Oral history

Oral History: Privacy and freedom of speech

There are some legal framework and guidelines that everyone should adhere to when it comes to privacy and freedom of expression in each country. Based on privacy and freedom of expression in Norway:


According to Norwegian privacy policy a text, audio and video about a person is considered as private information. So, consent forms are important! The person being interviewed (audio/ video/ text) must approve that the person can be interviewed. And that the oral history record can be preserved at a repository. Memoar has two different principles:

  1. An interview can be preserved as research material. It means that the document is only available for research.
  2. An interview can be made openly available for the public.

The interview object needs to approve by signing a consent form. This consent form approves how the material can be preserved and made available. But the person needs to give an oral consent in the first part of the video/ audio recording that documents that the person has approved to be recorded. According to Noolaham, they do also have the same practice of getting oral consent at the beginning of a recording.

Here is the consent form of Memoar:

Freedom of speech

When it comes to freedom of speech, the people interviewed can freely talk about what they are interested in, but within the given framework. However, they cannot demand that the interview be published. At this point, it is relevant to follow the press ethics where they act as editors for the content. If something may be harmful to third parties, the content shall not be published. For instance, those who are mentioned in the interview who have not themselves approved that they are mentioned, or there are other reasons for it. This part can be cut from the published version so that it is preserved on the original recording and may be available for research. But it is inaccessible to the public even if the rest of the interview is open.

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