Category: Access & Censorship

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.

NYPD cop: videoing me breaking the law is a terrorist act – Boing Boing

This video is of a man filming a cop who parked illegally in front of a fire hydrant. He follows her, asking questions, and she mostly ignores him. Then something truly disturbing happens.
A retired police woman comes by and informs the first cop, and the man filming that citizens aren’t allowed to film anybody who works for the police department “’cause of the terrorism.”

Check it out here.

Middlesbrough cops, goons and clerks grab and detain photographer for shooting on a public street – Boing Boing


Moments later as i walked away this goon jumped in front of me and demanded to know what i was doing. i explained that i was taking photos and it was my legal right to do so, he tried to stop me by shoulder charging me, my friend started taking photos of this, he then tried to detain us both. I refused to stand still so he grabbed my jacket and said i was breaking the law. Quickly a woman and a guy wearing BARGAIN MADNESS shirts joined in the melee and forcibly grabbed my friend and held him against his will. We were both informed that street photography was illegal in the town.
Two security guards from the nearby shopping center THE MALL came running over, we were surrounded by six hostile and aggressive security guards. They then said photographing shops was illegal and this was private land. I was angry at being grabbed by this man so i pushed him away, one of the men wearing a BARGAIN MADNESS shirt twisted my arm violently behind my back, i winced in pain and could hardly breathe in agony.

Check it out here.

Tension Over Sports Blogging – New York Times

The dispute has grown lately between the press and organized sports over issues like how reporters cover teams, who owns the rights to photographs, audio and video that journalists gather at sports events, and whether someone who writes only blogs should be given access to the locker room.

The explosion of new media, especially with regard to advertising income, has made competitors out of two traditional allies — news media and professional sports.

At the heart of the issue, which people on both sides alternately describe as a commercial dispute and a First Amendment fight, is a simple question: Who owns sports coverage?

Check it out here.

Lawyer: Military Only Produced 2 Witnesses Against AP Photog

The U.S. military produced only two witnesses to testify at Bilal Hussein’s investigative hearing, according to Hussein’s lawyer.

In the first details to be revealed about the court proceedings, attorney Paul Gardephe says two Marines who arrested Hussein in 2006 testified against him by videoconference. The military also presented evidence including 64 CDs that contained Hussein’s archive of photos and printouts of some of his images. Additionally, the military submitted the result of a positive explosive residue swab test, which Gardephe says may have tested positive because an explosion went off near Hussein’s apartment the day he was arrested.

“There were no surprises,” Gardephe says. “There was never any evidence that suggested to me that he was performing in any other role than a photographer covering a conflict.”

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Texas authorities confiscate cell phones of FLDS women

Authorities are confiscating cell phones from women staying at Fort Concho after a newspaper story included images of the crowded conditions inside the state facility, according to an attorney for the polygamous families.
    Rod Parker, a Salt Lake City attorney, said that authorities have told the women to surrender their cell phones or they will be asked to leave Fort Concho.
    “If the conditions at the compound are as good as they say they are, then let the ladies come out and talk to the media,” he said. “It’s as simple as that.”

Check it out here.

Wearing the Red Badge

The Red Badge that I am wearing states that I must be under escort at all times (including the rest room).  Jen and I find it kind of comical because as we walk by the five-foot-tall cubical walls we can hear “Red Badge” and chuckling in reply as we walk by. It reminds me of a scene from a Monty Python movie that I have seen many times.

Check it out here.

AP Photographer Ordered Released After 2 Years Held In Iraq

An Iraqi judicial committee has dismissed terrorism-related allegations against Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein and ordered him released nearly two years after he was detained by the U.S. military.

A decision by a four-judge panel said Hussein’s case falls under a new amnesty law. It ordered Iraqi courts to “cease legal proceedings” and ruled that Hussein should be “immediately” released unless other accusations are pending.

Check it out here.

Illinois Papers Win Right To Photograph High School Events Freely

A settlement between Illinois newspapers and the state’s scholastic sports authority gives papers everything they were seeking in getting close access to interscholastic competitions and the right to sell the photos to the public, the executive director of the Illinois Press Association (IPA) said Wednesday.

“I’d say that’s a fair statement — we did get everything we wanted,” David L. Bennett said. “There are probably some out there who would have liked to have seen it handled through the legislature, but that’s just a showier way to do it, a little more demonstrative. The fact of the matter is everything we wanted in the legislature, we got in this settlement.”

Check it out here.

Stadium Visitor Told To Hit Delete Button

Like a number of people without a ticket to the Nationals’ game Sunday, Mark Butler stood outside the left field gate and watched some of the historic event from a distance. The Minnesota man carried a digital camera to capture the memories. For a member of the Uniformed Division of United States Secret Service, Butler captured too much.

9NEWS NOW photographer Greg Guise was rolling when an officer approached Mark Butler. Butler said the officer demanded he delete any pictures that showed the security checkpoints set up to screen fans for the visit by President George Bush.

“It’s kind of like not being in America,” Butler said. Butler said he was not interested in the security but in the part of the stadium you could see beyond the gate.

Check it out here.

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.

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Illegal Signs and a Reporters Broken Camera – NYT


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.