News Archive

NPPF Award Covers Expenses for Advanced Storytelling Workshop

Experienced video journalists can apply for an award to cover expenses for the NPPA Advanced Storytelling Workshop April 2 - April 7, 2017 at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX.

The National Press Photographers Foundation (NPPF) award covers the $590 registration plus another $1,000 for travel.

The award is open only to NPPA members in good standing who are working professional video photojournalists. The award is not intended for beginning video journalists but rather those who have mastered the basics of good video storytelling. Applicants must have at least two years full-time employment as a video photojournalist.

The application deadline is January 31, 2017 and the application form can he found here.

The information on the NPPA Advanced Storytelling Workshop and the registration is here.




Bill Introduced to Establish a Small Claims System within the Copyright Office

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) commends Reps. Judy Chu (D-CA) and Lamar Smith (R-TX) for introducing H.R. 6496, a bill “to establish a small claims system within the Copyright Office.” The legislation is designed to support individual creators and small business owners who seek the enforcement of the copyright of their works. Because copyright claims must be brought in federal court, such litigation is often far too costly for most individual creators resulting in photographers having rights without remedies.

The NPPA has been advocating for, and is very appreciative of, Reps. Chu and Smith’s efforts. We are grateful for their support of creators who simply can’t afford to enforce their copyrights in federal court.  We look forward to working with Reps. Chu and Smith, and other interested policymakers and stakeholders to enact this copyright small claims legislation in the next session of Congress.

The establishment of a small claims system consistent with the report issued by the Copyright Office in 2013 has been an extremely important initiative supported by the NPPA along with other visual arts groups as outlined in a White Paper issued earlier this year.

Another copyright small claims bill, entitled “The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act of 2016,” H.R. 5757, was introduced in July of this year by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and co-sponsored by Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA).

The NPPA looks forward to working with all members of Congress to help them correct the inequity in America's copyright system and give photographers a realistic and effective tool for enforcing their copyrights.


NPPA Commends Proposal for Reform of the U.S. Copyright Office

Ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers, Jr. happily shows off the press release of their announced proposals to reform the U.S. Copyright Office in his office as he is photographed by members of the visual arts group. Photo by Mickey Osterreicher

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) commends House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) on their announced proposal for reform of the U.S. Copyright Office.

Citing the fact that the “20th Century statutory framework for the U.S. Copyright Office is not sufficient to meet the needs of a modern 21st Century copyright system” the Judiciary Committee announced its intention to address a number of issues including: the position of the “Register of Copyrights” as well as the structure of the Copyright Office itself; the formation of “Copyright Office Advisory Committees;” the implementation of “Information Technology Upgrades;” and the establishment of “a small claims system consistent with the report issued by the Copyright Office" in 2013 which has been a significant initiative supported by the NPPA along with other visual arts groups in a White Paper.

According to the committee, “this first proposal identifies important reforms to help ensure the Copyright Office keeps pace in the digital age.” The committee is requesting written comments from interested stakeholders by January 31, 2017, which will be shared with committee members and then made publicly available after the close of the comment period. The NPPA looks forward to submitting comments on these very important proposals and continue its close work with and support of legislators in achieving its crucial reform of the copyright system.


Gordon Yoder NPPF News Video Workshop Award

ATHENS, GA (December 2, 2016) - Gordon Yoder, a National Press Foundation Fellow as well as an NPPA Life Member, established an award for video photojournalists who wish to attend the NPPA Newsvideo Workshop in Norman, Oklahoma.

The grant is $1,000 to cover the cost of attending the workshop.

Yoder’s early career included the filming of theatrical newsreels. After serving in Korea as a war correspondent and photographer, he covered news stories for network television, including the Civil Rights strife of the 1950’s and 60’s.

In addition, Yoder manufactured and marketed motion picture camera equipment for the television industry. For many years the 16mm Yoder Sound Camera was standard equipment at stations and networks alike.

Rules for Application

1. This award is open to a working professional video photojournalist wishing to attend the NPPA TV Newsvideo Workshop.

2. The applicant must have at least six months full-time employment as a video photojournalist. Note: this award is intended for beginning video photojournalists, not those with years of experience.

Apply for the grant online here. The application deadline is January 31, 2017.


Smith, Grantham Elected to NPPA Board, Regional Chairs Also Filled

ATHENS, GA (December 2, 2016) – Brad Smith and Kyle Grantham have been elected to the Board of Directors for the National Press Photographers Association. They will take office Jan. 1 and be officially sworn-in during NPPA’s annual board meeting the beginning of February at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. They have been elected to serve three-year terms.

In addition, three regional chair positions were filled. Adam Vogler won the Central Region, Andy Colwell in the Northwest Region and Maria Avila in the West Region.

NPPA members saw a ballot this year that had a good list of candidates willing to work in the organization’s leadership.

"It was great to have so many NPPA members volunteer to run for the various positions that we had open,” said NPPA Secretary Seth Gitner. “I am hoping that those who did not win in the election would still be up for volunteering to be on one of our various committees to help make the NPPA an even better organization for our members.”

Smith, who is currently a presidential appointee to the board, is the former director of photography for Time Inc.'s Sports Group, where he oversaw the photographic content of Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated for Kids, and Golf magazine in both print and digital platforms. He is currently the founder of Brad Smith Creative, a visual consulting group, and he serves on the board of directors for the Eddie Adams Barnstorm Workshop and NYC SALT. And has also served as a faculty member for The Summit Workshops and FotoFusion.

Grantham is currently the Mid-Atlantic Regional Chair and the NPPA Regional Chairs Representative on the Board. He is a staff photographer at The News Journal in Wilmington, DE where he joined the staff in 2013. Prior to The News Journal Kyle worked at the Casper Star-Tribune in Casper, Wyo. and the Evansville Courier & Press in Evansville, IN. Kyle is a 2010 graduate of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

In the coming weeks, the newly elected regional chairs will be appointing associate chairs as well as local grassroots leaders in areas with high membership concentrations. They will also officially take office on January 1.

Contact NPPA's national secretary Seth Gitner at [email protected] with any election questions or comments.



Income, Ethics and Safety Concern Photojournalists in Survey

By Tom Burton

News photographers around the world face challenges earning a living as more of them take on unrelated side work to help pay the bills, according to a survey by World Press Photo Foundation and the University of Sterling.

“The State of News Photography 2016” is the second annual survey polling photographers who entered the World Press Photo Contest. Nearly 2,000 photographers responded which was about a third of the entrants to the international contest.

The income-related responses were notable. The number working full-time as photographers dropped from 74 percent to 61 percent. Only 39 percent reported making all of their income from news photography. The percentage who said they took other work not related to photography doubled year-to-year.

Self-employed photographers were the majority of the contest entrants from Europe, the Americas and Australia while staffers were the largest group in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The survey also asked about ethics and photojournalism. More than 80 percent said ethics are “very important” in photojournalism and an increasing number feel that manipulating photos was a problem. Most of the respondents, 75 percent, said they would never manipulate their images by adding or subtracting content and 13 percent said they do not enhance their images through toning.

While only about a third of the respondents say they “never” stage photographs, a followup question indicated that most of the staging was for portraits or commercial work. Staging a news photo for “a better photo” was admitted by 6 percent of the photographers. The survey did note that there was a slight increase in the report of staging photos since the 2015 survey.

About half of the respondents were from Europe which is not surprising since World Press Photo is based in Amsterdam. It was a male-dominated group at about 85 percent male, a similar number to the 2015 survey. The global influence was also reflected by a majority sports specialists who covered soccer as their main assignment.

The survey for the second year also showed that photojournalists feel the biggest professional risk was death or injury, more than three-times higher than second-place choice of worries about erratic income. This could be a reflection of the photographers who enter World Press Photo, as many work in conflict zones at least part of the time.

You can download the survey results at World Press Foundation, here.



Director of Photography Santiago Lyon Leaving Associated Press

Santiago Lyon

By Tom Burton

Santiago Lyon, Vice President and Director of Photography for the Associated Press, is leaving after 25 years with the wire service.

In an email memo to AP staff photographers on Tuesday, Nov. 22, Lyon said “I have decided, after much reflection, to move onto another stage in my career and life.”

Lyon began his career with AP as a photographer, moved to picture editing and has been Director of Photography for the last 12 years. During his time as director, AP has won three Pulitzer Prizes for photography. He is also on the Board of Directors for the Eddie Adams Workshops.

As a photographer for AP, Lyon worked in Central America, Egypt and Spain. He became a photo editor for AP for Spain and Portugal before becoming Director of Photography in 2003.

Here is the text of the email Lyon sent to AP staffers:



  After 25 years with the AP, first as a photographer, then as an editor and for the last 12 years as director of photography, I have decided, after much reflection, to move onto another stage in my career and life.

  As a photographer it’s been an amazing, sometimes incredible ride with no small amount of joy, sadness and challenges along the way. I’ve met some amazingly dedicated and brave colleagues in the field, taken great risks to tell the truth, celebrated winning a few prizes and wept at the death of my colleagues.

  As director of photography I’m immensely proud of all the great work we have done together, the myriad honors that have been bestowed on your amazing images and above all the great spirit of camaraderie and professionalism that make you all such a fantastic team.

  The work of the AP (and journalists the world over) is vital. Issues of access, secrecy and more recently the spread of deliberately false news have made journalistic accuracy, impartiality and trustworthiness all the more important. It is heartening to know that mission is in your capable hands.

  Too many people to name individually have helped me along the way but you know who you are and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

  Going forward I can be reached at (redacted) and my cell number remains the same (redacted).

  My best wishes to you all.





Help Support The Darrell Barton Foundation

By Sharon Levy

ATHENS, GA (November 21, 2016) – It was on April 15, 2015, the day the storytelling community lost a legend. Some may be as talented, but the world has never seen a better storyteller than Darrell Barton. While we will forever miss the man, his principles, passions and professionalism must live on.  

The Darrell Barton Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit, is dedicated to perpetuating all that Darrell believed in, accomplished and taught.

Our mission is simple: we believe in doing the right things for the right reasons. Barton made the world better with his photojournalism. The Darrell Barton Foundation will give up-and-coming photojournalists the opportunity to do the same.   

Photojournalists are encouraged to apply for funding to any photojournalist educational program that provides quality instruction that’s based on Barton's Principles. Tell a compelling story - make a difference.

The Darrell Barton Foundation cannot fulfill its mission without your help.  Consider making a donation in honor, in memory or on behalf of a person or event that is meaningful to you. Make a donation to continue Darrell's mission, to allow photojournalism to document history, to share important stories, to make a difference in the world.

For more information, to apply for funds, or to make a donation please go online to


Letter Seeking Development of Encrypted Camera

The Freedom of the Press Foundation has drafted an open letter to major camera manufacturers—like Sony, Canon, and Nikon—asking them to build encryption into their camera products to protect the safety and security of journalists and filmmakers, their subjects, and their sources. Countless filmmakers and photojournalists have had their camera equipment seized by governments or criminals in recent years, and right now, no camera manufacturer includes encryption on their devices so the owners can protect footage from the prying eyes of those who steal it. The deadline to sign on is November 21th. The full text of the letter can be read at


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:, 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.