Category: Access & Censorship

Street photographers fear for their art amid climate of suspicion – Times Online

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Matt Stuart photographs the unscripted drama of the London streets. Entirely spontaneous, his pictures are made possible by a combination of instinct, cunning and happy coincidence, revealing the beauty and significance of the everyday – what the rest of us see but don’t notice, moments that vanish faster than the blink of an eye.

For his efforts, Stuart has picked up a little collection of pink stop-and-search slips, souvenirs of practising a century-old art form in a city increasingly paranoid and authoritarian. After 11 years, Stuart is something of an old hand. Using the street photographer’s traditional tool of choice – the discreet and near silent Leica camera – he knows how to make himself invisible, make an image and move on. He rarely runs into trouble; when he does, he knows his rights.

Check it out here.

NPPA Still Objects To MLB's Revised Credential Terms

National Press Photographers Association president Tony Overman today filed another written complaint with Major League Baseball’s commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig over MLB’s revised terms and conditions for credentials for the 2008 season, and addressed the issue of whether MLB intends to integrate into their credential agreement some of the National Football League’s credential rules that apply to audio, video, and photos.

Check it out here.

Illegal Signs and a Reporters Broken Camera – NYT

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By DAVID W. DUNLAP

I began photographing the poster operation. After about two minutes, one man asked me why I was taking pictures. “Because what you’re doing is illegal,” I replied.

He answered, “Breaking cameras is illegal, too, but if you don’t stop taking pictures, I’ll break your camera.” He modified “camera” with an adjective I am not permitted to repeat here. I identified myself as a reporter from The Times. “I’ll break your camera,” he said, using that adjective again, “and you can print that in your paper.”

Check it out here. Via Shoot the Blog.

Self-Important Alabama Town To Photogs: Scram! – PDNPulse

The town of Mooresville, Ala., has done itself no favors by demanding a $500 fee from professional photographers who dare take pictures of its historic buildings.

After a photographer was told to stop taking photos in a public place, he wrote a letter to the local paper, unleashing a flood of bad press.

The Huntsville Times reported last week: “Huntsville photographer Don Broome said Wednesday he was standing in a public street in Mooresville taking pictures of the town’s historic buildings when he was served a notice that advised him to ‘cease photography and leave immediately.'”

Check it out here.

AP CEO: Charges Still Unknown In Bilal Hussein Case

Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein, the subject of secret court proceedings in Iraq, still has not been told the charges against him, AP president and CEO Tom Curley said Tuesday.

Hussein has been held by the U.S. military for nearly two years as a security detainee, informally accused of working in collusion with insurgents. At his first hearing in the Iraqi court system on Dec. 9, a judge imposed a gag order on the participants. The AP and the U.S. military have maintained near-silence about the Hussein since then.

Check it out here.

Police: Family attacks TV news crew, yells racial slurs – CNN.com

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Three people upset that a news crew was reporting on the arrest of a relative attacked the television reporter and yelled racial slurs at her and a photographer, authorities said Tuesday.

The family members, all white, began yelling and charged at black WSPA-TV reporter Charmayne Brown while she was standing in the street near the family’s home in Union, said news director Alex Bongiorno.

Check it out here.

PDN – Baseball Backs Down From Photo Gallery Ban

Talks between news agencies and Major League Baseball appear to be moving toward a compromise about new credentialing guidelines, according to people on both sides of negotiations.

MLB has backed down from a ban on all online galleries of baseball game photos. Under a proposed revision to the rules, news agencies that regularly cover a team will be able to post photo galleries of up to 15 photos a day. Exceptions would be made in some cases, such as photo galleries connected directly to a story and galleries covering special events or historic milestones.

John Cherwa, an Orlando Sentinel editor and sports coordinator for the Tribune newspaper chain, called the change “a big and gracious concession on their part.”

Check it out here.

Question Authority and Why It's Time to Fight Security Superstition

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I have a confession to make.

When I’m on an airplane, and the flight attendant tells everyone to turn off their cell phones and personal electronics, I never turn my iPhone off. I just leave it on. I’m not sure why I don’t turn it off. Probably because I’ve never seen any compelling evidence on how cell phones in the on position affect flight safety in any way shape or form. And since I have a natural bent to buck against the system, in light of no empirical evidence, I tend to disregard and dismiss authority.

Same thing goes for the gas station. When I see that little sign that says to turn off my cell phone, I don’t do it. I leave it on. I even talk on it while I’m pumping my gas.

Check it out here.

Illinois Senate Panel Backs Bill Banning Photo Restrictions

An Illinois Senate panel voted this week to back a bill that bans restrictions on news photographers at high school tournaments.

The Senate Education Committee voted 8-1 in favor of a bill to ban the Illinois High School Association from putting restrictions on the resale of news pictures taken at the state’s 35 high school championship sporting events, speech, and debate events.

IHSA has contended that they have a right to contract with a private photography firm and because they bear the right of organizing the events, newspapers do not have the right to make a profit reselling photographs from their events.

Check it out here. Via PDNPulse

Anti-terror police defend campaign targeting suspicious behaviour of people with cameras news – Amateur Photographer UK

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Police deny that their latest anti-terror campaign will encourage harassment of photographers taking pictures in public places.

Last week police chiefs issued fresh warnings over the potential dangers posed by people carrying cameras for surveillance purposes.

The news comes amid growing reports of clashes between police officers and photographers taking pictures in public places in the UK.

Check it out here. Via Conscientious.

Credential Dispute Sparks Editors Meeting With MLB

A group of top news and sports editors is planning to meet with Major League Baseball this week to discuss a string of new restrictions on media credentials that editors contend are an unfair limitation on Web-related reporting.

The new restrictions, which take effect later this month when the 2008 season begins, include: a 72-hour limit on posting photos after games; a seven-photo limit on the number of photos posted from a game while it is in progress; a 120-second limit on video length from game-related events; and a ban on live or recorded audio and video from game-related events posted 45 minutes before the start of a game through the end.

“I am really unclear about what they are trying to accomplish with that one,” John Cherwa, Tribune Company sports coordinator and sports special projects editor at the Orlando Sentinel, said about the 45-minute rule.

Check it out here.

Editorial Photographers UK | Birmingham police officer 'forced press photographer to delete images'

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Lawrence Looi, 31, who has been a staff photographer with news agency News Team for the last three years, had been sent to cover a protest on public roads outside the International Conference Centre on Thursday morning when he was approached by a police constable who objected to having been photographed.

According to the written complaint, a copy of which has been seen by EPUK, the officer held Looi by the upper arm and asked him to delete any photographs that had been taken of police officers. The officer also asked Looi to identify himself, but refused an offer to see Looi’s NPA-issued National Press Card.

Check it out here.

Media and Major League Baseball in New Photo Dispute

Outlets including The Associated Press and Sports Illustrated, and groups including the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) and the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE), are asking MLB to change the credentialing terms for the upcoming baseball season.

This is the latest in a series of disputes between the press and sports leagues, which are increasingly trying to take control of photographs and other elements of media coverage.

In the new set of conditions for issuing 2008 press credentials, MLB states that “still pictures or photographs of any game cannot be used as part of a photo gallery.”

Check it out here.

NPPA Objects To Major League Baseball's Credential Terms

The National Press Photographers Association today delivered a letter to Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan H. “Bud” Selig objecting to new restrictions that are in the 2008 credential application photographers and news organizations must submit in order to cover MLB games, workouts, activities, and events.

“The historic and statistical nature of baseball requires that its photographic coverage often deals with contextual issues, not specific games. Your new terms impose a form of prior restraint on the use of visual images (both still and video) that will negatively impact the editorial independence of our members and the press as a whole,” NPPA president Tony Overman wrote to Selig.

Check it out here.

Unfair Park – Waiting for Bill

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Here’s a tip to other journalists covering the Clinton campaign from here on out: Do not identify yourself as a journalist. Simple as that. Hide your credentials; do not whip out your notepad; put your camera in your pocket; do not sign the media sign-in sheet. Because that way, the Clintonistas will not be able to ID you as working press and do their damnedest to guarantee you can’t actually work, unless you’re willing to do it on a barricaded riser away from the actual people attending the event. Sorry, lady, ain’t in the transcribing business — especially when your guy didn’t say much besides the usual blah-blah-blah.

“Excuse me, you have to get behind the barricade,” said a Clinton campaign worker who softly grabbed my arm about 30 minutes before Clinton finally showed. She pointed to the riser upon which the local TV outlets had perched their cameras. When I asked why I had to move, she said it was to keep cameramen from lugging their tools through the crowd. “But all I have is this notebook and this pen,” I said, standing next to a Clinton supporter and Unfair Park reader with whom I’d just been speaking.

Check it out here. Via AVS.