Archive for May, 2012

SUPPORT THE WORKERS AT ELEFTHEROTYPIA

30th May, 2012

The London Photographers’ Branch would like to express its solidarity with the workers at the Eleftherotypia newspaper in Athens. To maintain an all out strike after 5 months is an astonishing achievement – we note that this is now one of the longest strikes ever in the whole of Europe.

We hope you realise what an inspiration your struggle is to so many workers in Britain. In particular, it is a real inspiration to journalists whose terms and conditions are coming under attack here.

We realise how difficult it must be to continue the struggle, with no wages since June and with no strike pay from your union. We are enormously impressed with the way you have organised solidarity so far.

We believe your struggle is of vital importance for workers all over Europe as an agenda of austerity spreads across the continent. With this in mind, we would like to offer our continued solidarity and support. Please let us know what we can do to help sustain you in your struggle – we will do whatever we can.

We believe you can, and will, win this dispute. We will stand with you until all 800 workers have received every cent of the money owed to them, and the threat of job losses is withdrawn.

In solidarity

NUJ Photographers Branch

 

Dale Farm Production Order Overturned

17th May, 2012

 

Video journalist Jason N. Parkinson with NUJ supporters outside the Royal Courts of Justice before the Dale Farm production order judicial review. © Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

The NUJ and other media organisations have won the judicial review at the Court of Appeal following the decision by Chelmsford Crown Court to grant the Dale Farm footage production order. The decision to force journalists to hand over unbroadcast footage has been overturned.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said: “Today is a huge victory for the cause of press freedom and the protection of sources and journalistic material. We are incredibly pleased that the NUJ and other media organisations have won the High Court battle against the police production order to force journalists to hand over their Dale Farm eviction footage.”

Jason Parkinson, who challenged the order said: “This ruling to overturn the Crown Court’s decision to grant the Dale Farm production order sends a very clear message to all police forces that these wide-ranging fishing trips will not be accepted by the UK courts and that we will not be forced into to role of unwilling agents of the state. We are not there as evidence gatherers to fill police intelligence databases with hours of material on activists or protestors, we are journalists and we are there to report the news and keep the public informed.

In the last 18 months, every time one of these orders has been served it has put journalists in greater danger while trying to report on public order situations. I know this because I have been threatened and assaulted by people claiming my material will be used by the police. I am very happy to see Judge Moses has recognised the impact these orders have on the safety and impartiality of all journalists and has made sure any future production order applications must take this into account, as was clearly not the case this time round.”

This victory would not have been possible without the support of the NUJ legal team and campaign department. Special thanks to our General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet for her support, Roy Mincoff from the NUJ legal department, Sarah Kavanagh and Frances Rafferty from the NUJ campaign department, Martin Rackstraw from Bindmans Solicitors, Gavin Millar QC and all our campaign supporters.

We should not underestimate the significant stress and energy that go in to challenging such production orders, especially for freelancers, whose reputation and safety is on the line. It is extremely important that the High Court has acknowledged and reinforced the independent role of frontline journalists and their safety in gathering the news for future public order situations.

Press Clippings:

Read Guardian, Independent, ITN, BBCPress Gazette articles.

 

 

NUJ Meet With G4S

15th May, 2012

Meeting with NUJ, EPUK & G4S re photography at the Olympic Park

John Toner (NUJ), David Hoffman (EPUK), Adam Mynott (G4S)

Headland House May 10, 2012

Following the incident on 21 April 2012 where two G4S security staff assaulted me and other photographers working on public land outside the Olympic Park John Toner, NUJ Freelance Organiser arranged a meeting with Adam Mynott, G4S Director of Media Relations and me, David Hoffman, wearing my (white) EPUK Moderator hat.

The meeting started on a positive note with Mynott apologising for the actions of the guards who he described as having “behaved wrongly” and having “acted incorrectly”. We were particularly concerned by two comments that the guards’ supervisor made. She had said:

“We are told we should refrain people from taking photos” and “It his job to basically approach people and deter them from taking photographs of the secure area.”

Mynott told us that this was not how G4S trained their guards and, specifically, that “photography was not to be discouraged in any way at all” and it was NOT their job to approach and deter photographers He was quite clear that there should be no interference at all to photographers working on public land and that the guards had been reminded of this following the April incident.

Adam Mynott told us that they were recruiting 10,000 staff for the Olympics and that there was a structured training programme. No member of staff would have less than 4 days training and some would have up to 14 days. All their training was to SIA approved standards and the security guards were SIA accredited. We were assured that the training was running well, was on schedule and not being rushed.

Mynott told us that he was aware of the National Press Card and that his staff were trained on it and on how to recognise a UKPCA card. John Toner gave him some UKPCA posters to help in training.

We asked about the presence of guards on public land. Mynott assured us that the security guards should only operate within the Olympic Park border, that they should not have left the Olympic Park in the April incident and that they would be reminded of this.

I mentioned that Jason Parkinson had twice been stopped recently on the public road outside the Olympic Park by security guards in an SUV. Mynott could not adequately explain that and we will be following this up as it directly contradicts the assurances we had been given.

We asked if G4S could provide a map showing what land was public and what was the Olympic Park. He will try to arrange that.

We were particularly keen to have a 24/7 hotline direct to G4S senior management as a way of resolving problems, rather than having to resort to the police. Adam Mynott suggested we use his mobile number (this will be available on the members’ area of this site).

It was a friendly and constructive meeting and we got the impression that G4S do genuinely understand the issues and want to avoid making difficulties for us. Whether they are capable of training their 10,000 staff to a standard sufficient to achieve that is yet to be seen.

The May meeting of the London Photographers’ Branch will be Olympic Concerns: Preparing Photographers for London 2012, a discussion and debate with Bindmans Lawyer Chez Cotton.

May Branch Meeting: Olympic Concerns

14th May, 2012

The May meeting of the London Photographers’ Branch will be Olympic Concerns: Preparing Photographers for London 2012, a discussion and debate with Bindmans Lawyers Chez Cotton and Laura Higgs. Read the rest of this entry »

2012 DM Delegate Nominations

11th May, 2012

This year’s NUJ Delegate Meeting is to be held in Newcastle, starting on 5 October and will last two days.

In preparation at the next London Photographers’ branch meeting, 6pm, Tuesday 29 May at Headland House, we will be taking nominations and voting on the delegates that will represent LPB. The DM nominations deadline is Friday 1 June and LPB has been allocated two delegates.

We will also be taking nominations on the DM-elected bodies.

Launch of Frontline Club Journalism Safety Initiative

9th May, 2012

Launch of Frontline Club Journalism Safety Initiative 08/05/12

LPB Report

Jess Hurd, Jason Parkinson and Lefteris Pitarakis attended the event along with other journalists, editors, producers, media and safety organisations to discuss safety in news gathering.

According to a representative from the Committee to Protect Journalists a journalist is killed, most murdered every 11 days.

The discussion was led by people representing different fields and will be available as a ‘white paper’ shortly, as will the Frontline Club survey of journalists.

Things discussed:

• Safety training kitemark • Affordable comprehensive insurance • Trauma • Sharing of security information • Sexual assaults • Digital security • Duty of care from media organisations • Working in public order situations

The day was an off-the-record discussion, so we cannot give much detail at this point. But the branch did make very useful connections with different organisations.

We raised these points, which were well received:

• Affordable public order training organised by journalist organisations • Safety equipment fund for freelancers, cheap equipment hire, stab vests, medical kits etc • More trauma awareness, inc sexual harassment/assaults • Round table safety de-briefs before and after public order events, with safety advisors • More events like Egypt Cinema night – marking traumatic events positively

The Rory Peck Trust is a fan and wants to work collaboratively with LPB in the future, as does the International News Safety Institute (INSI)

We had a long discussion with INSI who would be happy to facilitate safety briefs and de- briefs. They were also keen to do some free training for us. We spoke specifically about women’s safety and they suggested a two day course, that we can structure ourselves. They offered to help with women’s networking events.

We also had approaches from people running Hostile Environment & First Aid Training/ Risk management courses aimed at students and freelancers.