within twelve months, edition of requirements of article 4 of the present Law …“.