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Journalists fight for access to immigration child detention centers

News outlets seeking access to child detention centers housing immigrant children separated from parents have found it difficult to take photos showing how the children are faring. In denying photos, the Department of Health and Human Services cites a 2015 policy to protect the children’s privacy. News outlets say photos without faces released by the government don’t show much. They also the photos are woefully inadequate in that all the children depicted are boys. The only creditable photos are ones smuggled out. (The Associated Press, January 26, 2018, by David Bauder)

The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) is asking all public officials who visit the centers to request that photo journalists are allowed in as well. The NPPA petitioned the news media to refuse to publish the photos supplied by the government, “…the public has a right to and a need for independent, verified visual journalism – not government-controlled images. As our Code of Ethics states, photojournalists and those who manage visuals in news organizations should ‘resist being manipulated by staged photo opportunities,’ ‘strive to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in public,’ and ‘defend the right of access for all journalists.'” (NPPA, June 20, 2018, by Staff)

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