I think it's a great idea to start the proposed ethics committee, I could see it being really helpful both for institutional practitioners and freelancers like myself. I agree that the ethics issues that have always underpinned this work grow all the more pressing as the digital age transforms access, exposure, and audience.
How wonderful to discover this discussion group. A colleague forwarded this to me and I was delighted to read the thread.
I am working on a paper now on this subject -- versions of which will be presented both at the American Anthropology Association and Columbia History and Memory conferences this December.
The paper is about "Ethnographic and Narrative Approaches to Genocide Testimony" focusing on how to work with testimony as texts and the ethics of working with people's stories.
As a doctoral student who uses oral history in my work, I think such a committee would be helpful!
You have a really good idea. I guess that many oral historians call up a friend and talk about the problem, but it would be helpful to have a committee that would consider the issues involved and suggest ethical ways to proceed.
Thanks so much for your suggestion. I hope the Oral History Association will proceed with the establishment of an Ethics Advisory Committee.