Here’s a brief report on what the Photographers’ Council has got up to this year. Our most important achievement has been to establish an authoritative voice for photographers throughout the union. This was – we were – crucial in getting rid of that one day course for reporters on taking “professional” (!!) pictures with their iPhones, before too many photographers had left the NUJ. This has now been replaced with, would you believe, a similar course teaching “ how to record audio and how to shoot video using your smartphone “, again, in one day! So it’s a good thing the last Council meeting agreed a survey to go out to all photographers ( and videographers, not that they’ll need it ) to find out what kind of training courses in professional – repeat, truly professional – videography they would like.
“Replacing professional photographers with “citizen” journalists, not to mention reporters and their iPhones, has unfortunately been the story of the year. Starting with Johnston Press and Local World, paper after local paper has made its staff photographers redundant. So the Council initiated training courses for staff photographers turning freelance. Which would not have been possible without the help of Freelance Organiser John Toner.
Two have been held so far, and I’m afraid we may well need repeats in the near future. We also initiated the recent NUJ counter blast to the Wellers’ as yet unsuccessful attempt to get photos of children if not banned outright then pixelated ( they keep moving their goal posts ).
The best is yet to come – we’re organising a conference for this October. All thoughts and suggestions welcome, to Council member for London Carole Edrich ( firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Finally, the Council owes its thanks to our servicing officer Dominic Bascombe, and also to Simon Chapman and Pete Jenkins who jointly hold the NEC seat for Photographers, and fight our corner at every meeting.
Andrew Wiard –
Chair, NUJ Photographers’ Council
(LPB members can read other reports prepared for the AGM on 27 January by logging in and going to the Members area of the website. If you are not registered you can do so by emailing email@example.com)