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June 6th, 2011

CPJ Names The Most Dangerous Countries for Journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists has released its 2011 Impunity Index, which calculates the most murderous countries for journalists. And the 2011 winner of the most dangerous country for journalists is…..Iraq!

Yes, Iraq held onto its spot at number 1. In fact, the Iraqi government’s record for investigating and prosecuting anti-press violence actually got worse in 2010, a year that saw a spike in the murders of journalists. Somalia, from which nearly 60 journalists have fled in the past decade in the face of threats, ranked number 2 for the second year in a row. Also making the list are the usual suspects when it comes to anti-press violence: Afghanistan, the Philippines, Mexico and Pakistan.

The CPJ’s Impunity Index identifies countries where journalists are regularly murdered in retaliation for their work, and where governments fail to find and convict the killers.

There isn’t much good news on this year’s Impunity Index. Colombia saw a lessening of anti-press violence, but still ranks 5th on the list.  Russia had its first year without any journalists being killed in reprisal, and won convictions in two 2009 murders. However,  there have been no convictions in some high-profile murder cases, including the 2006 killing of Anna Politkovskaya, the journalist and author who reported on the war in Chechnya.

Other details from the CPJ’s Special Report:
Local journalists make up the overwhelming majority of victims of unsolved murders.
About 28 percent of the victims were covering conflict zones.
South Asia is a dangerous place to try to cover politics or crime.

More details on the 13 countries that made the CPJ’s Impunity Index, and an explanation of CPJ’s methodology, can be found in the CPJ’s Special Report, aptly titled “Getting Away With Murder.”

April 29th, 2011

AP to Publish Royal Wedding Keepsake Book Next Week

© AP Photo/APTN

Did a family emergency, act of God or snooze button prevent you from tuning in to watch the Royal Wedding this morning? Don’t worry, the Associated Press has you covered. The wire service sent 21 photographers to document every last detail of Wills’ and Kate’s big day.

AP picture editors are already picking through the thousands of images AP photographers made, the best of which will be gathered into a commemorative book that will be available next week (technology!) from online on-demand publisher My Publisher. The handshake between Mr. Middleton and the Prince, the exchange of rings, the kiss (!), that rascal Harry’s proud smile—all of these moments can be yours to cherish.

The limited-edition book—limited to what, you ask? As many copies as people are willing to order, we’d wager—will be available in two sizes. Prices for your very own Royal Wedding album have yet to be announced, but we’re pretty sure they’re just going to call it priceless. Well played, AP.

Watch this space: http://www.mypublisher.com/royalwedding

January 26th, 2011

Moises Saman Attacked By Police in Tunisia

While on assignment for the New York Times in Tunisia, Magnum photographer Moises Saman was attacked by a group of police officers, a post today on the Times’ Lens blog said.

Saman was photographing police as they beat a protester when the officers turned on him. Saman suffered “mild” injuries, the report said.

Earlier this month, European Press Photo Agency stringer Lucas Dolega was killed in Tunisia during protests that led to the dissolution of the government of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. Dolega was shot with a tear gas canister at close range and later died of his wounds in a hospital.

Related: Photographer Dies of Injuries In Tunis

Nigerian Photographer Dies in Blast; CPJ Reports 44 Work-Related Journalist Deaths in 2010

December 3rd, 2010

Obama Photographer Confronted By Secret Service After Taking Photos in Front of White House

Mannie Garcia, who captured the image of Barack Obama that was made into the famous “Hope” poster by artist Shepard Fairey, is the latest photographer to be confronted by law enforcement for taking photos in a public place.

Last week we told you about the street photographer who was questioned by a police officer after capturing images in Times Square. In this case, Garcia was taking photos in front of the White House yesterday when a uniformed Secret Service officer confronted him and demanded he delete one of the images.

“He just charged me,” Garcia told PDN Pulse. “He came right at me and grabbed my camera. He had his hand on his weapon and said give me that photo and I said no.”

The image in question was one Garcia had captured of two women rolling baby strollers in front of the White House. In the shot, shown below, the uniformed Secret Service officer can be seen at the right, glaring at the camera.

Mannie Garcia was told to delete this photo by the Secret Service officer on the right. ©Mannie Garcia

Garcia was amongst a group of news photographers who were at the White House to photograph rallies in conjunction with World AIDS Day and several other events yesterday. He said he was wearing his press badge which the officer could clearly see.

(more…)

October 13th, 2010

Photog Charges Infringement, Distortion Over Anti-Immigration Campaign Ads

©Chris Floyd-Three unidentified men, Altar, Mexico, 2006

British photographer Chris Floyd reports that two Republican candidates for US Senate have used one of his images (right) in their political ads without permission, and branded the subjects of the image–three Mexicans photographed in Mexico–as illegal immigrants.

“The image was taken and used entirely out of context,” he says. “As well as the copyright issue there is the moral issue of distorting the facts behind the image.”

Sharron Angle and David Vitter, who are running for Senate in Nevada and Louisiana, respectively, used Floyd’s 2006 image in anti-immigration TV ads as part of their campaigns. Angle’s ad states outright that the men are “illegal aliens,” while Vitter’s ad implies that, Floyd says.

He photographed the men in Altar, Mexico while shooting a story about the Minutemen for British GQ. (The Minutemen are a US-based citizens’ volunteer group that patrols the Mexican border in an effort to stop illegal immigration.) Altar, Mexico is a border town where many would-be immigrants stock up on supplies before attempting to enter the US illegally. The subjects of Floyd’s photo were farmers from southern Mexico.

Floyd says it is unclear how Angle and Vitter acquired his image. It is available for editorial use only through his licensing agency, Getty Images, he says. Under pressure from Getty on the issue of copyright infringement, Angle’s ad has been removed from YouTube.

But Floyd says he is pushing for an acknowledgement of wrongdoing and an apology from the two campaigns. “It’s a principled stand, rather than an issue of cash,” he says. Floyd has posted more detailed information on his blog.

August 25th, 2010

Case Against Arrested G20 Photographer Dismissed

Photographer Brett Gundlock, one of several journalists arrested in June during the G20 protests in Toronto, had all charges against him dropped during a brief court appearance on Monday in Toronto.

Gundlock, a photographer Canada’s National Post newspaper, says his appearance before a judge took less than a minute, and all that was said was that the charges against him had been dropped.

The charges against another National Post photographer, Colin O’Connor, who was arrested during the protests, were also dropped, according to Gundlock.

“Out of all of the media they arrested and detained, they were obviously trying to influence the coverage of their actions,” Gundlock asserted in an email to PDN. “Media is there as observers, not participants. There were too many stories from the [G20] summit where media was targeted before the protesters.”

Related:
Government-issued Press Credential Didn’t Stop Arrest, G20 Photog Says
Photojournalists Arrested in G20 Clash

July 19th, 2010

New Competition Seeks Photos Defining Democracy

A new competition supported by the Annenberg Space for Photography and other public and private organizations invites amateur and professional photographers around the world to submit a photograph completing the phrase “Democracy is…” Winning submissions to the International Democracy Photo Challenge will be selected by a combination of online voting and an independent panel of judges. The competition is open for submissions through July 28.
 
The judging committee, which is co-chaired by documentary photographer Phil Borges, International Center of Photography director Willis Hartshorn and Academy Award-winning director Louie Psihoyos, will announce 36 finalists on August 19. Submissions will be evaluated on three criteria: Relevance to the contest question, quality of the image’s technical elements and creativity in completing the prompt “Democracy is…”

Between August 19 and August 26, the contest winners will be selected via online voting by the general public. Two winners from each of six global geographic regions (Western Hemisphere, East Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, Near East, South & Central Asia) will be announced on the United Nations' International Day of Democracy, September 15.

The twelve winning submissions will be exhibited at the United Nations in New York, as well as at other galleries in New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, including the Annenberg Space for Photography. International galleries that will host the exhibition have yet to be announced by the contest sponsors.

Click here for more information on the competition including submission instructions.

—Eli Meixler
 
 
Related:

Annenberg Space Pioneers Digital Exhibition of Photos

June 28th, 2010

Photojournalists Arrested in G20 Clash

A pair of photographers working for Canada’s National Post were arrested over the weekend while documenting protests of the G20 summit in Toronto.

On Saturday night The National Post published a report that staff photographer Brett Gundlock and freelancer Colin O’Connor were detained by Toronto police while photographing protestors clashing with police. The report included a blurry photograph of Grundlock being wrestled to the ground by several officers in riot gear.

After spending 24 hours in custody on charges of obstructing a peace officer and unlawful assembly the two photographers were released on bail and recounted their experiences in an interview with the National Post.

"We were handcuffed. They emptied my wallet. I still don’t know what happened to some of our camera equipment," O'Connor said.