News Archive

Seok Jae-hyun Released From Chinese Prison

South Korean freelance photojournalist Seok Jae-hyun, 34, was released from Wei Fang prison in China today after serving 14 months of a two-year sentence for his conviction on charges of "trafficking in persons." His wife, Kang Hye-won, and friend and fellow photojournalist Nayan Sthankiya, were waiting for him at the airport in Qingdao, China, as police delivered Seok to the tarmac next to his departing flight back to Inch'on, South Korea, which is west of Seoul.

[Seok Jae-hyun Released: Photojournalist Seok Jae-hyun, 34, answers a reporter's question as his wife, Kang Hye-won, looks on upon their arrival in Inch'on airport, west of Seoul on March 19, 2004. China on Friday released Seok, who was arrested in January 2003 in the port city of Yantai while covering an attempt by activists to help North Koreans flee to Japan and South Korea in fishing boats, South Korea. Photograph by Lee Jae-won courtesy of Reuters.]

"The Chinese were very particular about not allowing the media to see Jae on Chinese soil. When the police moved him onto the tarmac and everyone started taking pictures, they promptly put him back into the car until the area was cleared," Sthankiya told Stephen Paul Gilbert, who was monitoring Seok's release from back in Vancouver. Sthankiya and Gilbert co-founded the group Resolution 217, which was organized specifically to win the release of Seok from prison.

Chinese police arrested Seok, along with around 80 North Korean refugees, on January 18, 2003, in the port city of Yantai, opposite the Korean peninsula.

Today Gilbert said, "Seok didn't know he was going to be released until 10 in the morning when Kang came to the prison with his plane ticket and clothes for the return trip. She saw him briefly and then wasn't allowed to see him again until he stepped on the plane. Kang went on ahead (to the airport) in a taxi, while Jae followed later in a police van."

"Seok was surprised by the amount of media waiting for him at Inch'on airport. He gave a brief statement, answered a few questions, and then was on his way back to his home town of Daegu," Sthankiya told Gilbert. Sthankiya also said that Seok "looks okay, somewhat wasted and tired, but still all right. He is bald from having his head shaved in prison and his hands are kind of frostbitten, but nevertheless he is in very good spirits."

[Seok Jae-hyun Released: Seok Jae-hyun, answers a reporter's upon his arrival in Inch'on airport on March 19, 2004. China on Friday released Seok from prison after serving 14 months. Photograph by Lee Jae-won courtesy of Reuters.]

In a statement released this morning, the press freedom groups Resolution 217 and Reporters Without Borders said, "We welcome the release of South Korean photojournalist Seok Jae-hyun from Wei Fang prison in China today with nothing short of jubilation. While being ecstatic that Seok is back with his family and friends in South Korea, we remain equally outraged he was ever arrested at all. His release is a pyrrhic victory."

"When the Chinese police rounded up the refugees in Yantai, five people were arrested along with them: Seok, Jae Young-hoon (another South Korean, a humanitarian aid worker), two ethnic Chinese-Korean workers, and Jo Yong-su (a North Korean who organized and led the attempted boatlift). The others are still in a different prison than the one Seok was in. No one knows what happened to any of the 80 or so refugees, including Jo Yong-su's family," Gilbert said.

Mr. Chun Ki-won, a Christian minister who works in refugee aid and was arrested for his activities in China in 2001, said most if not all of them had been sent back to North Korea.

Seok, whose photographs appeared regularly in The New York Times and GEO magazine, was arrested while covering North Korean refugees as they attempted to flee China on boats bound for South Korea and Japan. He was documenting the plight of North Korean refugees in China, a story that has openly irritated Chinese officials.

Earlier this year the Shandong Superior People's Court in Shandong Province rejected an appeal by Seok to overturn his conviction. The original verdict on May 22 included a fine of 5,000 Yuans, the confiscation of all his film and cameras, and a lifelong banishment from China at the end of his sentence.

[Seok Jae-hyun Released: South Korean photojournalist Seok Jae-hyun (center), 34, chats with a friend as his wife Kang Hye-won (left) accompanies when they arrived in Inch'on airport west of Seoul March 19, 2004. Photograph by Lee Jae-won courtesy of Reuters.]

Vincent Brossel, head of the Asia-Pacific Desk of Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontières) in Paris, this week said, "After almost 15 months in jail, Seok will be released mainly because of South Korean and international pressures. Finally, Beijing recognized that he was a media professional merely doing his duty. We hope that South Korean and foreign journalists will not stop covering the terrible situation of North Korean refugees in China, because of Seok's long jailing." RSF had launched an online petition calling for the photojournalist's release and the dropping of all charges. RSF presented the petition to the Chinese embassy in France around the time of Chinese president Hu Jintao's official visit to Paris on January 27-28.

"The faculty and students at Ohio University are overjoyed at the prospects of Jae's release," said Terry Eiler, director of the Ohio University School of Visual Communication where Seok received his master's degree in Visual Communications. "He is an exceptional visual journalist and a gentleman who has suffered greatly to tell the world a human story." OU students organized a print auction to raise money for the imprisoned journalist, who is a South Korean citizen.

"We're grateful to everyone worldwide who worked so passionately for justice for Jae," John Kaplan said. "The Committee to Protect Journalists, the Overseas Press Club, Reporters Without Borders and especially Resolution 217, the group that was founded to bring a voice to Jae's imprisonment, were all tireless in their call for his release." Kaplan is one of Seok's long-time supporters and friends who worked behind the scenes for his freedom. Kaplan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist who is now an associate professor at the University of Florida.

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Seok Jae-hyun To Be Released From Chinese Prison

South Korean freelance photojournalist Seok Jae-hyun is scheduled to be released from prison in China in only two days, a spokesperson for the group Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontières) confirms this morning from Paris. Vincent Brossel, head of the Asia-Pacific Desk of RSF, said this morning, "We can confirm that the South Korean Consul in Beijing, Lee Young-baek, told Seok's wife, Kang Hye-won, that he will be released on Friday, March 19. She is flying there to get her husband back home. We are really happy with this news." RSF said the Consul called Kang on Tuesday with the news.

 

Photo courtesy of Geo Magazine

 

"After more than 15 months in jail, Seok will be released mainly because of South Korean and international pressures," Brossel toldNews Photographermagazine. "Finally, Beijing recognized that he was a media professional merely doing his duty. We hope that South Korean and foreign journalists will not stop covering the terrible situation of North Korean refugees in China, because of Seok's long jailing." The group had launched an online petition calling for the photojournalist's release and the dropping of all charges. RSF presented the petition to the Chinese embassy in France during Chinese president Hu Jintao's official visit to Paris on January 27-28.

 

Seok, whose photographs appeared regularly in The New York Times and GEO magazine, was arrested January 18, 2003, while covering North Korean refugees as they attempted to flee China on boats bound for South Korea and Japan. He was documenting the plight of North Korean refugees in China, a story that has openly irritated Chinese officials. "The conviction means that he will not be allowed back into China and he will lose all of his cameras," photojournalist Nayan Sthankiya said. Sthankiya, a freelancer based in South Korea, is the cofounder of the group Resolution 217 that was formed specifically to win the release of Seok from Chinese prison. Sthankiya is traveling to China today or tomorrow to be there when Seok is released from prison.

 

Earlier this year the Shandong Superior People's Court in Shandong Province rejected an appeal by Seok to overturn his conviction on charges of "trafficking in persons." After the rejected appeal the court said Seok was to finish his two-year sentence. The original verdict on May 22 included a fine of 5,000 Yuans, the confiscation of all his film and cameras, and a lifelong banishment from China at the end of his sentence.

 

"Seok took the news of the appeal denial very hard," Sthankiya said at the time. "But the Korean Vice Consul has said that there is a possibility of an early release, possibly due to that fact that he is a foreigner and special circumstances."

 

Terry Eiler, director of the Ohio University School of Visual Communication where Jae received his master's degree in Visual Communications, said this morning when he heard the news, "The faculty and students at Ohio University are overjoyed at the prospects of Jae's release. He is an exceptional visual journalist and a gentleman who has suffered greatly to tell the world a human story." Eiler was one of Jae's former professors at OU. Students there had organized a print auction to raise money for the imprisoned journalist, who is a Korean citizen.

 

"We're grateful to everyone worldwide who worked so passionately for justice for Jae," John Kaplan said. "The Committee to Protect Journalists, the Overseas Press Club, Reporters Without Borders and especially Resolution 217, the group that was founded to bring a voice to Jae's imprisonment, were all tireless in their call for his release." Kaplan is one of Seok's long-time supporters and friends who worked behind the scenes for his freedom. Kaplan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist who is now an associate professor at the University of Florida, teaching photography, design, and international journalism.

 

Kaplan said Seok "was merely a passionate journalist working to tell an important story. My hope now for Jae is that he will be able to rest for a time, and that he'll be able to retain the heart and soul that helps make his photography so memorable. I hope that he and his wife, Kang, will be able to return to their everyday routine, and to forgive."

 

When Seok was arrested, so were a South Korean aid worker, two Chinese nationals, and a North Korean who were present during the boatlift operation. They were also sentenced to two to seven years. In August, two South Korean journalists were detained in Shanghai while filming North Korean refugees attempting to gain asylum entering a school run by the Japanese government. They were released and deported from China only three weeks later.

 

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An open letter from NPPA's Best Of Photojournalism Contest Committee member Joe Elbert in response to an online petition which calls for a rejoining of the University of Missouri and NPPA's annual photojournalism contests

The breakup of Missouri and NPPA seems to hit folks at a personal level. I'm truly sorry for that, but some background might help make this more understandable.

Where to begin? During NPPA's 1997 convention I was asked to be the contest liaison between NPPA and the University of Missouri. I'd been a judge for two years, knew the folks at Missouri, and knew that relations weren't exactly warm and fuzzy between Missouri and NPPA. My first official duty was to have lunch with Bill Kuykendall, Canon and Kodak to discuss their sponsorship. For the next hour Bill and I heard how they felt the contest didn't give them the visibility they wanted and they were considering dropping out.

Bill and I worked at getting more sponsors. We brought the Newseum on board to host the awards ceremony. We failed to bring Apple on board but we replaced Kodak with Fuji. Missouri was spending around $220,000 to run the contest (I have a budget from the 1998 contest). NPPA was spending around $100,000 on the book, running promotions in the magazine, and providing the mailing list. Bill and I knew having only two big sponsors was incredibly dangerous and put us in a vulnerable position. I wanted to go for smaller donations from more sponsors.

In 1999 I attended World Press and interviewed their leadership hoping we might be able to take a page from their playbook. Wow, if we were a small country and our only claim to fame were Tulips, we'd have it made. Seriously, with sponsorships from the government, national airlines, Canon and national newspaper groups we'd be sitting pretty. Bill and I talked about strategic partnerships with American Airlines and other organizations such as Federal Express. We kept getting slapped down and didn't get anyone on board. Also, the recession was just starting and businesses were pulling back on sponsorships.

By 2000 things were desperate. Bill Kuykendall couldn't pass up an incredible retirement package. Before leaving he put together a very frank mid-year report to NPPA and University (available for background). If all the positions were gutted, Missouri would still need around $92,000 to hold the contest.

The University of Missouri covered the 2001 contest expenses and that's when things started going South. I remember a sense of desperation in the air at the awards ceremony at the Newseum. As if things weren't bad enough, the Newseum was also closing down in March 2002.

Later in the year the University asked NPPA to consider charging for entries. NPPA's elected leaders felt this was unfair to the membership since their membership dues included the contest. At the same time, the country was in recession, salaries were being frozen and departments were being downsized. NPPA members needed our help. NPPA leadership explained this to the University. The University came back with a counter proposal that the contest would be free if NPPA would come up with $90,000. We didn't have that kind of money and we said we couldn't do it. Clyde Mueller, President of NPPA at this time, asked me what I thought and I felt the contest could be run for $30,000. NPPA's leadership offered Missouri a 'one-time grant' of $30,000 hoping to keep the partnership and contest running. The final communication took place in November 2001 when Missouri informed NPPA the contract was terminated. We were fired.

It's November 2001 and we're covering the most historic year since 1941. No contest? A group of us got together and decided we would have a contest, which would be free, and it also would be inclusive. With no advertising we had our first contest and it cost us $30,000. So much for the $90,000 Missouri said it would cost. And we had the same number of contest images entered as Missouri.

We had sponsors and we moved the contest to a true digital environment. For the first time in any photo contest all of the images were available for viewing. Entries could be submitted via FTP.

Earlier I mentioned the goal of being inclusive. Teachers all over the world are using the NPPA Web site and contest entries to teach photography. Photography textbooks are no longer necessary. NPPA has received letters praising the availability of the images.

The NPPA contest continues to grow. The caliber of entries and winners this year is just amazing. Just this week NPPA's Best Of Photojournalism's top award winners won both the Feature and Spot News Pulitzers (Carolyn Cole, David J. Leeson and Cheryl Diaz Meyer).

We all remember entering our first contest and wondering if we were competitive. With the entries online photographers can see their entries, can see other photographers' work and learn from the experience. It's more about seeing the entries than seeing the winners.

I don't feel there was anything personal with the breakup. Missouri fired us and we moved on. POYi had 26,000 images in their contest this year; NPPA's Best Of Photojournalism had nearly 31,000 entries. We have sponsors lined up and we're getting our house in order. In three years, NPPA's Best Of Photojournalism has grown by 26%.

I understand tradition, and I won a few POY awards myself. At the same time I want to help the young generation to be better. To do that, we need a contest that is available to everyone.

- Joe Elbert
April 8, 2004

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Two CNN Employees Gunned Down In Iraq

CNN is reporting that two of their employees were killed and a third was wounded on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 when the unmarked cars they were traveling in came under gunfire south of Baghdad, Iraq, while returning from an assignment in the south in Hillah. CNN says the cars were ambushed on the outskirts of Baghdad.

Killed were producer and translator Duraid Isa Mohammed, 27, and driver Yasser Khatab, 25. They died of multiple gunshot wounds, CNN said. Photojournalist Scott McWhinnie, who was in a different vehicle than Mohammed and Khatab, was reportedly grazed in the head by a bullet.

CNN said that a single gunman armed with an AK-47 was seen standing in the sunroof of a rust-colored Opel that approached the CNN cars from behind, and that he opened fire on the lead vehicle striking it at least five times. A security adviser in that car returned fire and they managed to escape. Correspondent Michael Holmes, producer Shirley Hung, a security adviser and a second driver were in this car with McWhinnie. They were reportedly unhurt.

The second CNN car, with Mohammed and Khatab inside, spun around on the median and drove off the highway and was disabled, according to the CNN witnesses. The CNN crew in McWhinnie's vehicle drove to an Iraqi police station and asked officers to go back to the scene to help Mohammed and Khatab. The crew then drove to a forward operations base of the U.S. 82nd Airborne, where McWhinnie was treated, and the U.S. military sent a team to find the missing CNN employees.

Iraqi police found the car with the bodies of Mohammed and Khatab. CNN correspondent Michael Holmes, quoted in the CNN report on the attack, said "This was not an attempted robbery, they were clearly trying to take us out. There is no doubt in my mind that if our security adviser had not returned fire, everyone in our vehicle would have been killed."

Mohammed and Khatab joined CNN one year ago, their story said.

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Jeep Hits, Injures 3 Deseret Morning News Staffers

A car struck three Deseret Morning News employees on a sidewalk near the newspaper's offices in Salt Lake City on Tuesday morning, January 24, critically injuring two of them, according to the News. Assistant photo editor Chuck Wing, photographer Keith Johnson, Web developer Gary McKellar, and News employee Mark Reece were walking on a sidewalk near the newspaper's offices when they were struck by a 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by a 75-year-old man. Reece said it looked like the driver of the SUV was trying to parallel park when the vehicle jumped the curb at a high rate of speed, plowed over a parking meter, and then hit the men.

Wing and McKellar were pinned between the car and a building wall, according to a Deseret Morning News story written by Pat Reavy, and Reece and Johnson were pushed out of the way. Wing and McKellar were taken to LDS Hospital were they were initially reported to be in extremely critical condition. By that night they were upgraded to serious and fair conditions, respectively.

[Johnson: Deseret News photojournalist Keith Johnson is attended by EMS workers after the Jeep dragged him into the street. Photograph by Francisco Kjolseth - Salt Lake Tribune]

Wing, 36, had his leg amputated above the knee, according to family members. The newspaper reported that McKellar, 38, had several hours of surgery to repair his right leg. Johnson, 34, was taken to the University of Utah Medical Center where he was treated and released Tuesday night with a cast on a fractured left ankle. The newspaper says that a trust fund has been established for all three men at the Key Bank.

Reavy reported that Wing's wife, Julie, told photography editor Ravell Call on Tuesday night that Wing was out of surgery, awake and talking, and she described him as "amazingly upbeat, considering what has happened."

Reece said that after the initial impact with the men and the building, the driver got out of the Jeep and appeared to be in shock. Reece told police that the car was "revving pretty hard" before the ignition was turned off. Reavy reported that Johnson, Reece, and a bystander then tried to move the Jeep and that Johnson finally reached inside the Jeep and started the engine again. Reece said Johnson was able to put the car in reverse but that it raced backward, dragging Johnson 10 to 15 feet before he fell off. The Jeep stopped after crashing into the entrance of a parking structure.

[Worried Coworkers: Deseret News employees Marjorie Cortez (left) and Christie Jackson comfort each other after their coworkers were struck by an SUV andpinned between the truck and the building. Photograph by Francisco Kjolseth - Salt Lake Tribune]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salt Lake City police are investigating whether the vehicle malfunctioned or the driver was at fault, according to the newspaper, but the police have said that at this time the cause of the accident is unknown. The driver, whose name was withheld by police, was described only as a "75-year-old local businessman" who was questioned but not arrested. Police described the driver as "extremely upset" by the accident. Salt Lake City police have a standard procedure of drawing blood samples for toxicology testing in auto-pedestrian accidents, but a police spokesperson said that there were no immediate signs of alcohol or drug use as a factor in the accident and that toxicology results will take several days to be finalized.

Wing has been an NPPA member since March, 1987. McKellar was a member until 2001 and Johnson was a member until September, 2003. Wing has been with The Deseret News since 1997, according to the newspaper, and Johnson interned there in 2000 and returned as an employee in 2001. McKellar has been with the News since 1986 and was a photojournalist for the newspaper before making the transition to Web developer.

[Aftermath: A police accident investigator photographs the Jeep where it came to rest inside the entrance to a parking garage. Photograph by Francisco Kjolseth - Salt Lake Tribune][Aftermath: A parking meter knocked down by a speeding Jeep on its way onto the sidewalk where it struck three Deseret News employees. Photograph by Francisco Kjolseth - Salt Lake Tribune]

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Legendary Helmut Newton, 83, killed in LA car crash

Legendary photographer Helmut Newton, 83, died in Los Angeles this afternoon following a single-vehicle car crash. Reports say his 2004 silver Cadillac SRX sped out of control in the driveway of the Chateau Marmont hotel, jumped a curb, and crashed into a low wall and high shrubs across the street. Police spokesperson April Harding said Newton, who was the driver and was alone in the car, was transported by the Los Angeles Fire Department EMS to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he died a short time later.

Harding said it was not known whether Newton was ill before the crash or whether other factors caused the wreck. Photographs of the scene by well-known Los Angeles freelance photographer Ann Johansson, which moved on the Associated Press news wire, show relatively major front-end damage to the vehicle. The pictures show little or no damage to the driver's area or to the passenger compartment much past the dashboard or to any back area of the late-model car.

Police would not comment on whether the vehicle's air bags were, or were not, deployed in the accident, or whether Newton was wearing a seat belt, or answer any other questions about the vehicle other than to say that the accident "is under investigation."

Newspaper reports say that people were walking on the sidewalk in front of the hotel driveway and that Newton's car brushed a photographer heading into the hotel before hitting the wall. Johansson, called on Friday night by News Photographer, confirmed that she is the photographer that Newton's vehicle nearly missed hitting, but she did not want to provide any other information about the incident at this time.

Newton will be remembered for his dramatic and often erotic black and white photographs of nude women. His work has appeared in Vogue, Elle, Playboy, and countless other magazines around the world, as well as in oversized hardbound books and gallery exhibits.

Born in Berlin in 1920, Newton fled the Nazis in 1938 by moving to Singapore and later became an Australian citizen. On October 22, 2003, he donated more than 1,000 of his photographs and his archive to the city of Berlin. News reports at the time quoted Newton as saying, "I'm very proud that my photos are returning to the city where I was born. Not just the nudes, but also the portraits, landscapes and snapshots I love to take." The donated images are scheduled to go on display in a gallery in western Berlin that Newton "fell in love with," he said. Newton financed renovation of the gallery building, which is also to be used to showcase the work of young photographers.

Newton is survived by his photographer wife, June, who works under the name Alice Springs. The Newtons live in Monte Carlo, but they have spent their winters in Los Angeles for more than the past two decades living at the Chateau Marmont. She married Newton in Melbourne, Australia, in 1948 and in 1970 in Paris she became a photographer herself, changing her name to Alice Springs.

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Colin Crawford Named Assistant Managing Editor Of Photography For The Los Angeles Times

Colin Crawford has been appointed assistant managing editor of photography at The Los Angeles Times and the title is a newly created "masthead" position for the newspaper. Crawford has been the acting director of photography at The Times since 2001 and an NPPA member since December, 1983.

(photo of Colin Crawford)

The announcement was made this week by editor John Carroll and managing editor Dean Baquet. In his new role as assistant managing editor, Crawford will report to Baquet.

"This appointment is a testament to Colin's leadership over the past two years," Carroll and Baquet said in a joint statement. "As acting photo director, he has invigorated the department, now widely regarded as among the most ambitious in the country. Under his guidance, the photography staff produced a remarkable three Pulitzer Prize finalists -- and one winner -- last year. The photo staff has clearly earned representation on the paper's masthead." (In addition, Times staff photographer Rick Loomis was the 2003 NPPA Best Of Photojournalism Newspaper Photographer of the Year).

Crawford joined The Times in 1983 as a freelance photographer. He became a photo assignment editor at the Orange County Edition in 1986 and director of photography in Orange County in 1989. He was named associate director of photography for Los Angeles and director of photography for the regional editions in 1998. He became acting director of photography in Los Angeles in 2001. Crawford holds a BA in political science from UCLA.

Also in their announcement the newspaper's top editors said, "This appointment is an acknowledgement of the powerful role photography has come to play at The Times. From Iraq to the Middle East, the paper's photographers have done striking and courageous work on big projects and daily coverage. They have been crucial to the rebuilding of the California section, and to all the features sections."

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Photojournalism Pioneer Charlie McCarty Dies at 88

Funeral services will be held Friday near Brussels, Belgium, for Charles J. McCarty, 88, an innovative mentor and a leader in photojournalism who shaped a generation of famous photojournalists and greatly advanced the profession. He was also the founder of Reuters News Pictures Service in 1985. McCarty promoted the use of 35mm equipment over the cumbersome 4x5 Speed Graphic cameras in newspaper and wire service photography, and he hired and trained talented young photojournalists, many of whom went on to be highly successful at major publications. McCarty was found dead from heart failure at his Brussels home on Monday, according to Reuters.

(undated file photo of American photo reporter Charlie McCarty as a young man - Reuters)

McCarty was honored by the National Press Photographers Association with the John Durniak Mentor Award in June 2002, in recognition of his significant impact on photojournalism as a profession and on those who practice the craft. He is remembered by many who worked for him as a man often of few words, yet when he spoke it had impact. McCarty is also remember as being an editor who knew a great deal about story-telling news photographs and to what lengths a photographer sometimes had to go to in order to capture them.

In a profile of McCarty written by Dirck Halstead, former TIME Senior White House photographer, he says that McCarty enlisted in the U.S. Army Signal Corps and was stationed at the Western Defense Command at the Presidio where he established the Army picture network between San Francisco and Washington. During World War II the Signal Corps used Acme picture transmitting equipment, which was the forerunner of United Press. Afterwards, McCarty went to work for Acme in San Francisco as a staff photographer until 1951, when he was named Southwest Division Newspictures Editor for United Press in Dallas, TX.

In 1953 he contracted with The Dallas Times Herald for United Press to run the newspaper's photography department. "This was a revolutionary idea," said Halstead. "It gave Charlie a chance to start hiring young photographers. With the need to staff a newspaper, but also having the clout of a wire service behind him, Charlie was able to start experimenting with faster processing and smaller cameras. When he started running the Times Herald photo department, the ubiquitous 4x5 Speed Graphic was the standard camera. Charlie pushed to equip the photographers with 35mm cameras."

"McCarty was so tough as a director of photography in Dallas," Halstead said, "that after three years of working for him at the Times Herald I got drafted into the service. After the first couple of days at boot camp with a drill sergeant yelling at us so much that these truck drivers turned soldiers were starting to cry, I just thought back on working for McCarty, and I smiled."

In the Reuters obituary for McCarty, they reported that his personal motto was "cruel but fair" and that his "tenacious pursuit of a story and competitive rule of 'hard work never hurt anyone' stayed with him into retirement." McCarty didn't retire until 1998, well past his 80th birthday.

McCarty was an early innovator of switching news photographers from using bulky, slow, and cumbersome sheet-film view cameras to 35mm bodies. One of the first tests of the smaller camera with a telephoto lens came during coverage of President Dwight D. Eisenhower in Denver, CO, after the president had a heart attack in 1953. "UPI surprised the opposition by arming photographer Stan Tretick with a 35mm camera and Stan went on the roof of a Denver hospital to photograph Eisenhower during the first photo session after his attack," Halstead remembers. "The small format, along with a high-speed developer (using D76 replenisher at high temperature) meant that Tretick's coverage was unmatched. The use of the telephoto lens on the 35mm camera totally upstaged the pictures made by 4x5 toting photographers."

(POY award-winning civil rights photo by Charles McCarty - Corbis/Bettman)

McCarty was not just a manager; he was a news photographer too. NPPA honored him with a Pictures Of The Year award for a civil rights news photograph he shot in Little Rock, AR, on September 16, 1958. The picture shows a scuffle between a white teen and a black teen on a 14th Street city sidewalk. According to the original transmission caption, the black teen said that he and his sister "were en route to their segregated school when two white students ordered them to get off the sidewalk." McCarty wrote that the fight was brief and that the black teen "chased the two students off with his fists." The picture got a lot of attention and resulted in TIME magazine doing a story about McCarty and his photography, according to Halstead.

In the 1960's McCarty was assistant general manager for UPI Pictures in New York, and in 1972 he moved to Brussels for UPI to establish a new photo desk operation and to improve the ways photo coverage was assigned and the UPI photo report was managed in Europe. "As UPI's fortunes declined in the late 1980's, McCarty convinced the owners of Reuters to form a picture agency," Halstead said. "And for the next decade he personally helped shape that agency."

"Over his lifetime, Charlie McCarty left a profound impression on photojournalism and the photographers who have practiced it," Halstead said.

Among the famous photojournalists who count McCarty as their mentor are Bill Campbell, former TIME photographer; Halstead; Daryl Heikes, of U.S. News & World Report; Frank Johnston, of The Washington Post; Pulitzer Prize-winner David Hume Kennerly; Mal Langsdon, of Reuters; Joe Marquette, formerly of UPI and AP; Robert S. Patton, who later became an editor at National Geographic, and Bill Snead.

(Charles J. McCarty, seated center, receives the John Durniak Mentor Award from Shelly Katz during the NPPA national convention's Sprague Awards banquet, Sat. June 29, 2002 at the Thunderbird Hotel in Bloomington, MN - Photo by Keith Nordstrom/The Sun Chronicle)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Snead is a good example of a photojournalist whose life was changed by crossing paths with McCarty. Snead is a native of Lawrence, KS, where he started his career as a high school photo lab tech at the local newspaper, the Journal World. He was a photographer at the Topeka Capital-Journal and then at the Wilmington (DE) News-Journal, where he was a photographer and eventually ran the department.

Snead was in Washington, DC, in January 1965 on the night before Lyndon Johnson's presidential inauguration. He was there covering the story for the News-Journal. "I joined McCarty and some of his staff for dinner and McCarty was going over their inaugural photo assignments," Snead remembers.

"Heikes (Darryl)," McCarty said, "the first picture we want out of you is a shot at sunrise showing Kennedy's eternal flame in the foreground with the Capital building and monuments in the background." Heikes explained to McCarty that Arlington Cemetery would be closed at that time of day. McCarty said, "Don't tell me your problems, Darryl, just get me the G** D***** picture." Snead recalls that come the next morning, Heikes did just that. "Just get me the G** D***** picture was one of McCarty's often-used lines," said Snead.

Two years later in December 1967, Snead was running the News-Journal's photography department. He had never worked for UPI. Then one day his life and career changed in mere moments when he answered the telephone in Wilmington and it was McCarty calling from Manhattan:

McCarty: "Hey, Snead, how's it goin' in Delaware?" Snead: "Great." McCarty: "How'd you like to run our Saigon Bureau?" Snead: "Are you kidding?" McCarty: "Not if you can be there in three weeks." Snead: (pause) "Okay." McCarty: "How soon can you get to New York? We need to talk."

"He was a man of few words," Snead remembers. Snead went on to run the UPI photo operations in Saigon for McCarty from 1967 to 1969 and during the Tet Offensive, with the heavy fighting breaking out just three weeks after his arrival in country. He remembers a Telex he got from McCarty in Saigon after UPI shooters had a particularly good week of photography from Khe Sanh during the siege.

"Dave Powell had good ground action photographs and UPI photographer Kyochi Sawada shot first-ever aerials of the base that were published around the world," Snead said. The congratulatory Telex said: "Snead. Kicked Grandma's ass (Grandma was Telex code for the Associated Press). Please effort again and often. Charles McCarty."

After Vietnam, Snead went on to run the UPI Bureau in Chicago before joining the National Geographic as a picture editor. He later moved to The Washington Post, where he spent 21 years and was the assistant managing editor of photography. He is now senior editor of the Lawrence (KS) Journal World, back where his career started as a high school student.

(undated recent file photo of American photo reporter Charlie McCarty - Reuters)

McCarty is survived by his daughter, Pat, who is the Deputy Sports Editor for Reuters. She is based in London.

Funeral services will be held Friday at 1:00 p.m. (1300) at Saint Anne's Church, Place St. Alliance, in Uccle, Belgium, near Brussels. Funeral services are being arranged by the Andre Moreau Mortuary, rue St. Anne, 13, Braine-Alleud 1420, Belgium.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 (Reuters London, UPI, Dirck Halstead, Bill Snead, and Corbis-Bettmann contributed to this story).

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Best Of Photojournalism Opens Today

The Best Of Photojournalism 2004 contest officially started today with the first day of accepting entries. Television photojournalism entries are accepted until February 6, 2004; Still photojournalism, Still Editing, and Web entries are accepted until February 13, 2004.

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Los Angeles TV Reporter Alpert Settles Lawsuit Against ABC Inc.

Television news reporter Adrienne Alpert at KABC-7 TV in Los Angeles, CA, who was critically burned in 2000 when the mast of a news van antenna she was working in hit a power line, has settled a lawsuit against ABC Inc. and other companies stemming from the accident according to published reports that quote a statement from her attorney, Bruce Broillet. The attorney said that Alpert and ABC have agreed not to disclose details of the settlement.

Alpert's story was reported several times in News Photographer after the incident, and she continued to work at KABC-7 after recovering from several surgeries and physical rehabilitation.

The reporter was on assignment in Hollywood on May 22, 2000 when a KABC-7 photographer raised the 42-foot telescoping mast of their news van into an overhead power line, according to the suit. Reports said electricity shot through the van and her body as she stepped out of the vehicle. Alpert lost half of her right leg, half of her left arm, part of her left foot and several fingers on the right hand in the aftermath of the electrocution.

In the suit against ABC Inc., Alpert alleged negligence by ABC and contended that the company was responsible for providing training in the operation of the news van. A story in the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Alpert had previously reached an $800,000 settlement with the maker of the van's mast, Will-Burt Co., and that the settlement became known to them when court documents about the pending suit against ABC Inc. were made public.

The KABC-7 Web site says that Alpert joined KABC-7 as a reporter in 1996. She graduated from San Diego State University with a journalism degree and worked at KSDO News Radio in San Diego as an anchor and reporter with a Sunday night talk show. In 1977 she joined KGTV, the ABC affiliate in San Diego, and was an anchor and reporter there for 19 years before coming to KABC-7.

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