Archive for June, 2010

Regional Press Awards After Show Party

28th June, 2010

After Tuesday’s branch meeting members are also invited to the NUJ Regional Press Awards After Show Party:

NUJ in association with Love Music, Hate Racism presents
The NUJ Regional Press Awards After Show Party

on Tuesday 29th June 2010
from 7.30pm
at Dingwalls, Middle Yard, Camden Lock, London NW1 8AB

with DJ Rugrat

and You’re Invited!

Please feel free to bring along a friend or two and pass it on to your colleagues.

We’re planning an evening of celebration, socialising and dancing and it wouldn’t be the same without you. So, hope to see you there!

Visit the NUJRegionalPressAwards.co.uk for more information about this year’s awards

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A Victory for Press Freedom

25th June, 2010

Video: Journalists win payout after police admit failing to respect press freedomguardian.co.uk

Investigative photojournalist Marc Vallée and videographer Jason Parkinson have received an apology and damages from the Metropolitan Police after being forcibly prevented from working by officers at a political protest outside the Greek Embassy in 2008. Both members received the apology today:

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has accepted liability for breach of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The MPS apologise for this and have paid compensation. The MPS confirms its recognition that freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democracy and that journalists have a right to report freely. The MPS recognise that on 8 December 2008 they failed to respect press freedom in respect of Mr Vallée and Mr Parkinson.

The police have accepted liability for breaching Article 10 and made a payment of £3,500 compensation to each and are paying their legal costs.

Responding to the settlement Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary said:

Professional journalists and photographers have detailed numerous attempts by police officers to stifle the reporting of protests. Today we have achieved a significant victory – it is right that the police admit liability, apologise and compensate those whose basic human rights were breached in such a blatant and aggressive manner.

The police need to quickly learn the lessons of these shameful events, recognise the importance of media freedom and take the necessary steps to recognise the press card during police training to ensure it doesn’t happen again. The result is a huge boost for media freedom and the rights of photographers.

On the day of the protest armed officer from the Metropolitan police’s diplomatic protection group pulled Vallée’s camera away from his face and covered the lens of Parkinson’s video camera whilst stating “you cannot film me.”

NUJ Legal Officer Roy Mincoff said:

The police need to learn that journalists and photographers have a right to report and photograph as recognised by the European Court of Human Rights. The NUJ has held the police to account before and will do so again unless all officers at all ranks abide by the law

Chez Cotton, Head of the Police Misconduct department at leading civil rights firm Bindmans LLP said:

It is of grave concern that an armed, diplomatic officer of the Metropolitan Police Force felt it was appropriate to call these journalists ‘scum’ and stop them from working and was happy to do so in full knowledge that he was being filmed.

My clients were physically prevented from reporting on protest and political unrest of international importance.  Just before he was frog marched by officers away from events, Mr Parkinson filmed an officer punching a protester in the side of the head, although the protester appears to be already under the control of several officers.  That the police appeared not to want these journalists to film what appeared to be extremely brutal arrests using force is a cause for further alarm.

Further to this public acknowledgment that his officers have breached the fundamental right of journalists to report, and in light of wide ranging criticisms of how the press were stopped from reporting at G20 and other ‘politically sensitive’ events, it is very much hoped that the Commissioner will take immediate steps to ensure his officers act properly and support rather than obstruct the press in the important role they play in keeping the public informed, including of police wrong doing.

The pair were not disrupting police activity and had not had any contact with the police prior to the incident. They had complied with requests to leave the area but were forcibly removed and told to report from a distance.

Marc is the London Photographers’ Branch Secretary and Legal Rep and Jason is the branch Welfare Officer.

DACS Payback Time

23rd June, 2010

Payback from the DACS royalties scheme opened this week and members have until 17th September to make their claim, more from the press release below:

Don’t miss out on your share of £3 million of Payback royalties

Each year DACS has £3 million of royalties to pay to NUJ members whose work has been reproduced in UK books or magazines or on certain television channels.

DACS negotiates these royalties on behalf of photographers and other visual artists. In 2009 DACS paid out a share of £3 million to 11,628 visual artists.

Did you know?

  • The average NUJ member claim was £541, compared with the average Payback claim of £295
  • Last year the highest payment made to a NUJ member was £5656 the most any Payback claimant received in 2009
  • Every NUJ member who makes a successful Payback claim is guaranteed a minimum of £25

Where does the money come from?

Payback royalties come from revenue generated through collective licensing schemes. Collective licensing is used in situations where it would be difficult or near impossible for photographers to licence their rights on an individual basis, for example, when an individual wishes to photocopy a page of a book or magazine which features their work.

Payback launches on 21 June and NUJ members have until 17 September to make their claim.

“It’s a win-win situation for NUJ members. All you need to do is fill in a Payback claim form telling us which books, magazines and television programmes your work has featured in. Once you’ve had a successful Payback claim, you can claim for the same published work every year, so the size of your claim could increase if you have new work.” says Nicolas Watkins-Wright, DACS Payback Manager.

Examples of where previous NUJ members’ work has featured includes:

Magazines – Amateur Gardening, BBC Music Magazine, The Journalist, Art Review, The British Medical Journal, Inside Housing, National Geographic and Hello

Books – Essential Psychology, Rough Guide to Portugal, DK How Cool Stuff Works, Transport Systems and Faces of the Century

NUJ members can also claim for work which has featured on any of the following TV channels in 2009 only – BBC 1, 2, 3, 4, BBC News 24, BBC Parliament, CBBC, CBeebies, ITV1, Channel 4, SC4 and Channel 5

The easiest way to claim is to fill in the form online at dacs.org.uk. Alternatively they can request a claim form to be sent to them by post or email.

For further information about Payback or to request a claim form contact the Payback team on 020 7553 9062 or email payback@dacs.org.uk

June Branch Newsletter

14th June, 2010

Convergence – Should we adapt and how?

29th June, 6pm
Headland House

This months Branch meeting will feature a panel discussion on Convergence, with photographer Edmond Terakopian and film editor Simon Ruben. Clients are always asking us to do more; whether it be video, audio, text or all three on top of photography. We’ll be discussing how to adapt to clients growing needs for content with shrinking budgets. Should photographers be doing the jobs of reporters and film-makers at all? What are the pitfalls of moving into different areas? Come along and join the discussion.

Any motions to the branch should be sent to the branch secretary prior to the meeting.

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On the Campaign Trail with Graeme Robertson & Stephen Simpson

14th June, 2010

Last months branch meeting featured a panel discussion with Guardian staff photographer Graeme Robertson and freelance photographer Stephen Simpson talking about how they covered the election.

They talked about how the parties handled the media at different stages throughout the campaign and how they were sometimes manipulated to only photograph the stage managed appearances of the politicians.

Part of the discussion was also about the pool system for political events and how it’s lack of transparency made it open to abuse. You can listen to the full audio of the discussion below:

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Battle of the Beaches

11th June, 2010

Poole Council has been forced into an embarrassing climbdown over it’s policy restricting photography on beaches after condemnation from photographers up and down the country.

Amateur Photographer reports a fortnight after Hattie Miles, Bournemouth Echo photographer and NUJ member was prevented from photographing on the beach by a beach warden on the grounds that she did not have a licence. The council has now clarified its position:

We have reaffirmed the guidance given to beach wardens and they have been advised not to approach photographers and film-makers unless their activities present a risk to public safety or are likely to cause serious offence, disruption or obstruction to other beach users.

This is a victory for common sense and press freedom. Hattie should be applauded for highlighting the issue and not allowing council bureaucracy to dictate what the media can and cannot photograph.

Photographers, amateur and professional are simply fed up with arbitrary restrictions and will defend our right to use a camera in any public place without being harassed.