News Archive

Updated: Federal Judge Blocks OT Rules That Could Have Affected Photojournalists

Update: On November 22, 2016, a federal judge blocked these overtime rules, issuing a preliminary injunction based on a likelihood of success on the merits that the overtime rule exceeds the Department of Labor's authority. This is not a final ruling but a preliminary finding that will block the new rule from going into effect only until the court makes a final ruling. To read more, see the Reuters report here

By Cassidy Daniels & Alicia Calzada

Photojournalists who are currently treated as exempt employees and earn between $23,660 and $47,476 per year may soon be entitled to overtime pay under a new regulation scheduled to take effect December 1, 2016.

Generally, an employee must be paid for every hour he or she works, plus “time-and-a-half” for every hour worked past 40 in each week. The Department of Labor permits employers to classify some photographers and journalists as exempt from this overtime requirement under the “creative professionals” exemption.

An employee whose primary duty is the performance of work requiring invention, imagination, originality, or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor and who earns at least $455 per week may be considered an exempt creative professional who is not entitled to overtime pay. However, this minimum salary level required for the exemption will more than double on December 1st. Then, in order to qualify as an exempt creative professional, a photojournalist must earn at least $913 per week (or $47,476 annually). Full-time photojournalists who earn less than $913 per week will be entitled to mandatory overtime pay.

This increase might affect the way newly non-exempt photojournalists work. For example, non-exempt photojournalists may find themselves in the murky situation of navigating special projects completed wholly or partially on their own time. A non-exempt employee working overtime on a project requested by the employer must be paid for each hour of overtime, and uncompensated work could be a violation of the overtime rules. However, a photojournalist who takes on a special project on her own initiative and on her own time, without prior approval from the employer, may be working outside of the scope of the employment relationship, and thus not entitled to overtime pay. Questions may arise if the employer later decides to publish or broadcast the project. On the other hand, the employer’s policies may limit the ability of an employee to license such a project to other news outlets.

A photojournalist who is unsure about the scope of his or her employment, restrictions on “moonlighting,” or how he or she should be paid for a project should look to the employee handbook for the applicable policies. It is also important to discuss all potential projects with the employer in advance and come to an agreement about who owns the rights and how the work will be compensated.

Many state officials and business groups, including the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the National Newspaper Association (NNA), object to the new rule and hope to prevent it from taking effect on December 1st. NAB and NNA, along with many trade organizations, support legislation authored by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), which would implement a more moderate increase of the salary threshold—to $692 per week ($36,000 per year)—and exempt certain organizations, including non-profits and universities, from future increases.

In order to comply with the new rule as it is currently written, an employer may:

– Ensure that an employee is exempt by increasing his or her salary to at least $913/week.

– Pay a non-exempt employee who earns less than $913/week time-and-a-half for every hour worked over 40 in each week.

– Reduce or eliminate overtime hours.

The Department of Labor plans to update the minimum salary levels every three years to maintain comparable levels based on national salary data. The first update will occur on January 1, 2020.

Additional information about overtime pay can be found here: https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/final2016/, or by contacting the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division at 1-866-487-9243 or your human resources department.

Cassidy Daniels is an associate practicing litigation and media law at Haynes and Boone, LLP. Alicia Calzada is an also an associate practicing media law at Haynes and Boone, LLP. Calzada is also a past NPPA President and the chair of NPPA’s Advocacy Committee, and serves as an attorney for the organization.

 

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NPPA Joins Media Groups in Open Letter to President-Elect Trump

ATHENS, GA (November 16, 2016) - The National Press Photographers Association is part of a group of 18 media associations that joined together to release an open letter to President-elect Donald Trump asking that new administration honors a full press pool, adherence to Freedom of Information Act requests and for the White House staff to speak on the record for the goal of transparency.

Here is the full text of the letter:

Dear President-elect Trump,

We, a group of diverse journalism associations representing thousands of journalists from the nation's capital to every corner of the country, begin this letter on a hopeful note. Your administration is a blank slate and we are eager to work with you to perpetuate one of this nation's great strengths: our freedom of the press.

As the new leader of the free world, we expect that you will preserve longstanding traditions that ensure coverage of the Trump presidency. The idea of a press pool that covers all of the president's movements is one that dates back to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration. Every president of both parties has treated this important tradition with respect. The role of the press pool is critically important to our country, whose citizens depend on and deserve to know what the president is doing. This isn't about access for the press itself, it's about access for Americans in diverse communities across the country. Your constituents receive information from a variety of platforms to learn about what our president is doing.

Being president is an enormous responsibility and working with the White House Correspondents’ Association to ensure journalists' access is one small but important part of that. We call on you to commit to a protective press pool from now until the final day of your presidency. We respectfully ask you to instill a spirit of openness and transparency in your administration in many ways but first and foremost via the press pool.

We also call for access to you via regular press conferences and pool sprays and to your key decision-makers. You have an opportunity as incoming president to set the tone for your staff speaking on the record for the sake of transparency. We also hope your administration will improve response rates to FOIA requests as a way to show the American people, and the world, that the republic belongs to the people.

A great America depends on having sunlight on its leaders. We expect the traditions of White House press coverage to be upheld whether in Washington or elsewhere. Again we, a joint group of diverse journalism associations, speak as one as we respectfully ask that you take these steps to ensure access to our members covering your administration.

Thomas Burr, President, The National Press Club

Melissa Lyttle, President, National Press Photographers Association

Barbara Cochran, President, National Press Club Journalism Institute

Lynn Walsh, President, Society of Professional Journalists

Mizell Stewart III, President, American Society of News Editors

Mike Cavender, Executive Director, Radio Television Digital News Association and Foundation

Delphine Halgand, US Director, Reporters Without Borders/RSF

Courtney Radsch, Advocacy Director, Committee to Protect Journalists

Sandy K. Johnson, President, National Press Foundation

Sarah Glover, President, National Association of Black Journalists

Brandon Benavides, President, Board of Directors, National Association of Hispanic Journalists

Bryan Pollard, President, Native American Journalists Association

Paul Cheung, President, Asian American Journalists Association

Jen Christensen, President, National Association of LGBTQ Journalists

Elisa Lees Munoz, Executive director, The International Women's Media Foundation

Allison Sherry, President, Regional Reporters Association

Joshua Hatch, President Board of Directors, Online News Association

Sandra Fish, President, Journalism and Women Symposium

 

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New Rules for NPPF Scholarships Make It Easier to Apply, Seniors Now Eligible

Applications have opened for the National Press Photographers Foundation scholarships and new rules have made it easier to enter the contest. Eight $2,000 scholarships are being offered to full-time students enrolled in a four-year accredited college or university in the U.S.

For the first time, college seniors and graduate students graduating in the spring of 2017 are eligible for the scholarships. To make this possible, applications opened November 1, 2016 with a deadline of January 6, 2017. In the past, the application deadlines were in March, making graduating seniors ineligible for the scholarships.

Formatting and image standards for submitting photos have also been changed to match the College Photographer of the Year requirements, making it easy to repurpose those contest entries for the scholarship applications. The submission process has also been improved and entries will be able to be updated up to the final deadline.

More details on how to enter can be found here.

 

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2017 NPPA Board and Regional Elections Now Open

ATHENS, GA (November 15, 2016) - Elections for two seats on NPPA's Board of Directors, as well as Regional Chair positions in the Central, Northwest and West regions have opened and will run through November 30, 2016.

All NPPA members should vote in the Board of Directors election, selecting their two preferred candidates. The two candidates with a plurality of the votes cast will take office on January 1, 2017, be sworn in at the Annual Meeting later that month (date TBD) and serve three-year terms. The runners-up will be eligible to fill vacancies on the Board in 2017 should any arise.

Members of the Central, Northwest, and West regions should also vote in the Regional Chair election for their region, selecting their one preferred candidate. Please review NPPA's regional map to familiarize yourself with the regional boundaries. The candidate in each region with a plurality of the votes cast will take office January 1, 2017. 

To  vote and review the bios of the Board of Directors candidates and regional candidates please click here.

The deadline for online votes is 11:59 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, November 30, 2016. If you encounter any issues with voting, including logging into your member account, please contact us at: [email protected]You must be logged in as a member to cast your vote.

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Nominations Open for McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage

The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia invites journalists and journalism educators to submit nominations for the 2017 McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage.

The McGill Medal honors a working U.S. journalist who has exemplified journalistic courage throughout his/her career. Since 2009, the medal has been awarded to journalists whose work ranges from investigating civil rights era cold cases to exposing police and government corruption to war reporting. The 2016 winner, Jason Rezaian, was jailed in Iran for doing his job.

Nominate a journalist by visiting their website here. The deadline is Dec. 18, 2016.

The McGill Fellows—undergraduate and graduate students chosen for academic achievement, practical experience and leadership—will select the winner.

The NPPA headquarters are based at Grady College, moving there in 2015 from Durham, North Carolina.

 

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Deadline Extended for Board of Director Nominations, Central and West Regions

Due to a disappointing lack of nominations for both the Central and West regions, we are re-opening our nomination process for a period of one week in order to find great regional leaders who will actively participate. This will include the reopening of the nominations for the two elected Board of Directors seats. Nominations will close at 12pm (Eastern Time) on Nov. 15, 2016.

The regional chair positions are three-year terms. The elected Regional Chairs will appoint their Associate Regional Chairs, as well as local grassroots leaders in metro areas with high membership concentration.

Additionally, the two seats on the Board of Directors also carry three year terms.

I want to encourage anyone who’s expressed an interest in volunteering and doing more to help the organization to bring your ideas and energy to a leadership position.

Members will be able to vote online for these positions at nppa.org from November 15 through November 30, 2016. Candidate bios and statements will be posted on Nov. 15, so that members may make informed votes.

NPPA members interested in running for any of these offices may nominate themselves by contacting NPPA secretary Seth Gitner immediately at  [email protected] Members may also nominate others.

To be eligible for election to the Board of Directors, a member must be an NPPA Professional or Student Member in good standing. To be eligible for election or appointment to a regional office, a member must be an NPPA Professional or Life Member in good standing in that region. For more information or questions, contact Gitner.

Sincerely,

Melissa Lyttle  

NPPA President

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Nora Lorek from Mid Sweden University Wins CPOY, UNC Wins Big in Multimedia

"Tear Gas and Water Cannon", from the CPOY portfolio of Nora Lorek

By Tom Burton

Nora Lorek, a student at Mid Sweden University in Sundsvall, Sweden, has been named College Photographer of the Year for a portfolio that included photo stories from a Syrian refugee camp in Calais, France.

Lorek won the top award in Still Photography Division in 71st College Photographer of the Year competition on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. Winners were announced on Sunday, Nov. 6 after judges viewed more than 10,000 photographs entered by 486 student photographers from 111 colleges and universities in 20 countries.

The runners-up for photographer of the year were all from European universities.Janus Engel Rasmussen of the Danish School of Journalism in Aarhus, Denmark was named the Runner-up College Photographer of the Year.

Awards of excellence were awarded to the portfolios of Francois Xavier Klein of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hannover, Germany, Betina Garcia of the Danish School of Journalism in Aarhus, Denmark and Ulrik Hasemann of the Danish School of Journalism in Aarhus, Denmark.

The National Press Photographers Foundation (NPPF) administers the Colonel William J. Lookadoo and the Milton Freier Memorial Awards in conjunction with CPOY.

In the CPOY Multimedia Division, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill won five awards including gold medals in the Large Group Multimedia Project and Multimedia Project - Small Team or Individual categories.  

See the winning images and projects here.

In addition, National Geographic Magazine is a contributing sponsor and offers an internship to the Gold winner in the Portfolio category. The College Photographer of the Year, Runner-up College Photographer of the Year and winners in the Sports Portfolio, Documentary, Standalone Individual Multimedia Story and Small Team or Individual Multimedia Project categories are awarded equipment and additional educational opportunities provided by Nikon Inc., MediaStorm and the Summit and Missouri Photo Workshops.

 

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Veteran photojournalist Joe Marquette, 79

Joe Marquette. Photograph by Wilfredo Lee
Joe Marquette. Photograph by Wilfredo Lee

TULSA, OK (November 6, 2016) - Joe Marquette, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer who shot an iconic picture of John Riggins and the Redskins at the 1984 Super Bowl, died at home in Tulsa, OK, on November 5, 2016 after a series of lengthy illnesses, family members announced. He was 79.

In the course of a five-decade career Marquette worked for several major news organizations, beginning with two decades at United Press International before moving on to Reuters in 1985 to help establish the wire service’s picture service in the United States. At Reuters News Pictures he was their chief photographer in Washington, D.C. 

Marquette subsequently spent a year as a picture editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, commuting there from Washington. He later spent a decade as a photographer for the Associated Press before becoming bureau manager for the European Press Agency, both posts in Washington.

He retired in 2007 and in recent years has been living in Tulsa. Remembered as a larger man with an out-sized personality, Marquette was sometimes referred to as “Condor” by his fellow shooters in what George H.W. Bush dubbed the “foto dog” community.

Born Joseph Chartrand Marquette in Indianapolis, Marquette grew up in Detroit where he became smitten with photography when his parents, Eugene and Loretta Marquette, gave him a Kodak Brownie camera. He began working for UPI when it was a major competitor with AP, and soon was hired for a staff job which took him to postings in Minneapolis and Denver, where he spent 20 years and eventually became their western bureau manager.  

Marquette’s career, spanning the cataclysmic shift from film to digital photography, gave him a front seat at some of the most important events of the 20th and 21st centuries. He initially covered sports but eventually moved to politics. Space launches, the Olympic Games and NFL Super Bowl games were among his specialties. His famous 1984 Redskins photograph was made into a poster that was sold commercially (not by the photographer) and hung in offices and restaurants all over the Washington area. In 1999, along with a team of other AP photographers, he won a Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for the team’s coverage of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

His numerous other awards included a first place for presidential coverage from the White House News Photographers Association in 1992 and in 1981, a first place in sports in the World Press Photo contest for his picture of Britain’s Sebastian Coe winning the Gold Medal in the Men’s 1500m race at the Moscow Olympic Games. 

His assignments at the White House during the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton took him all over the country and all over the world, photographing superpower summits and other major events and presidential vacations, from Santa Barbara to Kennebunkport.

Once, on a trip with George H. W. Bush that stopped in Honolulu, Hawaii, Marquette guessed that the president might go for an early morning swim and brought his underwater camera to breakfast. When he saw the Secret Service agents heading for the beach, he abandoned the meal and dashed into the ocean in time to capture a picture of Bush with his head barely above water. The picture ran prominently in Life magazine as a metaphor for the political hot water then engulfing his presidency. Once, through a friend, Marquette delivered an attractive close-up photograph of Raisa Gorbachev, wife of the Soviet leader, to the Kremlin, and months later was surprised to be summoned to the Soviet Embassy in Washington to receive a traditional lacquered Russian box in return. A close-up of Barbara Bush with her eyes crossed elicited a different reaction: a scolding.

His first marriage to Eva Marquette (now deceased) ended in divorce, as did his second marriage to Carol Giacomo. He is survived by Christopher M. Marquette of Cos Cob, CT, his son with Ms. Giacomo, a reporter with the Hearst newspapers in Connecticut; Anthony Marquette, his son with Ms. Marquette; a daughter-in-law, Debbie Erickson-Marquette, and a grandson, also named Anthony Marquette, all of Colorado; a brother, Eugene Marquette, a lawyer in Tennessee; and his partner, Kim Hewitt, of Tulsa.

BELOW: Joe Marquette at the White House with friend and photographer Hyungwon Kang. Photograph courtesy of Kang. 

 

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In the Hands of a Pro, Cell Phones Can be a Good Choice

Baltimore Ravens players huddling together, photographed with an iPhone by Shawn Hubbard.

by Katelyn Umholtz

Smart phone cameras are improving with every new model and visual journalists are increasingly using them when on the job. Like Shawn Hubbard, a freelance photographer from Baltimore, who took on the challenge of photographing the entire game of the Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Giants with his iPhone 7.

“I knew what I was getting myself into, but everything about [shooting with my phone] was different,” Hubbard said.

A team photographer for the Ravens, Hubbard said he uses his iPhone frequently both personally and professionally, but this was his first time he used one for an NFL game. There were differences between his phone and camera, from the responsiveness to lighting mechanics.

The biggest challenge was capturing any sort of motion, Hubbard said.

“Trying to get any game action was tough because even when things were happening in the end zones close by, it still felt far away,” Hubbard said.

Low lighting in areas like the tunnels or locker rooms were a challenge too, where he would get motion blur with any kind of movement, even simple walking.

You can see more of Hubbard’s photos from the game at his blog here.

The Texas State Fair project as it appeared in print in the Dallas Morning News.

The Dallas Morning News photo staff took a similar approach when they all used cell phone cameras to document the Texas State fair in October. On the newspaper’s photo blog, they write that “The result is a body of work full of quirk and levity, a kind of fun freedom and personal vision not usually afforded during many daily assignments.”

You read more and see their photos here.

And, Scott Strazzanti covered two nights of the World Series at Wrigley Field for ESPN.com which you can see here.

Briana Scroggins, a visual journalist for the Standard-Examiner in Odgen, Utah, also loves the quick and easy of shooting with her phone.

“The best thing about using a cell phone is that you always have it with you,” Scroggins said.

She also likes being able to post quickly to social media. In some cases, like the plane that had an emergency landing in the Hudson River, a cell phone image is the best spot news photo available.

“That ability to quickly capture something and get it on social media in less than a minute is a strong advocate for using a cell phone for work,” Scroggins said.

Scroggins loves using her professional camera because it’s what she was trained to use. However, there have been times when she has pulled out her phone and liked that photograph better than shot on her camera.

When photographing a house fire, she was able to pull out her phone much quicker than getting her camera set up to take a shot.

“The flames were a lot more vivid and ferocious, where by the time I got my camera out and had the lighting adjusted, it was a smaller fire,” Scroggins said.

It is risky to depend entirely on a cell phone for an assignment. At the Ravens game, if there hadn’t been another coworker with a DSLR covering the game, Hubbard said he would have shot with his DSLR camera instead.

Though this was a personal project, he said there are instances where clients might prefer great images from camera phones.

“If you’re shooting for clients who are just using images for social media and small print, I think a phone — in the right hands — can make nice pictures,” Hubbard said. “It just depends on the environment you’re in and if it’s practical.”

Hubbard said an NFL football game may not be the most practical of situations to shoot with an iPhone, but he was pleased with his images and the project was well-received.

“I did sort of worry that people weren’t going to take it seriously just because I was shooting with a phone,” Scroggins said.“I tried not to think about that because I was there to make images and do the best job I could.”

 

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