Category: Access & Censorship

Journalist's Journey To Iraq

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By Robert Scheer, Indianapolis Star Visuals Dept

In covering our guys in Iraq, we heard and saw a lot of things that they didn’t want us to publish — such as how fast they drive, where the commander generally is on a convoy. The key thing is to know what photo or story might jeopardize a life, and which won’t. If you embed, you’ll receive countless pieces of paper containing security concerns. They’re important, be sure to digest them.

Early on, we sent some info out that we shouldn’t have. The folks at Q-West weren’t too pleased with us. At some point during the process of being scolded over and over for about two days, by everyone from Privates to Lt. Colonels, we were led into a dark room with gaudy oversized furniture and told in no uncertain terms that every story and every image we sent had to be scrutinized by the resident intel officer, at the other end of the base. This meant a two-mile walk every time we wanted to send to our editors. Back home, our editors were ready to start calling up various generals to read the riot act, but in Iraq, it was either “live with it, or go home.”

Check it out here.

Photographer risks losing eye after being hit by policeman during protest

Reporters Without Borders is outraged by the way a policeman on horseback struck photographer Víctor Salas several times with a metal riding crop while he was covering a protest yesterday in Valparaíso, a city to the west of Santiago. Salas, who works for the Spanish news agency EFE, has been hospitalised and risks using the use of his right eye as a result of the blows.

“Unfortunately this is not the first time that the Chilean security forces have used violence against the news media while maintaining order,” the press freedom organisation said. “We support the call by EFE’s Santiago bureau for the policeman who hit Salas to be identified and punished. How could a law enforcement officer have behaved with such lack of judgment? The investigation should seek the answer to this question.”

Check it out here. Via PDNPulse


At this hour there are at least 6 media trucks parked just outside the gates of the ranch.

Around 2 this afternoon, the Texas Rangers were set to strike, and aborted the strike once they saw the trucks.

They then ordered sheriff Doran to get the media trucks away from the ranch.

Everyone inside the Ranch expects the raid to commence once the media leaves, or for the rangers to corral the media “For their own safety” away from the compound so they can do their “Search”.

Check it out here.

Jury Clears Photographer Who Refused to Stop Photographing an Arrest

I was pleased today to see an article about photographer Nick Evans being cleared by a Galveston jury of misdemeanor charges of interfering with police while photographing an arrest at a Mardi Gras celebration in 2007.

While I’m amazed that any prosecutor would actually take this kind of a case to trial (in this case prosecutor April Powers), I’m pleased that a jury had the common sense to dismiss the charges.

Check it out here.

"Two FBI agents just showed up at my door for taking photos in the Port of Los Angeles" – Boing Boing

I’m a professional stock photographer, and just this morning, I was greeted by two FBI antiterrorism agents who wanted to question me regarding shooting in the Port of Los Angeles two weeks ago. When I was down there, a private security guard in a pickup truck chased me out of the area and onto the freeway. After he stopped following me, apparently he filed a report with the FBI.

Check it out here.

Almost Arrested for Taking Photos at Union Station

Meanwhile, the Gigapan continued to take photos. They’d ruined the panorama, of course; the first guard got in front of the camera at one point and obstructed the view. They reiterated that we were going to be arrested, so I finally tried to shut off the camera. But the damn thing wouldn’t stop taking pictures. It never occurred to me that I’d have to learn how to abort a panorama under pain of arrest, so I fumbled for about a minute as it kept shooting pictures. (I think I heard Wright laughing at this point.)

I managed to shut the camera, and started to disassemble the Gigapan from the tripod as a fourth security person arrived. He was dressed differently than the other three people, and had a former-marine-turned-middle-management air about him.

Check it out here.

Jeremy Brooks » If You Put That Picture On The Internet I’ll Call My Lawyer

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This guy was on the corner of Stockton and Columbus in San Francisco yelling at a homeless man. Anger, conflict, drama — sounds like a great shot to me. I crossed the street but was unable to get anything interesting, since I only had my 50mm lens on the camera and I was just too far away.

However, Mr. Angry Overreaction Man decided that he now had a problem with me. He confronted me, demanding my camera. Of course, I refused. He got in my face and started threatening me, telling me that I cannot take his photo without his permission. I told him that yes, in fact, I can. He then walked up and bumped into me, trying to act tough. I told him that one more touch and I would call the police.

Of course, he didn’t like that very much, and at that point told me that if I put his picture on the internet, he would call his laywer.

Check it out here.

Baltimore teen arrested in Examiner photographer's assault

A Baltimore teenager was arrested early Wednesday morning and accused of assaulting a photographer from the Baltimore Examiner working on a story about school violence outside Reginald F. Lewis High School.

The 18-year-old male is being processed at Baltimore City’s Central Booking facility on charges stemming from the April 24 incident involving photographer Arianne Starnes, 24.

Check it out here.

Utah Newspaper Photo Sparks Tighter Court Policy

A newspaper photo of evidence in last year’s high-profile Warren Jeffs trial has prompted a new statewide rule in Utah against photographing non-public evidence in courtrooms, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The newspaper reported that the Utah Judicial Council, which sets policy for statewide courts, approved a rule “prohibiting news photographers from taking courtroom pictures of exhibits or documents that are not part of the official public record.

“The rule, which becomes effective Nov. 1, stems from a photo taken March 27, 2007, by a Deseret Morning News photographer during the rape as an accomplice trial of Warren Jeffs, leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints polygamous sect.”

Check it out here.

Shelby County, TN Sheriff: watch out for photographers and radical greens, they might be terrorists – Boing Boing

The Sheriff’s Office in Shelby County, Tennessee, is warning locals to turn in anyone who takes too many pictures of bridges or shopping malls, because they might be scouting for Al Qaeda, who are clearly slavering at the opportunity to make a gigantic media splash by getting up to some serious naughtiness on the “iconic Hernando DeSoto Bridge.”

Check it out here.

Dana Milbank – What the Family Would Let You See, the Pentagon Obstructs –


Lt. Col. Billy Hall, one of the most senior officers to be killed in the Iraq war, was laid to rest yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the Pentagon doesn’t want you to know that.

The family of 38-year-old Hall, who leaves behind two young daughters and two stepsons, gave their permission for the media to cover his Arlington burial — a decision many grieving families make so that the nation will learn about their loved ones’ sacrifice. But the military had other ideas, and they arranged the Marine’s burial yesterday so that no sound, and few images, would make it into the public domain.

Check it out here.