Building upon the tradition of 71 years of visual journalists, the NPPA is changing to meet industry needs. An increasing percentage of our members work as independent visual journalists, without the backing of a legacy media organization. This has made our legal advocacy work more critical than ever, as our members experience a rise in interference, harassment, and arrests along with an increase in assaults of journalists. We also see a public increase in the distrust of the media, challenges to the First Amendment by the current administration, state, and local government, an ever-increasing number of copyright infringements, and a rash of ill-conceived anti-drone laws.
With the threat to visual journalists never greater than today, our ability to advocate on your behalf has never been more important. But, ensuring the stability and continued work of the NPPA comes with increasing costs.
That is why the NPPA board voted to increase annual dues for the first time in 11 years. This is not a decision we made lightly; rather, it was a step necessary to ensure the future of this organization.
This is how it will work and what it will mean for you:
Current and future members have the opportunity to renew, and or join, through the end of the year at current rates. Come January 1, 2018, if you have a professional membership in the United States or Canada, the cost will be $145 (USD). It will be $75 for student membership; $75 for retired members, $240 for a family membership (for households with more than one working photojournalist); $170 for international membership with surface mail; and $245 for international membership with air mail.
The board has also acknowledged the need for a monthly payment plan to help ease this burden, and we are working hard to implement this next year.
For years this organization has been able to avoid a dues increase, because outside funding subsidized our advocacy costs. As these sources become less reliable, the organization is ensuring we can fund the important work our attorneys are doing. This funding will allow the organization to do more. More regional workshops, hopefully a return to giving grants, and the protection of the rights of visual journalists.
While we recognize the cost represents a sizable jump, we hope you will see it as an investment in the work we do for visual journalists around the globe. We are confident that the value of your NPPA membership has increased significantly.
Here's what we've been doing to make a difference for you:
Our attorneys are leading the industry to fight for and protect our rights as journalists. And our legal costs have risen in tandem. Now is not the time to scale back. We must maintain the vigor with which we interact with government and private entities that threaten our freedom.
We have a diverse board of directors who are passionate about where this industry is headed and are not satisfied with the status quo. Last month, they unanimously passed a resolution amending the NPPA Code of Ethics to state that the organization does not tolerate the harassment of colleagues and subordinates, whether in the form of intimidation, sexual harassment, or harassment on the basis of race, religion, gender or national origin. We have altered the makeup of the board to encourage more broadcast representation than ever before, and we have more independent visual journalists on the board.
And then there are the tangible benefits:
• We now offer an industry-leading equipment and liability insurance program (that includes drone riders) available for members at a discount.
• We have partnerships with multiple vendors for significant discounts on products and services (Apple, PhotoShelter, SoloFolio, etc...) that can quickly add up to instant return on investment.
• Find a Visual Journalist: members have a unique opportunity to be listed in a database that top editors trust and regularly consult.
• NPPA.org is better than ever and it’s bringing you the latest industry news, big pictures and the stories behind them, and a host of features. We also provide a strong sense of community to support you.
• Strong regional leaders who are doing more to foster community on local and regional levels — including organizing Driving Short Courses and local meet-ups.
• Our mentorship program.
• All of the organization's clip contests have all been refreshed and revived after years of technological challenges.
We are dedicated to action and we are listening. We can protect ourselves, our colleagues and our profession by banding together and supporting NPPA. We cannot continue to do quality work as the Voice of Visual Journalists without your membership and support.
I am proud to serve as the president of this organization, and I could not be more excited for what this next year holds for us.
Thank you for your continued support,