To say it has been a busy year for the Advocacy Committee would be an understatement. NPPA has been involved in numerous access issues around the country on what seems like a daily basis. We have been able to travel and meet with many organizations and participate in a number of programs – raising NPPA’s visibility through personal contact, interviews, published articles and news stories where NPPA has been quoted or referenced. We realize that this is a very extensive report but believe it is an excellent historical reference using many links and providing perspective on just how active we have been this past year

Our efforts are multi-layered and generally fall into the following categories: Direct Action in response to incidents; Legislative Advocacy monitoring and responding to state and federal legislation that impacts photojournalists; Judicial Advocacy getting NPPA as signatories on amicus briefs on issues impacting photojournalists and on rare occasion providing direct legal support to photographers in court; answering legal questions by members, board and staff; and providing legal resources for members.

To keep NPPA in a position to accomplish these many goals, the Advocacy Committee works extensively at networking with media attorneys nationwide, keeping NPPA in the press in relation to issues and reviewing and responding rapidly to issues. For years our goal has been to build a high profile for the organization in the area of photographers rights and we feel we have achieved that goal. With each individual outreach, we remind members and potential members how much member support enables our work.

We hope that the board is satisfied with our performance to date. Some of the issues we have worked on in 2011:

Our belief in the importance of NPPA raising its visibility on these and other issues has continued and enhanced NPPA recognition throughout the country. NPPA is now viewed with even greater respect as leading the way in education, awareness and policy decisions on topics that go to very core of visual journalism. Through increased contacts in the media, government and legal system, NPPA has made itself known and heard on these issues. We hope to continue those efforts in the coming year. Our work is not the effort of anyone person but of the committee as a whole. Alicia who has been just incredible in the short time she has been an attorney. Her leadership as Advocacy Chair is nothing short of amazing! Mickey continues to work tirelessly in support of photographers’ right of access and defending those wrongly interfered with or arrested. NPPA is very lucky to now have two attorneys working on behalf of its members. Greg as always continues his excellent vigilance over model business practices and other related issues, while Todd keeps us aware of the many access concerns in Region 2 and around the country. It is truly a collaborative effort strongly supported by Sean and Mindy and ably publicized by Don and Thomas.

In the coming year we hope to impact on the feasibility of the U.S. Copyright Office creating a small claims court that would be very beneficial to our members’ ability/affordability to redress copyright infringement claims. We also hope to work with local, state and federal authorities in establishing press access for the upcoming political conventions – Charlotte DNC 9/3 – 9/6; Tampa RNC 8/27 – 8/30. We will also be partnering with the MLRC to study and report on press credentialing nationwide with an eye toward possibly creating a national credential that would be recognized by most if not all agencies. Finally we will seek to improve publicity of Advocacy Committee activities.

Respectfully submitted,
The Advocacy Committee

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