News Archive

Fund Established To Help Bob Brandon

While television photojournalist Bob Brandon underwent surgery in a Denver, CO, hospital yesterday to improve his ability to breathe, friends and coworkers established a fund to help his family with any costs they accumulate during his extended illness.

Brandon, known as one of the leading television photojournalists in the broadcast industry who was twice named the NPPA Television News Photographer of the Year, has been in stable but critical condition in a Denver trauma hospital after he was found on the floor of his home August 23. Friends say he may have collapsed there several days before he was discovered.

Sharon Levy Freed reports via eMail yesterday after the surgery that "Bob is still really sick, but there is now reason for hope.”

The fund has been created in Brandon’s daughter’s name and friends and supporters are encouraged participate in this effort to help the family. Freed asks that checks be made payable to: “Kristi Brandon fbo Robert Brandon” and mailed to Heritage Bank, 811 South Public Road, Lafayette, CO, 80026, addressed to the attention of Debbie Boucher.

Brandon was NPPA’s Television News Photographer of the Year in 1976 and again in 1980 while he was with KPRC-TV in Houston, TX. He's a co-recipient of a national Emmy for his work on CBS's 48 Hours as well as having two national Emmy nominations. His work includes stories for CBS News, 60 Minutes, NBC News, The Today Show, Dateline, ABC Evening News, Prime Time Live, and 20/20. He is also a faculty member for the annual NPPA Television NewsVideo Workshop, and was president of Helical Post, a video digital post-production facility in Denver.


Many New Orleans TV Photojournalists Fear Losing Their Jobs Because Of Hurricane Katrina

As if the hardship of enduring HurricaneKatrina and then covering the almost-unbelievable devastation in the storm's aftermath wasn't enough, many television photojournalists in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast are learning that shortly they could also be out of a job.

Corporate television owners are apparently trying to determine if there's going to be anyone doing business in New Orleans in the near future who will buy television advertising. If not, without advertising revenue the corporations will have to foot the entire cost of operating a television station in the devastated market - a tremendous expense that could pull down revenues from their other markets, a cost that most owners are probably going to be unwilling to bear.

Photojournalists at WWL-TVChannel 4, the New Orleans CBS affiliate, were hearing talk early in the week about their jobs possibly ending because theBeloCorporation, owners of the station, was going to "evaluate the situation" in 60 days, and decide whether or not there would be a news operation at all or a "significantly scaled back" news division. Today CareyHendrickson, Belo's vice president for investor relations and corporate communications, toldNews Photographer, "Belo is committed to WWL and its presence in New Orleans. WWL has a tremendous legacy and we are going to do everything we can to restore normal operations. Originally, we told employees that we hoped to have more information about future operations by November 1; now, we believe we are in a holding pattern for approximately six months."

Carey also shared a press release from Belo that says: "To assist its employees at WWL and NewsWatch on Channel 15 who have been severely impacted personally by Hurricane Katrina, Belo Corp. and The Belo Foundation have established the WWL-TV Employee Relief Fund. Belo Corp. has committed $200,000 to the fund initially and will also match dollar-for-dollar the contributions of employees at Belo companies. The general public and business partners are also invited to make contributions to the relief fund. Donations are tax-deductible. Cash or check donations made out to the WWL-TV Employee Relief Fund may be made in person at The Belo Foundation, located in Suite 200 of The Belo Building in Dallas, and checks may also be mailed in care of The Belo Foundation at P.O. Box 655237, Dallas, TX, 75265-5237, with questions answered at +1.214.977.6661. The Relief Fund made an initial tax-free distribution of $1,000 to every WWL employee to meet his or her immediate needs."

A television source from New Orleans told NewsPhotographer magazine that at WVUE-TV Fox 8, a station owned by Emmis Television, employees were no longer working. The station had reportedly been for sale in mid-August before the storm when Emmis announced it had sold nine of its 16 television stations. A message posted on this week said that WVUE-TV employees were "given $100.00 and sent packing."

A spokesperson for Emmis Television today said "that's not true." Kate Snedeker, director of media and investor relations for Emmis, said, "All employees have jobs. We've made a commitment to employees and we're going to stand by it. The very first message that went last week from Randy Bongarten (president of Emmis Television) made it clear." Snedeker said Emmis has created a secure employee-only Web site for WVUE-TV workers where they can log in and get up-to-date information. That site is at and if you're an empolyee and don't have a user name and password, you can get one by calling +1.866.366.4747.

Leonel Mendezhas been a photojournalist at WVUE-TV and his wife, Meredith, has been a reporter for WGNO-TV. Over the weekend he posted this note on the message board:

"We lost everything, including our home, in New Orleans. If anyone knows of any jobs out there... I would appreciate a heads up. I'm open to anything but we do have family in the Washington, DC, area which would make relocation there very easy." The couple left New Orleans and traveled to Meredith's father's house in Memphis, TN, he said, as they search for jobs. Mendez wrote, "Thanks to anyone who can help us with this tragedy. My eMail is [email protected] if you have any leads on reporting or anchoring jobs."

Today in an update to his posting Mendez, in Memphis, told NewsPhotographer, "I have some great opportunites right now. I'm going on a job interview next Wednesday, and everyone's just been great. I've got a lot of eMails and phone calls. In the meantime, we're still getting paid by the station but everyone's worried about what's going to happen to the station. We're not even allowed back in the station because of the water. Some people got to come home this week to take care of their families, my wife's home right now, she's been working out of WBRC in Baton Rouge where her station moved their operations."

"If we don't get jobs, she'll be going back to work at WGNO-TV," he said, "and right now we're pretty worried about the future. Our house was 8 to 10 blocks from where the levy broke, so we're pretty sure the house is up to the roof line with water. Since I'm not working, I've been sitting here looking at these pictures, I have time to look and to take it in. Everyone's been touched, everyone's touched."

Television photojournalist DavidSussman, chief photographer for WGNO-TV Channel 26 in New Orleans, and his wife Diane, their children and their parents, are glad to be alive and to have survived Hurricane Katrina. WGNO-TV is owned byTribuneBroadcasting. While rumors swirl on message boards and in online forums that Tribune may shut down operations in 90 days if there's no advertising revenue, Sussman left a telephone message forNewsPhotographermagazine Monday saying that this isn't exactly the case, and that Tribune continues to stand by WGNO-TV.

The station's other news photographers are still working covering the hurricane's aftermath, and WGNO-TV continues to broadcast today fromWBRZ-TVin Baton Rouge.

Sussman was born and raised in New Orleans and worked in Mobile, AL, and Nashville, TN, before "coming home" to New Orleans in 1996 to be closer to his parents, his wife Diane said. His parents' home, blocks from Lake Pontchartrain, was washed away and they were evacuated to Alexandria, LA. Sussman's wife and their children, along with Diane's mother, fled the flooding and urban anarchy and went to St. Louis, MO. The Sussman's house was spared, and Diane's mother's house was spared – "for now, as long as it's not looted or burned down," she said Sunday.

But many television newsroom employees in New Orleans who are in situations similar to Sussman's have put the word out on the grapevine, and in postings on the online discussion boards, that they're looking for new jobs and for new places to live. Encouragingly, many in the television news community have responded by posting messages online about job openings they've seen or heard about, or stations where there may soon be new opportunities.




Missing Times-Picayune Hurricane Reporter Found

Missing reporter Leslie Williams has been heard from, his editor at The Times-Picayune reported to The New York Observer last night.

The Observer quotes editor Jim Amoss as saying, "This is the best news I've heard in days. He was covering the story from Mississippi under hellacious conditions. He was on assignment and we're just now hearing from him, we haven't had a chance to debrief him yet."

No one at the newspaper had heard from Williams since last weekend when he was sent to Mississippi to cover the storm from the eastern region in the oncoming hurricane's path. At one point this last week, Williams' mother was also reported missing. There was no information from Amoss about the reporter's mother. The newspaper had dispatched another reporter to search for Williams when they had not heard from him by the middle of the week.


Gardi, Lewis, And Weidenhoefer Each Win $20K Getty Images Editorial Photography Grants

Getty Images today announced from Visa Pour L’ Image in Perpignan, France, the three new winners of its 2005 Grants for Editorial Photography. They are Balazs Gardi of Budapest, for an examination of the European Gypsy; New Jersey resident Scott Lewis for his work focusing on spiritual and secular rituals in American communities of faith; and Kai Weidenhoefer of Berlin for his journey into the repercussions that may result from the erection of a 650-kolmeter wall in Israel, one that is intended to separate Israelis from Palestinians. Each winner will receive a $20,000 grant along with project support from Getty Images’ team of photo editors.

Getty said the three winning grants were selected from applications from 37 countries, a 40 percent increase in the number of nations represented when grants were awarded earlier this year. Final judging for these winners was done in August by Maura Foley, a picture editor for The New York Times; Reza, an award-winning photojournalist from the Webistan Agency in France; and Harald Menk, the foreign photo editor for Stern magazine in Germany.

In the announcement, Reza commented on the submissions entered for consideration: “Almost all of the proposals and images revealed highly-professional and motivated participants. It indicated to me that we are entereing a new era of photojournalism and documentary photograph – more in-depth, more sensitive, more engaged. Also impressive was the deep sense of humanity exhibited in most of the submissions.”

Getty Images awards five $20,000 grants annually, totaling $100,000, to fund work by established and rising photojournalists.  Applicants must submit a written proposal and portfolio. Grant winners are given the opportunity to sign a one-year exclusive rights deal with Getty whereby their work will be marketed and available for liscense to customers worldwide through Getty’s Web site.

For the upcoming 2006 Getty grants, the judging panel will include photojournalist David Burnett, co-founder of Contact Press Images;Giovanna Calvenzi, director of photography for Sportweek; Elaine Laffont, editorial director for Hachette Filipacchi Media; Natasha Lunn, a photography editor for The New Yorker magazine; and Susan A. Smith, deputy director of photography and illustrations for National Geographic magzine.

More information on the upcoming grants is available online here.


NPPA Calls For Release Of Journalists Held In Iraq Without Charges, Details In Shooting Death Of Soundman

DURHAM, NC – The National Press Photographers Association joins with the Committee To Protect Journalists, the Reuters News Agency and other media and press freedom organizations in urging the United States military to explain immediately why it is holding in custody Iraqi photojournalist Ali Omar Abrahem al-Mashhadani, a freelance photojournalist who works for Reuters, and to provide full details surrounding the shooting of Reuters journalists Haider Kadhem, 24, and soundman Waleed Khaled, 35, who died from his wounds.

Haider KadhemJust this morning the U.S. military released Haider Kadhem after he was held by American troops in a secret location for three days following the shooting that killed Khaled. The military said he was being questioned about "inconsistencies" in his statements after he was taken from the car in which Khaled died. Kadhem suffered wounds from flying fragments, they said.

Khaled was buried on Monday. He was shot several times in the chest and at least once in the head while driving his car, an ordinary passenger vehicle, on assignment to a reported clash between armed men and police in Western Baghdad on August 28. Khaled was the fourth Reuters journalist killed in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in 2003. Two are known to have been killed by American fire.

Reuters photojournalist al-Mashhadani is still being held more than two weeks after his arrest. Reuters reports today that a “secret tribunal” has ordered him held, without charges, in Baghdad’s notorious Abu Ghraib prison for up to 6 months when his case may be reviewed again.

Reuters quotes a military spokesperson who said the tribunal decided that the photojournalist is, in their opinion, "a threat to the people of Iraq." Reuters says the military will not tell them why the photojournalist is being held and has refused all requests to detail their suspicions about Mashhadani, or to make any specific accusations. The military response to a demand for his release is that he’s “a security detainee with links to insurgents.”

“Reuters is extremely concerned by this development and is calling for the U.S. military to release al-Mashhadani or to publicly air their case against him,” Stephen Naru, the global head of media relations for Reuters, told NPPA this morning.

Additionally, the U.S. military has confirmed that five journalists for major news organizations are now in detention, including al-Mashhadani and another freelance photojournalist who works for Reuters, as well as a CBS cameraman.

Reuters journalist al-Mashhadani was arrested by U.S. troops on August 8 after a search of his Ramadi, Iraq, home; the military has refused to say why he is being held and there are no charges against him. His brother was detained with him and then released, and he says al-Mashhadani was arrested after they looked at images on his cameras.

Waleed Khaled shot and killed“I am shocked and appalled that such a decision could be taken without his having access to legal counsel of his choosing, his family, or his employers,” Reuters global managing editor David Schlesinger said after today’s developments. “I call on the authorities to release him immediately or publicly air the case against him and give him the opportunity to defend himself.”

“We’re extremely concerned when someone like al-Mashhadani, an accredited photojournalist working for a global news agency, can be held incommunicado since his arrest many days ago and simply held without any explanation,” NPPA president Alicia Wagner Calzada said today. NPPA, founded in 1946 and based in Durham, NC, is an organization of nearly 10,000 photojournalists that is dedicated to the advancement of photojournalism and to insuring that journalists’ rights, granted under the First Amendment, are upheld.

“Also of grave concern to us are reports from his family that Marines arrested him after finding video and still images during a routine sweep of his neighborhood,” Calzada said. “Reuters says they have provided U.S. officials with samples of Mashhadani's published work to help establish that the video and still images on his cameras and computers that were found during the search were gathered in the course of his employment. We are disturbed by the appearance that the U.S. military is engaged in summarily arresting journalists in Iraq for simply being journalists, and that a photojournalist would be considered a threat for merely possessing newsworthy images.

“The U.S. government would do well to remember that a true democracy in Iraq cannot flourish without a free press,” said Calzada. “We are not asking that journalists receive special treatment, only that they aren’t targeted as a result of their work.”

Many Iraqi journalists have worked as freelancers for international news agencies covering the war in Iraq, and they have found it possible to cover stories in places that are inaccessible to most foreign journalists or just too dangerous for non-Arabs. The Associated Press won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography for their coverage of the Iraqi war by a team of photographers made up mostly of Iraqi photojournalists. Iraqi photojournalist Khalid Mohammed shot the AP’s landmark image of Iraqis chanting anti-American slogans while the charred bodies of four U.S. contractors were hanged from a bridge over the Euphrates River in Fallujah in March, 2004.

“This action (the detention of Mashhadani) and others like it may indeed have a chilling effect on the coverage of the war,” Calzada said, “if Iraqi journalists are now being targeted and detained by U.S. troops, and even shot.”

The military is still investigating the arrest and detention last year of four Iraqi journalists, including three working for Reuters and one working for NBC. According to Reuters, the four reported that they were sexually and physically abused by U.S. soldiers for three days before being released. Last November, two other photojournalists working for Reuters were killed by U.S. forces along with another photographer, also based in Ramadi, during fighting between Marines and insurgents. There’s also a report that eight Iraqi journalists, including some working for CBS and Agence France-Presse, were detained in May by the military without any further explanation.

“It is more than ironic that the same troops who are fighting and dying so that the Iraqi people can have a democratic form of government, complete with its own constitution, infringe on the basic First Amendment and due process rights under the catch-all phrase that these journalists posed a ‘security risk to the Iraqi people and coalition forces,’” Calzada said.


2005 Women In Photojournalism Conference Inspired, Rekindled Careers, With Speakers And Workshops

The 2005 NPPA Women In Photojournalism Conference opened Friday in Phoenix, AZ, and ran through Sunday August 28 and featured a dynamic line-up of workshops and speakers that inspired photojournalists and rekindled a passion and committment to the craft.

Speakers included Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Deanne Fitzmaurice of the San Francisco Chronicle; Peggy Peattie of the San Diego Union-Tribune; Andrea BruceWoodall of The Washington Post; and freelance photojournalist Amy Toensing.

Also speaking were photojournalist Maggie Steber; Mary Vignoles of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel; Angie Kucharski of KCNC-TV in Denver; Christina Pino-Marina of; Jennifer Castor of KMGH-TV in Denver; Kristen Bergeron of KTVT-TV in Fort Worth; and Lynn French of KPNX-TV in Phoenix.

More than 400 images were entered in this year's WIPC photography contest and the winners were presented during a special gallery exhibition on Saturday at the nearby Victoria Boyce Galleries in Scottsdale, AZ.

Erin Trieb of Dallas, TX, won Best Overall in the photography contest and she was presented with her winning check by conference chairperson Pat Holloway.

For more information see the conference Web page or contact local conference coordinators Lynn French, Catherine Jun, or Heidi Huber.








NPPA Releases Memo On Photographers' Rights To Take Pictures In Public Places

PHOENIX, AZ  – It’s been almost four years since the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and in that time photojournalists have faced an increasing wave of harassment and obstacles – often in the name of national security – while trying to do their work.

“The National Press Photographers Association has been called upon time and time again to speak out on behalf of photojournalists’ rights and to fight efforts to limit or prohibit photography in public places and of public facilities,” NPPA president Alicia Wagner Calzada said today as she opened the Women In Photojournalism Conference at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix, AZ. "Last year there was an attempted ban on all photography in the New York City subways and on the Metropolitan Transit Authority busses, and a successful fight to defeat the proposal was led by the NPPA and other media groups."

“Photojournalists clearly have a Constitutional right guaranteed by the First Amendment to make photographs in public places. But often law enforcement officials and security agencies believe – wrongly so – that in the name of homeland defense there are new federal laws that somehow give them additional rights to restrict photography. This is just not the case.”

To clarify the issue, NPPA asked attorneys Kurt Wimmer and John Blevins of the Washington office of the Covington & Burling law firm to produce a memorandum outlining the rights of photojournalists to make pictures in public places. The memorandum, released by NPPA and Calzada today at the Women In Photojournalism Conference, concludes: "No specific post-September 11 federal law grants the government any additional rights to restrict visual newsgathering, photojournalism, or photography in general.”

Singled out from their memorandum are these significant points:

* The Constitution protects the media’s right to freely gather news, which includes the right to make photographs in a public forum;

* There is no federal law that would prohibit photography in public places or restrict photography of public places and/or structures;

* Any restrictions that the government does impose would need to have supporting evidence that it was essential for public safety. The burden is on the government;

* Government officials cannot single out news cameras for removal while continuing to allow the general public to remain in a location, particularly if the public is taking pictures;

* When journalists are denied access, they should avoid confrontation and arrest and instead gather as much information as possible so that they can later seek relief through proper channels.

The memorandum is published here as a downloadable Acrobat .PDF file as a public service for distribution to journalists and newsgathering organizations.

“We encourage all news organizations to consult with their own attorneys regarding the best procedures for dealing with overzealous police and security guards,” Calzada said. “And it is a good idea to have a plan of action before an incident occurs. Please download the entire memorandum from the NPPA Web site and review it with your staff, supervisors, and editors.”

For more information please contact Calzada at [email protected].


NPPA And Western Kentucky University Receive Knight Foundation Grant To Turn Photojournalism Contest Into Educational Opportunity

DURHAM, NC – Supported by a $100,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the National Press Photographers Association and Western Kentucky University have joined together to create an online educational program based on NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism annual contest that will help the university’s photojournalism and visual communication students learn how to produce better photos.

As part of the Knight Foundation grant, the first rounds of the contest will be conducted and judged online, to help teachers guide students through the process. NPPA will improve the way images are digitally entered into the contest and expand the online photo archiving to provide a useful learning tool for professionals, teachers and students.

"Education has always been at the heart of NPPA's values and the Best of Photojournalism contest has always emphasized its educational value to photojournalism students, visual communication students and editing students as well as their instructors,” said NPPA presidentAlicia Wagner Calzada. “Because of the contest’s unique format, and its availability to students and professionals via the Internet, Best of Photojournalism is now used as an educational tool in all parts of the world. The work that Western Kentucky University will do will further increase the contest’s educational value and enhance photojournalism education for all."

Every March, NPPA conducts the Best of Photojournalism contest for still photojournalism and editing, television photojournalism and editing, and online media. The final judging takes place at both The Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, FL, and at the School of Visual Communication (VisCom) at Ohio University in Athens.

During this year's contest, judges evaluated more than 41,000 individual entries in all five divisions from news events and stories in 2004. The still photography contest had nearly 38,000 entries by itself, making it the second-largest contest for photojournalists in the world (only World Press in Amsterdam has more entries). Unlike many annual contests, the Best of Photojournalism has no entry fees – and photojournalists can enter their images via the Internet from anywhere in the world.

Western Kentucky University and NPPA will work with Ohio University and News University, The Poynter Institute's e-learning project, to create educational components based on the contest. These online training modules – for print and video journalists – will be available for free on the NewsU Web site, They’ll cover such topics as ethics in photojournalism and what makes a winning photograph.

“This partnership is a win-win situation,” said Dr. Pam McAllister Johnson, director of Western Kentucky University’s School of Journalism. “Our photojournalism program, the NPPA contests and News University are all considered tops in their areas.”

NPPA will continue to administer all aspects of the contest including judging, displaying all entries and presentation of the winning entries.

“Journalism contests can do more than create giddy winners and grumpy losers,” said Eric Newton, director of Journalism Initiatives for Knight Foundation. “They can show the world what we really mean when we talk about journalism excellence – and that’s something all of us can learn from.”

The Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation was established in 1950 as a private foundation. Knight Foundation promotes journalism excellence worldwide and invests in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. For more, visit

Western Kentucky University offered its first journalism course in 1927. Today, the School of Journalism and Broadcasting has more than 1000 students and 35 faculty members. Twelve photojournalism graduates have been on Pulitzer Prize-winning teams. The school has ranked number one in the overall Hearst competition three of the last five years; and the photojournalism program has been ranked number one 15 of the last 17 years.

The National Press Photographers Association ( is the professional society of photojournalists. Established in 1946 and based in Durham, NC, NPPA is also the publisher of the monthly magazine News Photographer.

For more information please contact NPPA executive director Greg Garneau at +1.919.383.7246 ext. 10 or via eMail at [email protected].


Bob Brandon Critical In Denver Hospital

Television photojournalist Bob Brandon is in stable but critical condition in a Denver, CO, trauma hospital after he was found on the floor of his home yesterday. Sharon Levy Freed reports that Brandon may have collapsed as long ago as Saturday, but that he was unable to reach a telephone to summon help.

Freed reports in an eMail that Keith Singer, a video editor who often works with Brandon, was worried when he was unable to contact Brandon so he went to his house on Tuesday and made the discovery. Brandon was immediately transported to a South Denver trauma center where tonight he's a patient in intensive care but stable and improving, according to an ICU nurse.

On Wednesday afternoon Freed reported in an eMail to Brandon's friends and coworkers that "Bob is better than he was yesterday, but still critical, very ill, and the future is uncertain." Freed says Brandon can't receive visitors or telephone calls at this time.

Brandon is known as one of the leading television photojournalists in the broadcast industry and has twice been named the NPPA Television News Photographer of the Year, in 1976 and again in 1980 while he was with KPRC-TV in Houston, TX. He's a co-recipient of a national Emmy for his work on CBS's 48 Hours as well as having two national Emmy nominations. His work includes stories for CBS News, 60 Minutes, NBC News, The Today Show, Dateline, ABC Evening News, Prime Time Live, and 20/20.

Brandon is a faculty member for the annual NPPA Television NewsVideo Workshop, and he was president of Helical Post, a video digital post-production facility in Denver.


Epilogue: A Player Dies

In the August issue of News Photographer magazine, photojournalist Jenna Isaacson of the Columbia Daily Tribunewrote about her experience photographing University of Missouri redshirt freshman football player Aaron O’Neal, 19, when he collapsed during a summer strength and conditioning workout in July and then hours later died at the University of Missouri in Columbia. The workout, while strenuous, was not held in extreme heat, according to the report, and the player appeared to be in good physical condition, although observers saw that he struggled more and more as the one-hour workout progressed.

Today in Columbia the Boone County medical examiner, Valerie Rao, told members of the football team that O'Neal died as the result of viral meningitis, the Tribune reported, and O'Neal's father, Lonnie O'Neal, today filed a $300,000 wrongful death lawsuit. The suit names members of MU's athletic training staff, the strength and conditioning staff, athletic director Mike Alden, head football coach Gary Pinkel, and director of football operations Mark Alnutt, but not the university. By Missouri law, the university as a state institution has "sovereign immunity." The Tribune reports that the suit alleges that O'Neal died as a result of "neglect" by university staff, and that "university officials were callous and fell far short of any reasonable standard."

Viral meningitis is an infection of the spinal fluid around the spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain. The Tribune reports that Rao said in a press conference today that O'Neal's brain had swollen as a result of the infection, and the swelling caused the young player to stop breathing. She also told reporters that it is unclear whether participating in the voluntary summer workout contributed to O'Neal's death or not. The Tribune quotes her as saying, "I don't think it helped him."