WHAT ARE THE ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS OF CREATING A PERSONA WITHIN A DOCUMENTARY WITH CHILDREN AS THE PARTICIPANTS; AS ILLUSTRATED IN LOUIS THEROUX’S AMERICA’S MEDICATED KIDS.
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This dissertation will look at the use of a persona in documentaries and the ethical considerations required when using one, particularly when there are children as the main subject. This study will consider many theorists opinions on what a persona is and how to use it ethically. The method of research will be carried out by using textual analysis to examine the case study America’s Medicated Kids (2010) by Louis Theroux. The documentary follows three children who are all taking medication to help their mental health. Theroux develops a working relationship with these children in order to understand their day to day lives and how their parents came to the decision to medicate their children. This research will discuss the trust required between the participant, the presenter and the audience when using a persona. It will also look at the ethical considerations of how this can encourage participants to share personal details of their lives and the long-term ramifications of this.