News Archive

Online Statement In Support Of Judith Miller

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press urges journalists to sign an online statement in support of Judith Miller, the New York Times reporter who has been jailed for refusing to disclose sources. Miller was jailed for refusing to comply with a subpoena and to reveal a confidential source to a Special Counsel grand jury investigating the disclosure of an undercover CIA officer's name in Robert Novak's column of July 2003. She could remain in jail until she elects to testify, which she has vowed not to do, or until the grand jury expires in late October.

The National Press Photographers Association has joined with the Newspaper Association of America and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in reiterating their call for a new national shield law to protect journalists' interests, and urges NPPA members to sign this online statement in support of Miller and supporting the defense of journalists' rights as well as the public's right to know about its government.

 

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Tony Berardi, 99, Famed Chicago Photojournalist

Retired photojournalist Tony Berardi, 99, who as a young man was one of the first photographers on the scene to document the infamous 1929 St. Valentine's Day gangland murders, died July 13 in an assisted-living facility in Kankakee, IL, according to his son, Tony Berardi Jr., retired chief photographer for the Chicago Tribune.

Berardi had been a photographer for The Chicago Evening American at the time and he worked for that newspaper for many years before retiring in 1971 from the Chicago Today newspaper. In 1923 at the age of 17 he was one of the youngest newspaper photographers working, according to his obituary in the Chicago Tribune, as well as taking the first picture of Al Capone that the gangster agreed to pose for.

In addition to his son he is survived by two daughters, Carol Dalissandro and Tricia Wille, and a stepdaughter, Patricia Dvorin. Tribune writer John McCormick wrote a detailed history of Berardi's career as a photographer documenting Chicago's news.

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Virginia Photojournalists Save Two From Flooding

RICHMOND, VA – NPPA member and television photojournalist Dwight Nixon of WWBT-TV NBC-12 in Richmond, VA, is being credited with leading the rescue of two women from a car that was trapped in rising flood waters near Petersburg, VA, where flash flooding followed on the heels of tropical storm Cindy making landfall and moving inland.

WWBT-TV reports that Nixon was covering the storm’s aftermath when he noticed two women in a disabled car and floodwater was rising around the vehicle. Nixon and another man, bystander Allen Marshall, used one of Nixon’s long extension cords as a rope to brave into the rising water and rescue the women. Television photojournalist Jon Burkett from WTVR-TV CBS 6 used Nixon’s camera during the rescue and captured the entire event on tape.

“Jon Burkett deserves as much credit as I do,” Nixon wrote to News Photographer magazine today. “But the real hero was the by-stander, Mr. Marshall, who put himself at the most risk.”

In a story in today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch by staff writer Andrew Price, the saga began when Nixon and Burkett, each on assignment for their stations, spotted the women trapped in a car in high water. Nixon used a long, heavy-duty extension cord wrapped around himself as an anchor while Marshall took the other end of the cord and waded into the water, pulling one of the women to safety. In the next few minutes police arrived and an officer rescued the other woman from the car. One woman was described as being in her thirties or forties, and the other was described as elderly.

Nixon told the Times-Dispatch that Burkett’s camera stopped working in the wet conditions, so he handed over his camera so that Burkett could keep shooting during the rescue. The two stations shared the tape for their broadcasts.

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Seattle Photojournalist Jimi Lott, 52, Found Dead

SEATTLE, WA – James G. "Jimi" Lott, 52, a well-known award-winning photojournalist and former staff photographer for The Seattle Times from 1984 through 2004, has been found dead at a motel in Wenatchee, WA. Seattle Times managing editor David Boardman informed the staff Wednesday of Lott's death, and the Chelan County coroner told the Times that Lott's death has been ruled a suicide.

"Jimi was a marvelously creative photojournalist who saw the world with childlike curiosity. For two decades, our newspaper, and our readers, were the beneficiaries," Boardman wrote in an announcement to Lott's former coworkers. "Jimi was one of the first photographers I worked with, when we were both pups at the Skagit Valley Herald in Mount Vernon. From the start, I was taken most with his ability to put the subjects of our stories at ease."

Lott is survived by his former wife, Kathleen Lott, and a son, Joshua Lott, as well as his stepfather, WalterHoskinson. No public services are planned at this time.

Lott was known for his compassionate picture stories of those in trouble - the down-and-out, the mentally ill, poor and homeless people - and staff members remember him for his compassion and empathy. In the 1980s a series of stories about problems with the state's mental health system, illustrated with Lott's photographs, won the 1989 Cowles Cup honor.

“Jimi was energized by photography. He loved his work and had deep compassion for his subjects,” Cole Porter told News Photographermagazine. Porter, now with Getty Images, was the director of photography at The Seattle Times for many of the years Lott was a staff photojournalist. “Although he had unique empathy for the less fortunate he had the ability to make readers laugh with his visual humor. Jimi never embraced things in moderation; he went full speed. He always worried about others first, even when he had little to share." Porter also remembers that Lott sometimes gave money or toys to needy people he encountered, and that he also rebuilt computers to give to those in need. "If more people had Jimi's compassion for their neighbor this would be a different world.”

Lott was also one of the photographers on the investigative team coverage of safety problems with Boeing 737 airliner rudders that won the newspaper a Pulitzer Prize in 1997. He won multiple awards in the 45th annual Pictures of the Year competition in 1988 at the University of Missouri, including top honors in news picture stories for a special section on the homeless.

In 1984, Lott was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in spot news photography when he was a staff photographer at The Spokesman-Review for a picture that showed a young boy being comforted by a firefighter.

Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Jerry Gay had already left his staff position at The Seattle Times when he met Lott. “Jimi was a friend, and a fellow journalist on the road. I was continually impressed with Jimi’s outgoing friendliness and his fresh approach to his subjects. You could see pure vitality in his everyday news photographs.”

“Sometimes in the life of genius there is a troublesome inner struggle that’s trying to determine the soul’s real identity and true self worth,” Gay said. “God bless you, Jimi, on your journey, and continue making unprecedented pictures revealing your deepest essence for all to see.”

Lott attended San Diego City College and Southwest Oregon Community College, the Times reports, and started his photography career in 1972 at The World in Coos Bay, OR, and then at the Bay Reporter. His career included being director of photography at the Skagit ValleyHerald and the Yakima Herald-Republic before joining The Spokesman-Review in 1982. In 1984 he moved to The Seattle Times.

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Chistopher Cloppas, WOAI-TV Photojournalist, One Of Two Killed In New York Crash

Photojournalist Christopher Daniel Cloppas, 25, of WOAI-TV 4 in San Antonio, TX, was killed in an automobile accident in rural Hancock, NY, in the early morning hours of Tuesday, July 5, according to friends and coworkers. News reports say another occupant of the car was killed and a third was critically injured in the one-car crash around 2:30 a.m. near the Pennsylvania border. The accident then went undiscovered for as much as five hours after the car went out of sight down an embankment and struck several trees.

Cloppas and the others were enroute to the French Woods Performing Arts camp, a children's videography workshop in upstate New York, where they all were going to be camp counselors.

“Chris was a great guy and was on his way to becoming a great photographer," WOAI-TV News 4’s chief photographer Jimmy Sena toldNews Photographer magazine. "We have dedicated our evening shows to him.”

Also killed in the crash was Dina Goldstone, 19, of Wynnewood, PA, an aspiring actress and an honor roll sophomore at NYU who had starred in high school roles and aspired to headline on Broadway. Injured passenger Robbie Porter, 22, of Glasgow, Scotland, reportedly dragged himself up a steep bank – despite a broken leg – to try to flag down help from passing motorists. Porter was hospitalized for his injuries.

"Chris could cover news like a champ and still always have a smile on his face," said his friend Richard Guerra, also a photojournalist at WOAI-TV News 4. "I worked with him for three years. We both started in production and then went to editing, and then shooting. Chris was always enthusiastic about the camera. He was always trying to get better, and he always wanted input on his work. He was extremely creative and he knew how to make this job fun. Chris was a very close friend of mine, and he will be missed. He was an asset to our station."

Police said it was five hours before the accident was discovered and that Cloppas and Goldstone died at the scene. WPVI-TV ABC news in Philadelphia reported that New York State Police said speeding and alcohol were being investigated as possible factors in the crash. Goldstone had attended the camp for 12 years, the Philadelphia Inquirer said in her obituary, and she was going to teach the campers dancing and voice this summer.

Cloppas is survived by his parents, Dan and Vicki Cloppas, of Monument, CO. He was a 2002 graduate of the University of Texas in San Antonio and a 1998 graduate of Kaiserslautern American High School in Germany.

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NLGJA Photojournalism Contest Deadline June 30

The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) has announced their Excellence in Journalism Awards to recognize outstanding coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues in print in news, feature, opinion, editorial, television, radio, online, and photojournalism categories.

Jason Lloyd Clement, NLGJA’s program director, said the awards started in 1993 and the photojournalism category was added in 2003. This year’s judging by a panel of photojournalism professionals will take place throughout July. Last year’s photography winners included first place winners Paul Chinn, Deanne Fitzmaurice, Kim Komenich, Elizabeth Mangelsdorf, and John Storey, of the San Francisco Chronicle, for "Gay Marriage," and second place went to Joyce Marshall, of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, for "Becoming Maddie.” The judges last year included Nick Lammers, of The Oakland Tribune; Geri Migielicz, of the San Jose Mercury News; Amy Sancetta, of The Associated Press; and Mary Schulte, of The Kansas City Star.

“The NLGJA Excellence in Journalism Awards were established to foster, recognize and reward excellence in journalism on issues related to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community,” Clement told News Photographer magazine. “In addition to Journalist of the Year, awards will be presented in the categories of HIV/AIDS Coverage, Written News, Written Feature, Written Opinion/Editorial, Radio, Television, Photojournalism, New Media, LGBT Media and Student Journalism.”

Winners will be announced September 24 during NLGJA’s 15th anniversary Celebration and Convention in Chicago, IL. The deadline for entering is June 30, 2005, and initial publication or broadcast of the contest material must have taken place between June 1 2004 and May 31 2005.

Complete rules, guidelines, and an entry form are available online at www.nlgja.org/programs/EJA.html.

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Michele McNally Promoted To Assistant Managing Editor For Photography, The New York Times; Masthead Title

NEW YORK, NY – Bill Keller, the executive editor of The New York Times, has announced two new assistant managing editors at the newspaper, including the promotion of director of photography MicheleMcNally to A.M.E. and her inclusion in the newspaper's masthead.

McNally, the subject of a feature in this month's issue of NewsPhotographer magazine written by author SeddaKreabs, has been atTheTimesa little over a year - and somewhat surprisingly it's her first job at a daily newspaper. Prior to The Times she was the director of photography forFortunemagazine. The other assistant managing editor promotion was WilliamE.Schmidt, who has been TheTimes's associate managing editor for resources and planning.

In his memo to the staff announcing McNally's move, Keller said McNally's promotion is "both a recognition of her own strong leadership and an overdue acknowledgment of the status photojournalism has earned at this paper. The admiration our matchless team of photographers and picture editors has won for The Times, both from their professional peers and from discerning readers in general, should by now have erased any lingering notion that pictures are secondary - that they exist in service to the words, or in service to the design. They are in service to the journalism. In her first year at the paper - her first year at ANY daily newspaper - Michele has made that team more cohesive than it has been in my memory, and has raised its game. More than that, she has challenged all of us to look at the whole range of what photography can do, to be less conventional in our choices and use of pictures, to open our eyes and open our minds."

About photography at the newspaper, Keller said in an interview for a Times story about McNally's promotion, "There had been some feeling over the years that photography at TheTimes was there as an adjunct to the written word. I'm not sure it was ever true, but it's become more and more untrue the last few years."

The July 2005 issue of News Photographer, featuring "The McNally Factor."

 

 

 

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Horst Fass Moves From Bangkok Hospital To A Rehabilitation Hospital In Germany

Horst Faas has arrived at the Klinik Marnau rehabilitation hospital in Murnau, Germany, for continued treatment after being transferred from the Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, says the AP's Denis D. Gray in Bangkok.

"Horst just called from Germany where he says he has a gorgeous view of the Alps from his bed. He even managed to get some good Bavarian beer last night," Gray reports. The update says Faas will have a computer bedside within a few days so that he can correspond via eMail and he can continue working on book and exhibition projects, although he remains paralyzed from the chest down.

Faas, 72, was stricken May 4 in Hanoi with a blood clot on his spinal column. He was evacuated by plane to Thailand where he's been in hospital until the transfer this week to Germany. He sent friends and associates an eMail earlier this week from his infirmary bed in Thailand telling of the upcoming flight to Germany, and that he anticipates many days of recovery are still ahead.

"Thank you for the continuing flow of encouraging messages for which I am very greatful," Faas wrote. "Thanks to the help of the AP's benefits department and Aetna, I will be finally transferred by Thai International to Germany on Tuesday where I will be treated, with the help of some good Bavarian beer, at a specialist clinic for the next weeks or months."

"My status is unfortunately unchanged: I cannot control my movements from the chest down and have no feeling in that area. So there has been no visible progress. However, I have been told that it may be a matter of months before there are improvements. I will be patient and work hard.

"I will let you know my mobile phone number and room telephone when I can, and plan to set up my computer for eMails."

Through Gray, Faas told friends and associates that he will be under the care of Dr. M. Potulski at the Klinic Murnau in a department that specializes in motion injuries and rehabilitation from spinal cord injuries. The hospital is on the outskirts of Munich at the foot of the Bavarian Alps and surrounded by lakes and mountain views.

A legendary war photojournalist and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner, Faas, 72, had been hospitalized in Bangkok since he was evacuated from Hanoi on May 4 following a 30th anniversary reunion of photojournalists who covered the Vietnam War. Doctors at first thought he might be having a heart problem but then later discovered that he was suffering from a large blood clot on his spinal column.

Faas retired last year from the Associated Press in London where he was the senior editor of photography for Europe after a five-decade career as one of the world’s leading conflict photographers. He was stricken in Hanoi shortly after the war reunion and while he was getting ready to present one of his photography clinics with associate Tim Page and other photojournalists, reports his long-time friend Richard Pyleof the Associated Press, who was with Faas and other journalists in Vietnam for the 30th anniversary of the end of the war. Pyle says Faas was taken to a Hanoi emergency clinic, and then airlifted to Thailand for advanced care. Faas celebrated his 72nd birthday in Saigon on April 27.

Pyle, who had been AP’s Saigon bureau chief during the war, and Faas, an AP photographer who covered Vietnam from very early in the conflict, are long-time friends as well as being co-authors of the book Lost Over Laos (Da Capo Press, 2003). Pyle said that Faas and many other photojournalists had been in Saigon for the war reunion before Faas flew to Hanoi to put on a workshop for Vietnamese photographers. Pyle said he and others in the group were on a tour in Saigon and when they returned to the hotel there was an urgent message from the AP bureau in Hanoi telling them to call immediately. When they did, they learned that Faas had been taken to an emergency clinic.

Krista Kennell, assistant managing editor of ZUMA Press, was also there. "Horst was taken from our hotel in Hanoi, the De Syloia, to a clinic. I had just got to know him that weekend," she said. "He's such an amazing guy, and told great stories. On the night of his birthday they had a big Vanity Fair photo shoot on the roof of the hotel, and then there were drinks and a few stories. I was so impressed with his openness and his humor. The day of the memorial, they were all outside and it was hot and they were running around in the heat. Maybe it was too much. On the day I shot his portrait (above) he was having trouble walking and standing. In fact, I had him sit down. When he got sick and they took him from the hotel, that night they flew him to Bangkok."

Pyle said that the Associated Press arranged for the aircraft, which was staffed with medical personnel, to evacuate Faas to the Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, for advanced treatment and care. Bumrungrad is Southeast Asia’s largest private hospital and the first hospital in Asia to be certified by the U.S.-based Joint Commission on International Accreditation, according to the hospital’s Web site, treating 275,000 patients annually from 150 nations. At Bumrungrad, Faas was treated by an Australian doctor who discovered the blood clot problem and he was taken into surgery to drain the blood from his spinal column, Pyle said. But the paralysis remained after surgery.

Faas was born in Berlin in 1933 and his photographic career began in 1951 with the Keystone Agency. He covered the Indochina peace negotiations in Geneva in 1954. He’s been with the AP since 1956 covering wars in the Congo, Algeria, Vietnam, and Laos. He was AP’s chief photographer for Southeast Asia from 1962 to 1974 based in Saigon, and he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1965 for his portfolio of photographs from Vietnam, then again in 1972 for his coverage of the conflict in Bangladesh. He’s a winner of the Robert Capa Gold Medal from the Overseas Press Club, and until his retirement from AP last year he was a senior editor based in their London bureau.

In addition to his own accomplishments as a photojournalist, Faas is the picture editor who pulled what he later called "The Perfect Newspicture" from a roll of the late Eddie Adams's film in Saigon on February 1, 1968. "The Saigon Execution," Faas wrote in The Digital Journalist, was "the perfectly framed and exposed 'frozen moment' of an event which I felt instantly would become representative of the brutality of the Vietnam War." Faas is also the picture editor who transmitted Nick Ut's famous "Napalm Girl" photograph of severely burned Kim Phuc in 1972, moving it on the AP photo network after another editor had refused to send it because of the graphic content.

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Freelance Photojournalist Don Murray, 45

Freelance photojournalist Don Murray, 45, died Friday of a heart attack while driving to his Mount Laurel, NJ, beach home following an assignment in New York, his agency ZUMA Press announced today. Murray freelanced for the New York Post, the Philadelphia Daily News, The Washington Post, Time, the Associated Press and others, and he was represented by ZUMA.

Murray left his job at IBM in the 1990s to pursue his passion for photojournalism, and ZUMA’s director and founder Scott Mc Kiernanremembers Murray as “a hard core news photographer and a go-getter who would never fail to deliver the money shot. Don will be greatly missed by all of us who knew and worked with him.”

Murray’s oldest son Michael Murray, 23, told the New York Post, “He just loved his job. He loved it all. And he was a true professional.” Murray’s photographic Web site with his portfolio is online at www.pressimages.net.

Murray is survived by his wife, Berjoohy, and sons Michael and David, 21. A memorial service was scheduled for Thursday June 2 at the Holy Trinity Church, 101 Ashmead Road, Cheltenham, PA.

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WKU's Jim Winn Wins Hearst Photojournalism Championship

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Winning college photojournalists in the William Randolph Hearst Foundation Journalism Awards Program were announced last night during an awards dinner in San Francisco. Jim Winn, of Western Kentucky University, is the first place photojournalist winning a $5,000 scholarship. Daron Dean of the University of Florida, an NPPA member since 2002, finished second with a $4,000 scholarship, and Haraz Ghanbari of Kent State University, an NPPA member since 2001, finished third with a $3,000 scholarship.

Hearst program director Jan C. Watten said there were also three runners-up in the photojournalism championship who will each receive a $1,500 scholarship. They are Melanie Holloway Blanding, of Western Kentucky University, an NPPA member since 2002; Erik Jacobs, of Western Kentucky University, and Ray M. Jones, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

A $1,000 award for Best Single Photograph went to Jacobs, and a $1,000 award for Best Picture Story or Series went to Blanding.

Semi-finalists in the photojournalism championship each receive $1,000 scholarships. They are Wiqan Ang, Western Kentucky University;Chris Bergin, Ball State University; Justin Cook, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; David Degner, Western Kentucky University,Emily G. Harris, University of Florida; and Dana M. Rieber, Western Kentucky University.

The championship was held in San Francisco from May 23 to May 28. Finalists were brought to the city to demonstrate their photography skills in rigorous on-the-spot assignments, and were then judged by a panel of professionals brought in to evaluate their work.

More information about the winners, including winners in the writing and broadcast news championships, is available online at www.hearstfdn.org.

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