Director will urge caution about TV

Stephen Cook

Charities should check programme-makers' credentials before participating in TV documentaries, an independent film-maker will tell the Charity Communications Conference in London tomorrow.

John Walsh, who made the 2003 documentary Headhunting the Homeless and has 16 years' experience of making films, will tell delegates that it is dangerous to assume a documentary will be a good advertisement.

"There is a big risk for charities as to whether there is a positive outcome or not," Walsh will say. "Either way, the film-maker still has the programme. The real damage comes from those unscrupulous producers who, when seeing the wheels might be wobbling, give a nudge to see what happens when the wheels come off."

Walsh will say the keys to a positive result are a good relationship between journalist and charity and constant communication about how the story is developing.

Third Sector is media partner for the conference.

- See Newsmaker, page 11.

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