NPPA-L: The listserv for photojournalists

Members of the National Press Photographers Association can be very vocal and informative on quite a variety of issues. And NPPA has always been a leader in using electronic communications to keep others informed on a variety of issues.

NPPA-L is designed to provide one central electronic meeting place where visual communicators (print and electronic) -- news photographers, photo editors, systems editors, graphics editors, freelancers, page designers, journalism educators, students, etc -- can freely discuss topics of professional interest. Others interested in this field are welcome to monitor or join in the dialogue. Some appropriate topics might include: conventional photography, digital imaging, documentary photojournalism, ethics, copyright, pagination, reviews of new technologies, photographers in the trenches, as well as appropriate workshops, seminars and contests.

Although numerous other subjects can be discussed, the previous list of topics gives some indication of the scope of NPPA-L. It is not a general photography list -- its focus will primarily be on issues related to photojournalism.

Please keep in mind that most photojournalists don't have the time to engage in general banter, and most journalists are still paying for their own online time. So keep personal messages off the list -- direct them to the appropriate person(s) rather than to the entire list.

This list belongs to you, the users. Please feel free to participate. It is only through active use that a "virtual community" of photojournalists will evolve. The list is "self-moderated"--you are responsible for what you post. Remember a note to [email protected] goes only to a machine and must be a command, while a note to [email protected] will be sent to everybody on the list.

List address 

The address of NPPA-L is [email protected]

If you run into difficulties:

Contact the list owner, Elliott Parker ([email protected])

A local contact is usually preferable because each site has a unique combination of hardware and software.

Mark Hertzberg ([email protected]) is the moderator of NPPA-L.

To unsubscribe 

send the command SIGNOFF NPPA-L to [email protected] Note the command must go to the listserv, not NPPA-L. This command must also come from the address from which you originally subscribed, so the listserv can find the exact match.

Posting messages to the list 

By all means post to the List, keeping in mind the focus of the list. Postings are strongly encouraged. Information from other sources, either online or hardcopy is valuable.

To post to the list, send your message to [email protected] It will then be distributed to everybody on the distribution list. If you send it to LISTSERV, it will be returned to you, since Listserv expects only commands, not messages.

If you do repost something from another source, it is only ethical and helpful to give credit to the original poster along with the full citation. If you forward something from NPPA-L make sure you give credit to the original person and/or source.

Much written work today is already is some kind of word processing format and it is usually simple to convert it to plain ASCII for distribution over the networks.

The list is not moderated in the sense that all posts must be pre-approved, but you must still be subscribed to the List before you can post. The list is moderated in the sense that you will be warned if your posting was off-topic, abusive, or otherwise out of line (see below).

Even though the list is not moderated and is open to all, the List Owner and the NPPA reserve the right to bar anyone from the list for posting messages that are abusive or counterproductive.

You can often assist other subscribers by asking questions related to photojournalism. No question is "too simple." If you have a question, someone else probably also wants the answer.

Use a descriptive subject line. Many people decide whether they want to read a message based on the content of the subject line. Sign all your messages. It helps to have at least a name to associate with a post and some mailers strip off the header, so the receiver cannot reply unless there is some kind of internal address. A "nom de list" is acceptable.

Be tolerant of newcomers. We were all new to this medium at one time, we are all still learning, and procedures are still being refined.

Never send attachments to NPPA-L. Without a uniform standard, most subscribers will not be able to decode them. Attachments may also contain viruses leading many email savvy subscribers to delete them immediately without even bothering to read them. Since the list is also archived, attachments will continue to pop up whenever somebody searches the archives for key words in the subject line.

Listserv commands 

"Listserv" is actually a program written by Eric Thomas and you send email commands to the machine, rather than a person. In the following, the command is written in upper case and any parameters are in lower case. When you send the command, the case is not important. All commands must be sent to [email protected] These Listserv commands will work on any other list that is running under Revised Listserv, but be warned that there are other programs also named listserv that were not written by Thomas and operate somewhat differently.

To subscribe 

Send the command SUBSCRIBE NPPA-L W. Eugene Smith to [email protected] if your name is W. Eugene Smith; otherwise, use your name. The listserv is open to NPPA members and non-members. In a few minutes, you will get back a short acknowledgment from the server. If you don't get back a confirming note, make sure you spelled everything correctly and used the right address.

If you did everything right and still haven't gotten back any confirming message, wait a few hours--a gateway or node may be "down" and your email will be forwarded when things are back to normal.

List maintained by Elliott Parker