(as amended by the NPPA Board of Directors, September 29, 2015)
The name of the association is the National Press Photographers Association, Inc., also hereinafter referred to as NPPA. NPPA is incorporated in the State of New York with office locations at the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia in Athens, and in Durham, North Carolina.
The National Press Photographers Association is dedicated to the advancement of visual journalism, its creation, practice, training, editing and distribution, in all news media and works to promote its role as a vital public service.
The objects and purposes of this association are to advance visual journalism in all its forms.
- Encourages visual journalists to reflect high standards of quality in their professional performance and in their personal code of ethics. NPPA strives to create, promote and maintain a high spirit of community and a high standard of conduct among its members.
- Opposes violations and infringements of the rights of visual journalists or their organizations. It strives to promote a better understanding of visual journalists’ problems.
- Supports legislation favorable to, and opposes legislation unfavorable or prejudicial to visual journalists. It shall work to maintain freedom of the press in all its forms, and to execute the Constitutional rights of journalists.
- Cooperates with recognized local visual journalism associations consistent with the aims and objectives of NPPA.
- Provides educational opportunities for those involved in all forms of visual journalism.
- Commits to reflecting diversity in all of NPPA’s activities
The membership of this organization shall consist of professional visual journalists and others who have a direct professional relationship with visual journalism including disciplines such a photography, video, motion, multimedia, audio, editing, design, producing, teaching, writing and reporting.
Professional membership is open to all individuals working or aspiring toward working in the field of visual journalism or related disciplines. Professional members may work for an organization or institution, or be self-employed. Professional members have voting privileges and shall be required to pay dues.
Student membership is open to full-time enrollees at universities, colleges or high schools who are studying or aspiring toward a career in the field of visual journalism or related disciplines. Student members have voting privileges and shall be required to pay dues.
Retired professional membership
Retired professional membership is open to individuals who are retired and no longer working full or part-time, or no longer earning an income from visual journalism or related disciplines. Retired professional members have voting privileges and shall be required to pay dues.
Past National Presidents, past National Secretaries, past National Treasurers and charter members of the NPPA shall have Life Membership and retain voting privileges, but shall not be required to pay dues. Those who serve five years or more as a chair of the Advanced Storytelling Workshop, Best of Photojournalism Competition, Multimedia Immersion, National Clip Contest, News Video Workshop, and Northern Short Course shall also have life membership.
The Board of Directors may elect an individual who has a contributory interest in NPPA, but who does not otherwise qualify for membership, as an honorary member, without the obligation to pay dues but without voting privileges.
Members in Good Standing
Members in good standing shall be defined as those who have paid their dues and monies, and who have no outstanding penalties by the NPPA governing body. Any member who has had no penalties or censures for five (5) years shall return to good standing.
Members in Good Standing elected as regional officers, directors or national officers are required to maintain their membership and good standing while serving in their elected capacity.
NPPA's Code of Ethics
Every member in NPPA is required to endorse this Code of Ethics.
The National Press Photographers Association, a professional society that promotes the highest standards in visual journalism, acknowledges concern for every person's need both to be fully informed about public events and to be recognized as part of the world in which we live.
Visual journalists operate as trustees of the public. Our primary role is to report visually on the significant events and varied viewpoints in our common world. Our primary goal is the faithful and comprehensive depiction of the subject at hand. As visual journalists, we have the responsibility to document society and to preserve its history through images.
Photographic and video images can reveal great truths, expose wrongdoing and neglect, inspire hope and understanding and connect people around the globe through the language of visual understanding. Photographs can also cause great harm if they are callously intrusive or are manipulated.
This code is intended to promote the highest quality in all forms of visual journalism and to strengthen public confidence in the profession. It is also meant to serve as an educational tool both for those who practice and for those who appreciate photojournalism. To that end, The National Press Photographers Association sets forth the following.
Code of Ethics
Visual journalists and those who manage visual news productions are accountable for upholding the following standards in their daily work:
- Be accurate and comprehensive in the representation of subjects.
- Resist being manipulated by staged photo opportunities.
- Be complete and provide context when photographing or recording subjects. Avoid stereotyping individuals and groups. Recognize and work to avoid presenting one's own biases in the work.
- Treat all subjects with respect and dignity. Give special consideration to vulnerable subjects and compassion to victims of crime or tragedy. Intrude on private moments of grief only when the public has an overriding and justifiable need to see.
- While photographing subjects do not intentionally contribute to, alter, or seek to alter or influence events.
- Editing should maintain the integrity of the photographic images' content and context. Do not manipulate images or add or alter sound in any way that can mislead viewers or misrepresent subjects.
- Do not pay sources or subjects or reward them materially for information or participation.
- Do not accept gifts, favors, or compensation from those who might seek to influence coverage.
- Do not intentionally sabotage the efforts of other journalists.
Ideally, visual journalists should:
- Strive to ensure that the public's business is conducted in public. Defend the rights of access for all journalists.
- Think proactively, as a student of psychology, sociology, politics and art to develop a unique vision and presentation. Work with a voracious appetite for current events and contemporary visual media.
- Strive for total and unrestricted access to subjects, recommend alternatives to shallow or rushed opportunities, seek a diversity of viewpoints, and work to show unpopular or unnoticed points of view.
- Avoid political, civic and business involvements or other employment that compromise or give the appearance of compromising one's own journalistic independence.
- Strive to be unobtrusive and humble in dealing with subjects.
- Respect the integrity of the photographic moment.
- Strive by example and influence to maintain the spirit and high standards expressed in this code. When confronted with situations in which the proper action is not clear, seek the counsel of those who exhibit the highest standards of the profession. Visual journalists should continuously study their craft and the ethics that guide it.
For administrative purposes, membership is distributed among the following nine (9) regions on the basis of the individual member's current home or employment address. (Members who temporarily move overseas will remain on the membership roll of the regional division to which they were assigned at the time of their move.)
- USA: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont
- Canada: New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward’s Island
New York and International
- USA: New York and northern New Jersey
- Canada: Ontario and Quebec
- All international members not in North America or the Caribbean
- Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, southern New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia
- Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee
- USA: Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin
- Canada: Alberta, Manitoba, Nunavut, Northwest Territory, Saskatchewan
- USA: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina
- Caribbean islands
- USA: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
- USA: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada
- USA: Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
- Canada: British Columbia, Yukon Territory
In each region there shall be a Regional Chair and an Associate Regional Chair. The Regional Chair shall be elected by the region's members. The Associate Regional Chair shall be appointed by the region's Regional Chair, and approved by the President. The Regional Chair shall also appoint local leaders to serve geographical areas of high member concentration. Regional officers shall work in cooperation with the student chapter presidents in their region.
To be eligible for election or appointment to a regional office, a candidate must be a Professional Member or Life Member in good standing in that region prior to being nominated or appointed.
Election of Regional Officers
Regional Officers shall be elected by the members of the Region, by mail or electronic ballot distributed, collected and counted by the National Secretary and Executive Director.
A vacancy shall exist upon resignation or upon removal from office. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Regional Chair, the Associate Regional Chair shall automatically assume the office of Interim Regional Chair for the remainder of the resigned or removed Regional Chair's term. If the Associate Regional Chair is unwilling or unable to serve as Interim Regional Chair, the President shall appoint an Interim Regional Chair. In the event of a vacancy of only the Associate Regional Chair, the Regional Chair shall appoint a new Associate Regional Chair, approved by the President. In the event of a vacancy in both of the offices of Regional Chair and Associate Regional Chair, the President shall appoint an Interim Regional Chair, who shall appoint their Associate Regional Chair, approved by the President, to serve the remainder of the resigned or removed officeholders' terms.
Election of Regional Chairs Representative
The Regional Chairs Representative and Associate Regional Chairs Representative shall be elected in the first quarter of the year by a simple majority of votes from Regional Chairs and Associate Regional Chairs, and shall serve a one-year term.
A vacancy of the Regional Chairs Representative or Associate Regional Chairs Representative shall be filled by a majority vote of the Regional Chairs and Associate Regional Chairs.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors shall consist of six (6) Elected Directors (elected by the national membership), three (3) Appointed Directors (appointed by the President), the Regional Chairs Representative and the National Officers. Each Elected Director shall serve a staggered three-year term or until their successor is elected. Elections shall be held annually to fill the two expiring terms. Elected and Appointed Directors shall receive no compensation for their service except for reimbursement of expenses approved for the execution of the duties common to all Board members. The Executive Director shall serve as ex officio member of the Board and may participate in debate and make motions, but may not vote.
Eligibility for Elected Board Members
To be eligible for election as an Elected Director, a member must be a Professional or Student member in good standing prior to being nominated.
There shall always be six (6) Elected Directors in addition to the National Officers. A vacancy that exists due to an Elected Director's resignation or removal from office shall be filled by the Board of Directors.
Vacancies created when an Elected Director becomes an officer shall be filled by the first runner-up of the previous Board of Directors election. If there are multiple vacancies due to elected members joining the Executive Committee, then each of the top runners-up from the previous election shall join the Board until all the vacancies are filled.
Eligibility for Appointed Directors
Three (3) Appointed Directors shall serve at the pleasure of the President. Their terms are not limited.
The Board of Directors shall convene at least one meeting per year (the “Annual Meeting”) and may convene as many other special meetings as the Board shall see fit.
NPPA Members and the Board of Directors shall be sent a Notice of Meeting by the National Secretary at least 30 days in advance of the Annual Meeting. The Notice of Meeting may, but is not required to, include a draft Agenda. The Notice of Meeting shall include the date, time and place of the Annual Meeting, and solicit from members in good standing their submission of resolutions, their input on issues concerning the association, and their nominations for any elections. Directors shall receive the agenda, resolutions, reports, budgets, and any other materials at least 14 days in advance of the Annual Meeting.
A quorum of the Board of Directors shall consist of a majority of the Directors, but at no time less than three of the Elected Directors.
The National Officers of the association shall be the President, Treasurer, Vice President, Secretary, and Immediate Past President.
To be eligible for election to a national office, a member must be a Professional member in good standing prior to being nominated.
Election of National Officers
The President and Vice President shall be elected by the Board of Directors and shall serve one-year terms or until their successor is elected. The Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected by the Board of Directors in alternate years, and shall serve two-year terms, or until their successor is elected. National officers may not vote in the elections of national officers.
A vacancy shall exist upon the resignation of an officer or upon removal from office. A vacancy in the office of President, Treasurer, Vice-president, Secretary, or Immediate Past President shall be filled by majority vote of the Board of Directors. National Officers thus elected shall serve the remainder of the resigned or removed officeholder's term. National officers may not vote in the vacancy elections of national officers.
The Executive Committee is empowered to act on behalf of the Board of Directors during the intervals between meetings of the Board of Directors.
The Executive Committee shall be composed of the National Officers and the Regional Chairs Representative. The Executive Director shall serve as an ex officio member of the committee and may participate in debate and make motions, but may not vote.
The Executive Committee shall convene upon the call of the President or the call of any three members of the Executive Committee.
The quorum of the Executive Committee shall be a majority of the committee members.
The President will appoint the Chairs of Standing Committees. Chair and Committee service terms are not limited but may be changed at the will of the President. All committees are required to report to the Board in writing or electronically no later than 30 days after each meeting. When a majority of the members are discussing committee business together in person or by any technology allowing all persons participating to hear each other at the same time, a quorum is present and a meeting is taking place. Minutes must be recorded and submitted to the Board.
- Furthers the NPPA’s mission of advancing photojournalism by addressing local and federal issues that affect our members’ ability to provide the public with news images. This committee also assists the NPPA President in issuing statements and forming positions regarding problems and issues faced by photojournalists and the industry as a whole.
Business Practices Committee:
- Oversees the strategy and implementation of industry standards for visual journalists. This committee will be assigned one board liaison and one staff liaison.
- Oversees all internal and external communications including the overall web site, newsletters, marketing and PR activity. This committee will also be responsible for internal communications between committees, the board and staff. This committee will be assigned one board liaison and one staff liaison. Ideally it will include the chairs of subordinate committees.
- Oversees the implementation and long range planning of educational events, services and content. This committee will be assigned one board liaison and one staff liaison. Ideally it will include the chairs of each of the educational events.
- Shall encourage and uphold the highest standard in visual journalism and is responsible for maintaining the NPPA code of ethics.
- Oversees the preparation of the annual budget, the financial performance of the association throughout the fiscal year, and the financial feasibility of any new proposals that would alter the spending/revenue of the association. This committee will also be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the annual audit. This committee will be assigned one board liaison (Treasurer, who will also act as chair) and one staff liaison.
- Oversees the board and committee structure as well as governance procedures, volunteer recruitment and elections, new volunteer orientation, and committee/board evaluation. This committee will also oversee and implement the nominations and elections process and investigate and make recommendations to the board on member related misconduct. This committee will be assigned one board liaison (Secretary) and one staff liaison. Ideally it will include the chairs of subordinate committees.
- Investigates and hears charges made against members for violations of the code of ethics or other activities or actions detrimental to the best interests of the NPPA.
- Oversees the recruitment/retention of members, makes recommendations to the board on member eligibility, oversees the services and benefits to the members, and represents the needs of the different constituencies and demographics within the membership. This committee will be assigned one board liaison and one staff liaison. Ideally its members will represent the different constituencies and demographics that make up the NPPA and include the chairs of subordinate ad hoc committees.
- Oversees the implementation and long range planning of contests and professional services. This committee will be assigned one board liaison and one staff liaison. Ideally it will include the chairs of each of the programs.
- Community for regional leaders to share their strategies and solutions. Shall be made up of Regional Chairs and Associate Chairs. This Committee will be assigned one Board liaison (Regional Chairs Representative, who will act as Chair), and one staff liaison.
- Oversees the recruitment/retention of students and those entering the profession. This committee will be assigned one Board liaison and one staff liaison. It will include the chairs of any Student subcommittees.
Ad Hoc Committees:
- The President will appoint ad hoc committee chairs. Chair and committee service terms are not limited but may be changed at the will of the President. Ad hoc committees will meet as needed. Liaisons are optional, as assigned by President. All committees are required to report to the Board (in writing) and other committees after each meeting. In the case that an ad hoc committee does not meet formally in the course of a year it will be required to submit an annual report.
- Each Standing Committee may have as many subcommittees as appropriate. New subcommittees are created by the Executive Committee. Each Subcommittee will be designated to a Standing Committee. The Chair of a Subcommittee is appointed by the appropriate Standing Committee Chair, and any Subcommittee meetings will be reported to the Standing Committee Chair (in writing.)
- Task Forces may be temporarily created by the President as needed to address short-term projects and will report to the Board or standing committee (including the Executive Committee when appropriate) that is most associated with the project. Liaisons are optional, as assigned by President.
The Board of Directors shall have the authority to employ an Executive Director and determine the salary and size of his/her staff.
Conflict of Interest and Whistleblower Policies
The Executive Director shall annually distribute a Conflict of Interest Policy agreement that must be completed and signed by all NPPA employees, members of the Executive Committee, Elected and Appointed Directors, regional officers, event and committee chairpersons, and consultants. These agreements must be kept on file by the Executive Director and be open to inspection by any NPPA member in good standing.
NPPA has adopted a Whistleblower Policy to empower directors, officers, volunteers, independent contractors and employees to raise serious concerns internally without fear of retaliation.
The current edition of Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall guide the association in any areas not dictated by these Bylaws, NPPA's Policies & Procedures, NPPA's Standing Rules, and the non-profit corporation laws of the State of New York.
A Professional Parliamentarian may be hired by the Executive Director at the pleasure of the President to act as parliamentarian for any Board of Directors meeting. The advice of the parliamentarian on questions of parliamentary procedure shall be considered persuasive and shall not be ignored by the chair except by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors present.
These Bylaws may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the Board of Directors at any meeting thereof. Any NPPA member in good standing may propose amendments by submitting a resolution to the Board of Directors.
(as amended by NPPA Board of Directors, September 29, 2015)