Journalists 🕵 Oral History

Journalists :male_detective: Oral History

Hello team :male_detective:

Yesterday we discussed journalistic ethics. As individuals we may have different ideas of what’s wrong and right but when we call ourselves journalists, we are identifying ourselves as a part of that group. Hence, we need to follow rules of journalistic practice.

Please involve all your team members in the discussion. Summarise the points discussed and write a post about:

:mag:What do you understand by the words oral history?
Guiding Questions: Is history only about the past? Why is documentation important in history?

:mag: What is informed consent and why it is important while recording interviews?
Guiding Questions: What’s the difference between ‘consent’ and ‘informed consent’? Why are we recording only audio and not video?

:mag:What measures are we going to take to protect people’s personal data?
Guiding Questions: Is an interview the property of the interviewer or interviewee? How will we handle information like name, age, address etc.

I know you all are eager to start interviewing people and solve the mystery of the garbage mountain. Remember that research is an important part of telling other people’s stories. Here’s our team motto from yesterday’s meeting:

Solve problems, work hard, but do not put yourself or others in trouble.


Happy to know that your team is taking sufficient measures to protect people’s privacy.

                   ORAL  HISTORY 

!We understand that oral history is a spoken history mean someone who has tell the past oral to someone
Oral = spoken
History = past
Yes we as a team think history is only past.
The documentation is important we are in present but when the generation begin and we go in future the documentation is important to let us remind the future.

What is the inform concent and why it is important while recording interviews?
! Inform concent is when someone meet face to face or call each other and they talk to adults and take there permission to do something.
It is important while recording interview because then we had meet him/her face to face and then we ask his consent to take his recording instead of video
The difference is only that consent is it not matter if they understand what is the proper thing but inform consent is the person call and they explain in detail and it helps them to understand better.
We are recording audio instead of video because if we are taking video the person can be identified and harmed.

What measures are we going to take to protect people’s personal data ?
We will record their personal information using codes. We will put on our personal laptops and secure the folder by password. Interview should be property of both. So both should take effort to protect each other.


Question.1- History is not just about the past or a century before. History is also about what happened in a minute or a second. history is all about the time. We understand by the words oral history is history that is spoken. when people talk they tell us about there experiences about the past happened in there life and there life stories. history was important at the past to document and also today it is important. it was important because until history is recorded it will no longer be important or remembered by people.IF WE DO NOT SOIVE HISTORY IT WOULD BE A MYSTERY.

Question 2 - Informed consent is something which is informed to the interviewee before recording them.what are we going to do,what are we going to ask and if the recording would be shared with anyone. also the purpose of the interview. Consent is just we asking to do it only but informed consent is basically answer all questions and doubts from the interviewee. we are recording only audio not the video because we don’t that there face should be visible to others why because someone can herm them by there physical or emotionally. also if the interviewee mentions some points about the politics or the political life so what is the proof that the interviewee would not be harmed by the candidates of the political party.

Question 3.we are not going to show interviewee face because we don’t want that the interviewee should be identified. also we are not going to share there address or any identity which could be identified from the people who want to effect them or herm them. the interview is the property of both interviews and interviewee because if we talk about it in percentage it would be for interviewer 45percent reason for this is he is putting all of is effort and hardworking and the biggest thing he is putting his time.55% would be of the interviewee because first a fall he is giving his time and he id putting himself in danger zone. we are mentioning that we will not show his identity but what is the proof they will be not effected .THAT WHY WE THING THAT IT SHOULD BE LIKE THIS.


Is the history only about past?
Why past is important, why to know past and history at all?
Why to learn history?

What are different ways of documenting history?
How do we come to know what was real history?

How do we become sure that oral history is reliable? how do we know what people say is truth, and not a myth or romour spread by someone else at that time?

Can the words of people be believed?

How history can be recorded?
How can we believe history before 1990s where there were no cameras or audio recorder available to ordinary people in country?

Can the history recorded in camera or audio recorder be believed? How do we make sure the story told by someone is not constructed or framed?

Is audio recoding alone can be a source to know history?

What is the purpose or objective to record oral history?


We are so happy to introduce our new friends and guider to solve the garbage mountain. She leaves in Mumbai and work with T. F. I. She has came to chandola lake in Brighton primary English school after she came and she saw this .and she was SHOCK.After coming here for the second time she was thinking to solve this and she was so much curious to know the history and finally what she did?
She left her job, her home and came here third time just to solve this and know the history. She started working with some students of brighton primary English school. She start taking steps towards it

  1. Start finding people who are interested

  2. Conduct a large group meeting

  3. Start dividing people and making group for the work

  4. Start having meeting .
    Her vision is to make awareness about the garbage dump and know the history also she wants to solve it.
    Her mission is to let this work done by the community member.
    Now have you ever think why did she left her home, Her job
    Only because she want too help this poor community and make awareness about this. At Mumbai there is also a garbage dump. Why did she not work there. Because after coming here past two time she know that there are children who want to solve this proble and she came here and start working with us.
    Only because she want too help this poor community and make awareness about this. At Mumbai there is also a garbage dump. Why did she not work there. Because after coming here past two time she know that there are children who want to solve this proble and she came here and start working with us.

                                              Writen by
                        Her team member BASIT

The reliability of oral as well as written history should be questioned. One method could be to look for patterns in what different people are saying about the same issue. All our interviewees have some health issue/s related to the garbage (not present when they lived elsewhere). Their descriptions of how the garbage mountains developed over the years were also similar. We can actually create a timeline to map the growth of the mountain and show how it would look based on that information. Some people were also facing difficulties making election cards and complained that when they approached the government, work was happening very slowly. However, we acknowledge that there are both opinions and facts in interviews. For example a fact could be that before being used as a landfill, this area was a jungle with many trees. However, opinion could be about the faith that different people have in the government. We also noticed a difference while interviewing young and old people. Older people spoke in more detail and with more emotion. This suggests that we should design our questions to bring out people’s lived experiences vs. talking about things hypothetically. A useful distinction to make is between private troubles and public issues. Spatial marginalisation of minorities (lack of access to clean water, infrastructure, healthcare and educational opportunities) is a public issue and should not be dismissed as people’s opinions. Mapping the nearest government hospitals and schools + surveying the state of public infrastructure could prove to be an insightful exercise.

An excerpt from our focus group discussion:

N: Is history more to do with facts or opinion?

H & B: More to do with facts.

N: Does everyone agree that history is about facts?

Everyone: Yeah.

N: R you don’t agree? Why don’t you agree?

R: I think history is more to do with questions. Like on the first day when we were talking I mentioned that history is all about the mystery. If you want to know something the first thing that comes in your mind is a question mark. What is it? How it became this? So I think that history is all about mystery and question marks. And question marks are the answers of the questions.

N: How do we make sure we’re able to extract some history from what these people are telling us. Like B said there are both facts and opinions.

S: Can we research?

N: That’s a great idea. Not just relying on our interviews. But what kind of research will we do?

R: Facts and fictions – how would we know what’s real? As we had decided we will be taking interviews and comparing them. If the interviewees are speaking the same point it could be true. But at that time if you don’t want to take a chance you can research on the google. And you can ask the corporation team of this community or question to the government. There are rights that any question that people ask to government, government should be answerable to us.

We discussed whether written sources of history (like textbooks and newspaper articles) are necessarily more reliable than oral history (people’s stories). A few cases came up where news items seemed to be conveniently timed around the election. We concluded that reliability should not dependent on the medium of information, but rather on evidence. Evidence can be found by comparing various sources of history. These sources cold be nature (eg. testing water and soil samples). It could be photographs, videos and even paintings (although these can be manipulated). We can look at other artefacts. One of our interviewees moved to this area after narrowly escaping death during the Gujarat riots. While we were walking around, we found a sign saying this area has been gifted to victims of the 2002 riots by the Kerala Association. We can clearly see that the information he gave us during the interview corresponds to the information given by this sign. We decided to keep looking for clues like this in our environment.

One of our interviewees has been collecting newspaper articles over many years, which we now have access to. This week we will be looking at various newspaper clippings and comparing those with our oral history interviews. Will keep you all posted on our observations!