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WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 26, 2012, 06:10 PM

Romney's recent remarks spark debate about ethical use of recordings

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Mitt Romney recently took a hit in the polls after being criticized for comments taped on a cell phone at a campaign stop. Some debate whether such secretive recordings are ethical. They could change the way politicians run their campaigns.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Mitt Romney recently took a hit in the polls after being criticized for comments taped on a cell phone at a campaign stop. Some debate whether such secretive recordings are ethical. They could change the way politicians run their campaigns.

These days, video cameras are everywhere. In fact, you might have one in your pocket right now. Most cell phones include a video feature.

Peter Balega, Lecturer: “It's a brave new world as far as communication goes.”

Peter Balega teaches a class on Elections and Campaigns at NDSU.

He says new technology and social media are shaping the way candidates run for office.

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney recently faced criticism for comments he made at a campaign stop caught on a cell phone camera.

Balega: “He was probably advised that it wasn't being taped, but it just goes to show that we all need to be careful.”

Now, everyone has the power to shape the political discussion.

Not only with cell phones, but also blogs and social media.

Students say it's just a new reality that politicians will have to face.

Sara Binde, NDSU Student: “They need to be careful anytime they talk anywhere.”

James Kallod, NDSU Student: “People won't be as “out there" with their messages, for fear of being recorded.”

Ethical or not, the reality is that political candidates must begin to run their campaigns assuming every word is captured on camera.

Blogs and social media also make it more difficult for the candidate to control the message of the campaign.

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