The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) has adopted an anti-harassment standard as part of its Code of Ethics, the organization announced this week.
The new standard, adopted by unanimous vote of the NPPA board of directors on July 22, states: “Do not engage in harassing behavior of colleagues, subordinates or subjects and maintain the highest standards of behavior in all professional interactions.”
In announcing the new standard, NPPA said its board “acknowledged that harassing colleagues and subordinates, whether in the form of intimidation, sexual harassment, or harassment on the basis of race, religion, gender or national origin, is an insidious form of professional misconduct that harms the careers of those who are subjected to it.”
“All too often in photojournalism, when we think of ethics we think of Photoshopping images and setting images up,” said NPPA President Melissa Lyttle in a prepared statement. “Ethics are, most importantly, the moral principles that govern one’s behavior. At its very core it’s knowing and right from wrong — and acting accordingly. And it’s time we took a stand as an organization to say that harassment and intimidation will not be tolerated.”
The anti-harassment resolution was drafted and introduced by Alicia Calzada, past president of NPPA and current legal counsel of the association.
“The resolution came about because there was a discussion about some recent allegations of sexual harassment by individuals who are NPPA members. This is a part of the leadership’s concerted effort to respond to that discussion,” Calzada told PDN in an email message forwarded by Lyttle.
Calzada added, “Those who intimidate others and abuse their power should not continue to be celebrated, regardless of their other successes.”
She said violation of the anti-harassment standard is grounds for revoking an offender’s NPPA membership, because “when someone joins the NPPA they agree to abide by the code of ethics.” NPPA has a judiciary committee that investigates allegations of violations, she added.
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