Television wildlife documentaries and animals' right to privacy

Mills, Brett (2010) Television wildlife documentaries and animals' right to privacy. Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 12 (2). pp. 193-202.

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This article examines the BBC wildlife documentary series Nature's Great Events (2009) in order to investigate the ways in which such texts engage with (or ignore) debates about animal ethics, in particular, animals’ right to privacy. Through analysis of the ‘making of’ documentaries that accompany the series, it shows how animals’ right to privacy is turned into a challenge for the production teams, who use newer forms of technology to overcome species’ desire not to be seen. The article places this analysis within the context of broadcasters’ concerns over environmental issues, acknowledging that wildlife documentaries can play a vital role in engaging citizens in environmental debates. However, it is argued that the ‘speciesism’ which affords humans a right to privacy while disavowing other species such rights is one of the tenets upon which humanity's perceived right to maintain mastery over other species is itself maintained; that is, in order for wildlife documentaries to ‘do good’ they must inevitably deny many species the right to privacy.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Film, Television and Media
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2010 13:58
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2023 15:30
DOI: 10.1080/10304310903362726

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