1st Amendment News

Newspaper tells freelancer no more photos from Syria

Claiming it was a moral decision rather than a financial one, taken under advice from their lawyers, The Sunday Times told a British freelance photographer that they would no longer accept any of his photos from Syria. The Times said they ““do not wish to encourage freelancers to take exceptional risks”. (Press Gazette, February 5, 2013, by Gavin Rodgers)

Writing in PetaPixel, February 5, 2013, Michael Zang said The Times may have had other consequences in mind, “In addition to the risks, another reason for the policy may be responsibility. If a newspaper’s staff photographer is kidnapped by militants, then it has a responsibility to offer help. For freelancer photographers, the situation would become much murkier, and it appears that newspapers are trying to avoid such situations by eschewing freelance conflict photos altogether.”

Belgian journalist Jean-Paul Marthoz said the censors have won a round, echoed Zang’s concern about the problems of supporting freelancers and raised another issue, the dangers of allowing “thugs” to determine the content of the news. (Committee to Protect Journalists, February 6, 2013) -db

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