James Mullighan, Kim Longinotto, Christopher Hird, Callum Macrae and Jon Blair discuss blurring boundaries between documentary and journalism.

Panel Discussion: Trading Places – Merging Boundaries in Documentary

Most documentaries aim to present some kind of truth about the world – whether big or small, political or personal. Have documentaries replaced journalism though, as Sundance Director Robert Redford claimed last year? While the distinction between documentary and journalism blurs, there is still a world of difference between the creative vision of a documentary filmmaker and the evidential fact-finding process of the investigative journalist.

What boundaries are crossed when documentary makers act as journalists? What are the challenges as they move into the spotlight of investigative journalism – re-investigating miscarriages of justice, exposing corporate exploitation or making campaigning documentaries funded by corporations or NGOs? What are the inherent pitfalls and responsibilities?

Callum Macrae
Christopher Hird
Kim Longinotto
Jon Blair
James Mullighan (Chair)

This panel discussion took place at Between the Lines festival in 2013. Presented by DocHouse and the Frontline Club, Between the Lines explored the challenges facing documentary makers, investigative journalists and citizen reporters in the new media landscape.