News Archive

2006 NPPA-Nikon Documentary Sabbatical Grant Goes "Digital" With Entry Rule Changes

LOUISVILLE, KY  – “The NPPA-Nikon Documentary Sabbatical Grant for 2006 still has the theme ‘The Changing Face of America,’ but now we have new rules for entering the contest,” grant administrator Bill Luster announced today.

“All photographs entered as a portfolio or as an example of work done on the actual sabbatical proposal must be entered in digital format. There’s no need to send photographic prints, slide duplicates, copied prints, or books. The only written material one should send is the entry blank and the entry proposal (available online at”

Luster says these are the new entry rules: “You may enter in your portfolio up to 40 images. Please send only .JPG images that are up to 10 inches wide plus the depth, or 10 inches deep plus the width, at 200 DPI. Please send at ‘Image Quality 6’ (or ‘High’) .JPG compression.

“Please place all the images on a CD-ROM. Sequence the images in the order that you want them to be viewed by naming the pictures 01.jpg through 40.jpg.

“Captions must be included for ALL images (in the image file’s ‘File Info” field, as well as printed out on a sheet of paper). In addition the entry must also include a portrait of yourself. (Your biography photograph does not count as one of the 40 images.)”

The deadline for entering is December 28, 2005. A completed entry should include:

  • An entry blank;
  • A written proposal;
  • A CD-ROM with the images, maximum of 40 in an sequence, plus a biographic portrait of the photographer;
  • Captions for all the images (printed out on a sheet of paper, plus in the images’ “File Info” field).

NPPA-Nikon Documentary Sabbatical Grant 2006 entries should be sent to:

Bill Luster
3613 Sorrento Avenue
Louisville, KY 4024

For more information contact Luster at [email protected]


Photojournalists Covering Katrina Fall Victim To Growing Violence, Chaos

By Donald R. Winslow, News Photographer magazine

AUSTIN, TX – As photojournalists continue to document the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina’s violent assault on the Gulf Coast, today they also found themselves documenting new violence and death among the survivors, the refugees, and the looters and police and rescuers in New Orleans, while some photojournalists even fell victim to the violence themselves. And a reporter for The Times-Picayune in New Orleans is still missing and has not been heard from since last weekend when he was sent to Mississippi to cover the storm. (He's since been found.)

Two veteran photojournalists - NPPA member Rick Wilking of Reuters and Getty's MarkWilson - were robbed of cameras and computer equipment today while on assignment in a neighborhood in New Orleans, and a photojournalist and a reporter were confronted at gunpoint and slammed against a wall by police following a shoot-out between looters and cops that left at least one person dead.

Another photojournalist -Lucas Oleniuk of theToronto Star - was knocked to the ground by police, his gear taken from him initially, when he photographed them shooting at looters and then beating one. In response to the growing violence and an increasing sense of despair among the stranded survivors, some television networks have hired armed private security firms to protect their journalists as they work to cover the story.

Peter Kovacs, managing editor of The Times-Picayune, says reporterLeslie Williams, who was assigned to cover the hurricane on the Mississippi coast, is still missing. No one at the newspaper has heard from Williams since last weekend. Kovacs posted a note to Poynter’s JimRomenesko saying, “He's an extraordinarly cautious guy and he's covered a lot of hurricanes. So I'm thinking positive thoughts even though I haven't heard anything. I keep thinking he's okay." By Friday, the newspaper learned that the reporter's mother is also missing. Kovacs said they have assigned a reporter in Mississippi to search for Williams. (He's since been found.)

The environment journalists are working in has shifted from one of a post-storm rescue and recovery to one that’s more akin to urban warfare. Tonight’s news reports a desperate situation in New Orleans that is spiraling out of control, with fighting breaking out among the hurricane survivors, more looting and gunfire, reports of anarchy in many areas, and more bodies floating in the waterways and in the debris. Today there were reports of rapes taking place in and around the Superdome while outside the Convention Center bodies litter the sidewalks. More dead have been dragged to the corners of the building, the Associated Press reports, as there are no resources to deal with picking up the dead. Amidst this chaos and growing tension, photojournalists find themselves working in a growingly hostile environment where they are less welcome today than yesterday.

Toronto Star staff photojournalist Lucas Oleniuk was taken to the ground by police in the Spanish Quarter after he photographed a firefight between looters and police, and police were then reportedly “beating on” a looter. A coworker at the Toronto Star toldNews Photographer magazine tonight, “The cops saw him and put him down, and took his gear. At first they were going to take all of his cameras, but he talked them into only taking the memory cards and letting him keep the cameras.” Oleniuk’s coworker says the photojournalist, who was not injured in the incident, went to New Orleans the day after the hurricane hit.

New Orleans Times-Picayune reporter Gordon Russell wrote on Thursday afternoon that “the city is not safe for anyone.” Russell and freelance photojournalist Marko Georgiev – who was shooting for The New York Times – were in the Lower Garden District in an SUV, Russell says, where he “feared for my life and felt our safety was threatened at nearly every turn.” Russell says throngs of hungry and desperate people overwhelmed the few military and law enforcement people on the scene at the Superdome and Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, and “there was no crowd control. People were swarming. It was a near riot situation.”

Georgiev says, “We came upon a body (while driving) apparently shot by the police. While I was still driving I took a few photos through the open window and I heard an officer yell, ‘Get that camera, now!’ About a half dozen cops started running toward the car. Since the car was still in motion, and I saw them drawing and raising their guns at us and afraid they would shoot us, I slammed on the brakes.

“Before I knew it, I was thrown out of the car, the camera ripped from my hand, the other camera taken from the car, and I was on the car with my legs spread, hands up, a gun pointed in my neck. I was unable to see what was going on with Gordon. I was screaming “We are press” and I saw things from my car thrown on the ground, and the car was being frantically searched by the police.”

Georgiev told News Photographer, “As soon as they confirmed that we were accredited press they mellowed down a bit and gave my cameras back, they threw Gordon’s notebook on the ground and ordered us to get lost. After quickly picking up our stuff and getting in the car we drove away, then I realized the CF memory card from my other camera was missing – but not the one with the picture of the dead body.”

The Times-Picayune’s online blog later quoted Russell’s description of the scene as being one that was “the result of gunfire between police and civilians that left one man dead in a pool of blood.” Russell wrote that he and Georgiev “retreated to my home where we hid, and plan to flee the city tonight.” Russell was quoted in the blog as telling the newspaper, “There is a totally different feeling here than there was yesterday. I’m scared. I’m not afraid to admit it. I’m getting out of here.”

“I was afraid that we were going to get shot by some nervous police officer,” Georgiev said. “And that night in front of Gordon’s house (in New Orleans), were were rounded up by police and handcuffed while trying to file pictures from our cars."

Reuters and Getty Images confirm tonight that Reuters photojournalist Rick Wilking and Getty Images photojournalist MarkWilson had cameras and laptop computers stolen from a car they were using as they got out of the vehicle to photograph rescue efforts in a New Orleans neighborhood. Michael D. Sargent, vice president of news for Getty, said the two were not harmed and that they are safe tonight, but that their gear is gone. A Reuters picture editor in Washington said the trouble apparently started when the two photographers got out of their car with cameras and were seen, and then targeted, by a neighborhood crowd.

Pictures from earlier in the day by Wilking before he was robbed show people outside the Convention Center trying to revive an elderly woman who has collapsed, and a man holding a tiny baby in his arms as he covers with a sheet the dead body of an elderly man who is sitting in a chair, reportedly left there for two days now, as thousands of survivors stand by waiting for evacuation buses. Yesterday, Wilking’s photographs showed a dead woman sitting in her wheelchair outside her home in East New Orleans where her family had left her after the storm.

Many of today’s pictures from New Orleans show refugees dealing with a growing sense of despair as relief efforts failed to materialize in many areas and evacuation efforts were halted due to violence. A picture by photojournalist Michael Ainsworth of the Dallas Morning News of people shoving in a crush as they lined up to board an evacuation bus ran huge, six columns across and deep, on Friday's Dallas Morning News front page. At The Advocate in Baton Rouge, LA, the front page was dominated by a picture shot by photojournalist Richard Alan Hannon of storm refugees holding a woman and praying over her "as her life ebbed away" on the sidewalk outside the Superdome where refugees waited for food, water, and evacuation.

NBC News has reportedly hired a private security firm whose officers are former soldiers or police, and who are licensed to carry weapons and trained to protect news crews as they do their jobs, to protect their staff members in the Gulf Coast region as they report the hurricane aftermath story. The move was prompted by what the news crews were witnessing: looting, gunfire, crimes, and gun-totting gangs moving freely about the streets. NBC News vice president David Verdi in New York told Paul J. Gough of The Hollywood Reporter, “We’ve never been in a situation domestically like this, where the populace has been cut off from the rest of the world and there’s no food and water.”

The Times-Picayune is still out of their building and some staff members are working from a remote location at the journalism school atLouisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA. CNN and WWL-TV have also based some operations out of LSU, as well as one of KHOU-TV’s satellite trucks.

The Times-Picayune tonight hopes to put out their first print edition since the hurricane hit, using the presses at the Houma Courier and delivering the newspaper wherever they can reach. They’ve published daily on the Internet and made downloadable Acrobat .PDF files of the newspaper and posted them on their Web site.

At the Biloxi Sun-Herald there’s still no electricity and no plumbing. They’ve dug trenches outside the building to use as latrines, and several recreational vehicles have been parked in the paper’s parking lot. The newspaper is still awaiting the arrival of a fuel truck to keep their generators going and they’ve increased security at the site. Today they printed and distributed a 24-page, two-section paper to 20,000 readers. They have now been able to make contact with up to 70 percent of Sun-Herald employees, and half of those reached report that their homes have been destroyed. Sun-Herald columnist Jeanne Prescott lost her sister and brother-in-law to the storm, Knight Ridder reports.

Read yesterday's story about photojournalists covering Hurricane Katrina's aftermath and the efforts newspapers and television stations are making to cover and publish the news.


Fund Established To Help Bob Brandon

While television photojournalist Bob Brandon underwent surgery in a Denver, CO, hospital yesterday to improve his ability to breathe, friends and coworkers established a fund to help his family with any costs they accumulate during his extended illness.

Brandon, known as one of the leading television photojournalists in the broadcast industry who was twice named the NPPA Television News Photographer of the Year, has been in stable but critical condition in a Denver trauma hospital after he was found on the floor of his home August 23. Friends say he may have collapsed there several days before he was discovered.

Sharon Levy Freed reports via eMail yesterday after the surgery that "Bob is still really sick, but there is now reason for hope.”

The fund has been created in Brandon’s daughter’s name and friends and supporters are encouraged participate in this effort to help the family. Freed asks that checks be made payable to: “Kristi Brandon fbo Robert Brandon” and mailed to Heritage Bank, 811 South Public Road, Lafayette, CO, 80026, addressed to the attention of Debbie Boucher.

Brandon was NPPA’s Television News Photographer of the Year in 1976 and again in 1980 while he was with KPRC-TV in Houston, TX. He's a co-recipient of a national Emmy for his work on CBS's 48 Hours as well as having two national Emmy nominations. His work includes stories for CBS News, 60 Minutes, NBC News, The Today Show, Dateline, ABC Evening News, Prime Time Live, and 20/20. He is also a faculty member for the annual NPPA Television NewsVideo Workshop, and was president of Helical Post, a video digital post-production facility in Denver.


Many New Orleans TV Photojournalists Fear Losing Their Jobs Because Of Hurricane Katrina

As if the hardship of enduring HurricaneKatrina and then covering the almost-unbelievable devastation in the storm's aftermath wasn't enough, many television photojournalists in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast are learning that shortly they could also be out of a job.

Corporate television owners are apparently trying to determine if there's going to be anyone doing business in New Orleans in the near future who will buy television advertising. If not, without advertising revenue the corporations will have to foot the entire cost of operating a television station in the devastated market - a tremendous expense that could pull down revenues from their other markets, a cost that most owners are probably going to be unwilling to bear.

Photojournalists at WWL-TVChannel 4, the New Orleans CBS affiliate, were hearing talk early in the week about their jobs possibly ending because theBeloCorporation, owners of the station, was going to "evaluate the situation" in 60 days, and decide whether or not there would be a news operation at all or a "significantly scaled back" news division. Today CareyHendrickson, Belo's vice president for investor relations and corporate communications, toldNews Photographer, "Belo is committed to WWL and its presence in New Orleans. WWL has a tremendous legacy and we are going to do everything we can to restore normal operations. Originally, we told employees that we hoped to have more information about future operations by November 1; now, we believe we are in a holding pattern for approximately six months."

Carey also shared a press release from Belo that says: "To assist its employees at WWL and NewsWatch on Channel 15 who have been severely impacted personally by Hurricane Katrina, Belo Corp. and The Belo Foundation have established the WWL-TV Employee Relief Fund. Belo Corp. has committed $200,000 to the fund initially and will also match dollar-for-dollar the contributions of employees at Belo companies. The general public and business partners are also invited to make contributions to the relief fund. Donations are tax-deductible. Cash or check donations made out to the WWL-TV Employee Relief Fund may be made in person at The Belo Foundation, located in Suite 200 of The Belo Building in Dallas, and checks may also be mailed in care of The Belo Foundation at P.O. Box 655237, Dallas, TX, 75265-5237, with questions answered at +1.214.977.6661. The Relief Fund made an initial tax-free distribution of $1,000 to every WWL employee to meet his or her immediate needs."

A television source from New Orleans told NewsPhotographer magazine that at WVUE-TV Fox 8, a station owned by Emmis Television, employees were no longer working. The station had reportedly been for sale in mid-August before the storm when Emmis announced it had sold nine of its 16 television stations. A message posted on this week said that WVUE-TV employees were "given $100.00 and sent packing."

A spokesperson for Emmis Television today said "that's not true." Kate Snedeker, director of media and investor relations for Emmis, said, "All employees have jobs. We've made a commitment to employees and we're going to stand by it. The very first message that went last week from Randy Bongarten (president of Emmis Television) made it clear." Snedeker said Emmis has created a secure employee-only Web site for WVUE-TV workers where they can log in and get up-to-date information. That site is at and if you're an empolyee and don't have a user name and password, you can get one by calling +1.866.366.4747.

Leonel Mendezhas been a photojournalist at WVUE-TV and his wife, Meredith, has been a reporter for WGNO-TV. Over the weekend he posted this note on the message board:

"We lost everything, including our home, in New Orleans. If anyone knows of any jobs out there... I would appreciate a heads up. I'm open to anything but we do have family in the Washington, DC, area which would make relocation there very easy." The couple left New Orleans and traveled to Meredith's father's house in Memphis, TN, he said, as they search for jobs. Mendez wrote, "Thanks to anyone who can help us with this tragedy. My eMail is [email protected] if you have any leads on reporting or anchoring jobs."

Today in an update to his posting Mendez, in Memphis, told NewsPhotographer, "I have some great opportunites right now. I'm going on a job interview next Wednesday, and everyone's just been great. I've got a lot of eMails and phone calls. In the meantime, we're still getting paid by the station but everyone's worried about what's going to happen to the station. We're not even allowed back in the station because of the water. Some people got to come home this week to take care of their families, my wife's home right now, she's been working out of WBRC in Baton Rouge where her station moved their operations."

"If we don't get jobs, she'll be going back to work at WGNO-TV," he said, "and right now we're pretty worried about the future. Our house was 8 to 10 blocks from where the levy broke, so we're pretty sure the house is up to the roof line with water. Since I'm not working, I've been sitting here looking at these pictures, I have time to look and to take it in. Everyone's been touched, everyone's touched."

Television photojournalist DavidSussman, chief photographer for WGNO-TV Channel 26 in New Orleans, and his wife Diane, their children and their parents, are glad to be alive and to have survived Hurricane Katrina. WGNO-TV is owned byTribuneBroadcasting. While rumors swirl on message boards and in online forums that Tribune may shut down operations in 90 days if there's no advertising revenue, Sussman left a telephone message forNewsPhotographermagazine Monday saying that this isn't exactly the case, and that Tribune continues to stand by WGNO-TV.

The station's other news photographers are still working covering the hurricane's aftermath, and WGNO-TV continues to broadcast today fromWBRZ-TVin Baton Rouge.

Sussman was born and raised in New Orleans and worked in Mobile, AL, and Nashville, TN, before "coming home" to New Orleans in 1996 to be closer to his parents, his wife Diane said. His parents' home, blocks from Lake Pontchartrain, was washed away and they were evacuated to Alexandria, LA. Sussman's wife and their children, along with Diane's mother, fled the flooding and urban anarchy and went to St. Louis, MO. The Sussman's house was spared, and Diane's mother's house was spared – "for now, as long as it's not looted or burned down," she said Sunday.

But many television newsroom employees in New Orleans who are in situations similar to Sussman's have put the word out on the grapevine, and in postings on the online discussion boards, that they're looking for new jobs and for new places to live. Encouragingly, many in the television news community have responded by posting messages online about job openings they've seen or heard about, or stations where there may soon be new opportunities.




Missing Times-Picayune Hurricane Reporter Found

Missing reporter Leslie Williams has been heard from, his editor at The Times-Picayune reported to The New York Observer last night.

The Observer quotes editor Jim Amoss as saying, "This is the best news I've heard in days. He was covering the story from Mississippi under hellacious conditions. He was on assignment and we're just now hearing from him, we haven't had a chance to debrief him yet."

No one at the newspaper had heard from Williams since last weekend when he was sent to Mississippi to cover the storm from the eastern region in the oncoming hurricane's path. At one point this last week, Williams' mother was also reported missing. There was no information from Amoss about the reporter's mother. The newspaper had dispatched another reporter to search for Williams when they had not heard from him by the middle of the week.


Gardi, Lewis, And Weidenhoefer Each Win $20K Getty Images Editorial Photography Grants

Getty Images today announced from Visa Pour L’ Image in Perpignan, France, the three new winners of its 2005 Grants for Editorial Photography. They are Balazs Gardi of Budapest, for an examination of the European Gypsy; New Jersey resident Scott Lewis for his work focusing on spiritual and secular rituals in American communities of faith; and Kai Weidenhoefer of Berlin for his journey into the repercussions that may result from the erection of a 650-kolmeter wall in Israel, one that is intended to separate Israelis from Palestinians. Each winner will receive a $20,000 grant along with project support from Getty Images’ team of photo editors.

Getty said the three winning grants were selected from applications from 37 countries, a 40 percent increase in the number of nations represented when grants were awarded earlier this year. Final judging for these winners was done in August by Maura Foley, a picture editor for The New York Times; Reza, an award-winning photojournalist from the Webistan Agency in France; and Harald Menk, the foreign photo editor for Stern magazine in Germany.

In the announcement, Reza commented on the submissions entered for consideration: “Almost all of the proposals and images revealed highly-professional and motivated participants. It indicated to me that we are entereing a new era of photojournalism and documentary photograph – more in-depth, more sensitive, more engaged. Also impressive was the deep sense of humanity exhibited in most of the submissions.”

Getty Images awards five $20,000 grants annually, totaling $100,000, to fund work by established and rising photojournalists.  Applicants must submit a written proposal and portfolio. Grant winners are given the opportunity to sign a one-year exclusive rights deal with Getty whereby their work will be marketed and available for liscense to customers worldwide through Getty’s Web site.

For the upcoming 2006 Getty grants, the judging panel will include photojournalist David Burnett, co-founder of Contact Press Images;Giovanna Calvenzi, director of photography for Sportweek; Elaine Laffont, editorial director for Hachette Filipacchi Media; Natasha Lunn, a photography editor for The New Yorker magazine; and Susan A. Smith, deputy director of photography and illustrations for National Geographic magzine.

More information on the upcoming grants is available online here.


NPPA Calls For Release Of Journalists Held In Iraq Without Charges, Details In Shooting Death Of Soundman

DURHAM, NC – The National Press Photographers Association joins with the Committee To Protect Journalists, the Reuters News Agency and other media and press freedom organizations in urging the United States military to explain immediately why it is holding in custody Iraqi photojournalist Ali Omar Abrahem al-Mashhadani, a freelance photojournalist who works for Reuters, and to provide full details surrounding the shooting of Reuters journalists Haider Kadhem, 24, and soundman Waleed Khaled, 35, who died from his wounds.

Haider KadhemJust this morning the U.S. military released Haider Kadhem after he was held by American troops in a secret location for three days following the shooting that killed Khaled. The military said he was being questioned about "inconsistencies" in his statements after he was taken from the car in which Khaled died. Kadhem suffered wounds from flying fragments, they said.

Khaled was buried on Monday. He was shot several times in the chest and at least once in the head while driving his car, an ordinary passenger vehicle, on assignment to a reported clash between armed men and police in Western Baghdad on August 28. Khaled was the fourth Reuters journalist killed in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in 2003. Two are known to have been killed by American fire.

Reuters photojournalist al-Mashhadani is still being held more than two weeks after his arrest. Reuters reports today that a “secret tribunal” has ordered him held, without charges, in Baghdad’s notorious Abu Ghraib prison for up to 6 months when his case may be reviewed again.

Reuters quotes a military spokesperson who said the tribunal decided that the photojournalist is, in their opinion, "a threat to the people of Iraq." Reuters says the military will not tell them why the photojournalist is being held and has refused all requests to detail their suspicions about Mashhadani, or to make any specific accusations. The military response to a demand for his release is that he’s “a security detainee with links to insurgents.”

“Reuters is extremely concerned by this development and is calling for the U.S. military to release al-Mashhadani or to publicly air their case against him,” Stephen Naru, the global head of media relations for Reuters, told NPPA this morning.

Additionally, the U.S. military has confirmed that five journalists for major news organizations are now in detention, including al-Mashhadani and another freelance photojournalist who works for Reuters, as well as a CBS cameraman.

Reuters journalist al-Mashhadani was arrested by U.S. troops on August 8 after a search of his Ramadi, Iraq, home; the military has refused to say why he is being held and there are no charges against him. His brother was detained with him and then released, and he says al-Mashhadani was arrested after they looked at images on his cameras.

Waleed Khaled shot and killed“I am shocked and appalled that such a decision could be taken without his having access to legal counsel of his choosing, his family, or his employers,” Reuters global managing editor David Schlesinger said after today’s developments. “I call on the authorities to release him immediately or publicly air the case against him and give him the opportunity to defend himself.”

“We’re extremely concerned when someone like al-Mashhadani, an accredited photojournalist working for a global news agency, can be held incommunicado since his arrest many days ago and simply held without any explanation,” NPPA president Alicia Wagner Calzada said today. NPPA, founded in 1946 and based in Durham, NC, is an organization of nearly 10,000 photojournalists that is dedicated to the advancement of photojournalism and to insuring that journalists’ rights, granted under the First Amendment, are upheld.

“Also of grave concern to us are reports from his family that Marines arrested him after finding video and still images during a routine sweep of his neighborhood,” Calzada said. “Reuters says they have provided U.S. officials with samples of Mashhadani's published work to help establish that the video and still images on his cameras and computers that were found during the search were gathered in the course of his employment. We are disturbed by the appearance that the U.S. military is engaged in summarily arresting journalists in Iraq for simply being journalists, and that a photojournalist would be considered a threat for merely possessing newsworthy images.

“The U.S. government would do well to remember that a true democracy in Iraq cannot flourish without a free press,” said Calzada. “We are not asking that journalists receive special treatment, only that they aren’t targeted as a result of their work.”

Many Iraqi journalists have worked as freelancers for international news agencies covering the war in Iraq, and they have found it possible to cover stories in places that are inaccessible to most foreign journalists or just too dangerous for non-Arabs. The Associated Press won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography for their coverage of the Iraqi war by a team of photographers made up mostly of Iraqi photojournalists. Iraqi photojournalist Khalid Mohammed shot the AP’s landmark image of Iraqis chanting anti-American slogans while the charred bodies of four U.S. contractors were hanged from a bridge over the Euphrates River in Fallujah in March, 2004.

“This action (the detention of Mashhadani) and others like it may indeed have a chilling effect on the coverage of the war,” Calzada said, “if Iraqi journalists are now being targeted and detained by U.S. troops, and even shot.”

The military is still investigating the arrest and detention last year of four Iraqi journalists, including three working for Reuters and one working for NBC. According to Reuters, the four reported that they were sexually and physically abused by U.S. soldiers for three days before being released. Last November, two other photojournalists working for Reuters were killed by U.S. forces along with another photographer, also based in Ramadi, during fighting between Marines and insurgents. There’s also a report that eight Iraqi journalists, including some working for CBS and Agence France-Presse, were detained in May by the military without any further explanation.

“It is more than ironic that the same troops who are fighting and dying so that the Iraqi people can have a democratic form of government, complete with its own constitution, infringe on the basic First Amendment and due process rights under the catch-all phrase that these journalists posed a ‘security risk to the Iraqi people and coalition forces,’” Calzada said.


2005 Women In Photojournalism Conference Inspired, Rekindled Careers, With Speakers And Workshops

The 2005 NPPA Women In Photojournalism Conference opened Friday in Phoenix, AZ, and ran through Sunday August 28 and featured a dynamic line-up of workshops and speakers that inspired photojournalists and rekindled a passion and committment to the craft.

Speakers included Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Deanne Fitzmaurice of the San Francisco Chronicle; Peggy Peattie of the San Diego Union-Tribune; Andrea BruceWoodall of The Washington Post; and freelance photojournalist Amy Toensing.

Also speaking were photojournalist Maggie Steber; Mary Vignoles of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel; Angie Kucharski of KCNC-TV in Denver; Christina Pino-Marina of; Jennifer Castor of KMGH-TV in Denver; Kristen Bergeron of KTVT-TV in Fort Worth; and Lynn French of KPNX-TV in Phoenix.

More than 400 images were entered in this year's WIPC photography contest and the winners were presented during a special gallery exhibition on Saturday at the nearby Victoria Boyce Galleries in Scottsdale, AZ.

Erin Trieb of Dallas, TX, won Best Overall in the photography contest and she was presented with her winning check by conference chairperson Pat Holloway.

For more information see the conference Web page or contact local conference coordinators Lynn French, Catherine Jun, or Heidi Huber.








NPPA Releases Memo On Photographers' Rights To Take Pictures In Public Places

PHOENIX, AZ  – It’s been almost four years since the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and in that time photojournalists have faced an increasing wave of harassment and obstacles – often in the name of national security – while trying to do their work.

“The National Press Photographers Association has been called upon time and time again to speak out on behalf of photojournalists’ rights and to fight efforts to limit or prohibit photography in public places and of public facilities,” NPPA president Alicia Wagner Calzada said today as she opened the Women In Photojournalism Conference at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix, AZ. "Last year there was an attempted ban on all photography in the New York City subways and on the Metropolitan Transit Authority busses, and a successful fight to defeat the proposal was led by the NPPA and other media groups."

“Photojournalists clearly have a Constitutional right guaranteed by the First Amendment to make photographs in public places. But often law enforcement officials and security agencies believe – wrongly so – that in the name of homeland defense there are new federal laws that somehow give them additional rights to restrict photography. This is just not the case.”

To clarify the issue, NPPA asked attorneys Kurt Wimmer and John Blevins of the Washington office of the Covington & Burling law firm to produce a memorandum outlining the rights of photojournalists to make pictures in public places. The memorandum, released by NPPA and Calzada today at the Women In Photojournalism Conference, concludes: "No specific post-September 11 federal law grants the government any additional rights to restrict visual newsgathering, photojournalism, or photography in general.”

Singled out from their memorandum are these significant points:

* The Constitution protects the media’s right to freely gather news, which includes the right to make photographs in a public forum;

* There is no federal law that would prohibit photography in public places or restrict photography of public places and/or structures;

* Any restrictions that the government does impose would need to have supporting evidence that it was essential for public safety. The burden is on the government;

* Government officials cannot single out news cameras for removal while continuing to allow the general public to remain in a location, particularly if the public is taking pictures;

* When journalists are denied access, they should avoid confrontation and arrest and instead gather as much information as possible so that they can later seek relief through proper channels.

The memorandum is published here as a downloadable Acrobat .PDF file as a public service for distribution to journalists and newsgathering organizations.

“We encourage all news organizations to consult with their own attorneys regarding the best procedures for dealing with overzealous police and security guards,” Calzada said. “And it is a good idea to have a plan of action before an incident occurs. Please download the entire memorandum from the NPPA Web site and review it with your staff, supervisors, and editors.”

For more information please contact Calzada at [email protected].


NPPA And Western Kentucky University Receive Knight Foundation Grant To Turn Photojournalism Contest Into Educational Opportunity

DURHAM, NC – Supported by a $100,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the National Press Photographers Association and Western Kentucky University have joined together to create an online educational program based on NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism annual contest that will help the university’s photojournalism and visual communication students learn how to produce better photos.

As part of the Knight Foundation grant, the first rounds of the contest will be conducted and judged online, to help teachers guide students through the process. NPPA will improve the way images are digitally entered into the contest and expand the online photo archiving to provide a useful learning tool for professionals, teachers and students.

"Education has always been at the heart of NPPA's values and the Best of Photojournalism contest has always emphasized its educational value to photojournalism students, visual communication students and editing students as well as their instructors,” said NPPA presidentAlicia Wagner Calzada. “Because of the contest’s unique format, and its availability to students and professionals via the Internet, Best of Photojournalism is now used as an educational tool in all parts of the world. The work that Western Kentucky University will do will further increase the contest’s educational value and enhance photojournalism education for all."

Every March, NPPA conducts the Best of Photojournalism contest for still photojournalism and editing, television photojournalism and editing, and online media. The final judging takes place at both The Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, FL, and at the School of Visual Communication (VisCom) at Ohio University in Athens.

During this year's contest, judges evaluated more than 41,000 individual entries in all five divisions from news events and stories in 2004. The still photography contest had nearly 38,000 entries by itself, making it the second-largest contest for photojournalists in the world (only World Press in Amsterdam has more entries). Unlike many annual contests, the Best of Photojournalism has no entry fees – and photojournalists can enter their images via the Internet from anywhere in the world.

Western Kentucky University and NPPA will work with Ohio University and News University, The Poynter Institute's e-learning project, to create educational components based on the contest. These online training modules – for print and video journalists – will be available for free on the NewsU Web site, They’ll cover such topics as ethics in photojournalism and what makes a winning photograph.

“This partnership is a win-win situation,” said Dr. Pam McAllister Johnson, director of Western Kentucky University’s School of Journalism. “Our photojournalism program, the NPPA contests and News University are all considered tops in their areas.”

NPPA will continue to administer all aspects of the contest including judging, displaying all entries and presentation of the winning entries.

“Journalism contests can do more than create giddy winners and grumpy losers,” said Eric Newton, director of Journalism Initiatives for Knight Foundation. “They can show the world what we really mean when we talk about journalism excellence – and that’s something all of us can learn from.”

The Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation was established in 1950 as a private foundation. Knight Foundation promotes journalism excellence worldwide and invests in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. For more, visit

Western Kentucky University offered its first journalism course in 1927. Today, the School of Journalism and Broadcasting has more than 1000 students and 35 faculty members. Twelve photojournalism graduates have been on Pulitzer Prize-winning teams. The school has ranked number one in the overall Hearst competition three of the last five years; and the photojournalism program has been ranked number one 15 of the last 17 years.

The National Press Photographers Association ( is the professional society of photojournalists. Established in 1946 and based in Durham, NC, NPPA is also the publisher of the monthly magazine News Photographer.

For more information please contact NPPA executive director Greg Garneau at +1.919.383.7246 ext. 10 or via eMail at [email protected].