News Archive

Richard Avedon, 81, Dies Following A Cerebral Hemorrhage In Texas

SAN ANTONIO, TX - Richard Avedon, 81, the famous American fashion and portrait photographer, died today at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio six days after he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage while shooting an assignment for The New Yorker magazine in Texas. A spokesperson for the magazine, Perri Dorset, said Avedon was shooting "a large essay on democracy" that was slated as a November presidential election piece for the magazine, and that he had been working on the project around the country for some time.

Avedon, who lived in Manhattan, fell ill last Saturday while working on the assignment and has been in critical and guarded condition in the hospital since then.

He was the first staff photographer for The New Yorker, starting in 1992 under then-editor Tina Brown. For more than 50 years his portraits have filled the pages of major magazines, and he's considered by most to be one of the world's premier portrait photographers. His photographic style has nearly always been "minimalist," with the subject making eye contact, against a white backdrop, and very well illuminated. The result is often a highly intimate portrait, where the subject appears to be interacting more with the intensity of the photographer than with the camera. His portraits today continue to be as stunning as his earlier work and to garner the nation's attention. His photograph in this week's issue of The New Yorker of Teresa Heinz Kerry, accompanying Judith Thurman's profile of her titled, "The Candidate's Wife," has been widely described as "glamorous."

In 2003 when Avedon was 80, he spoke along with Laura Wilson to a gathering of students at the University of Texas in Austin at the Harry Ransom Center, a rare Avedon appearance to promote the publication of Wilson's new book, Avedon at Work: In the American West. During the early 1980s as Avedon traveled the West taking photographs of ordinary people, Wilson, herself an accomplished photojournalist and writer, traveled with him for nearly six years documenting his making of what turned out to be a milestone project in Avedon's already-famous career. The Amon Carter Museum of Fort Worth, TX, commissioned Avedon in 1979 to create the body of portrait work for an exhibit.

Wilson had been one of a handful of people present at a dinner party in Texas with Avedon when the idea for In The American West was proposed; in the following days she wrote Avedon a letter declaring her interest in helping if he decided to accept the project. When he got her letter, she told the audience, he called her immediately. They then spent the next five summers trolling the backroads and plains of the jagged Western range in search of the faces of the land, in a station wagon with two assistants and an 8x10 Deardorff view camera, a cumbersome and lumbering tool that demands precision and multiple assistants and all but eliminates mobile spontaneity — but it was the portrait camera of choice for Avedon after he switched from his Rolleiflex in the late 1960s. Wilson watched the watcher, documenting Avedon at work as he found, photographed, and built an unprecedented body of work across the countryside. Her photographs and observations make up Avedon at Work: In the American West.

Avedon spoke to the standing-room-only gathering of UT students that night after a brief slideshow of his images from Wilson's book. Looking into the eyes of the everyday people he photographed for In The American West — the drifters and oil field workers and ranch hands he found by driving the West's back roads and photographed against a white seamless backdrop taped to a shed or barn's side — it was clear that these subjects had the same intense relationship with Avedon, however brief and unexpected, as did Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, the Duchess of Windsor, Charlie Chaplin, and legions of other celebrities and fashion models in his Upper Eastside Manhattan studio. "I remember each one of them," the photographer replied to a student's question.

The editor of News Photographer magazine, Donald Winslow, sat next to Avedon in the Ransom Center auditorium that November night before the photographer was introduced and took the stage. When he was introduced, Avedon said beneath the sound of applause, "This may be my last trip to Texas — heck, it might be my last trip out of New York for all I know." After the evening's presentation, and Avedon's book signing for the many students who stood in the long line to see him, Winslow wrote this note about the experience of meeting and observing Avedon:

"At 80 years old, Richard Avedon appears to have more energy than almost everyone I know who is half his age or younger. The intensity of his presence is such a visible force that even while he's seated in a chair on stage lecturing more than 300 students and visitors in an overflowing auditorium, Avedon just cannot sit still. As he reaches the apex of an anecdote or when answering an audience question, it's as if he levitates from the seat to project his words all the way to the back row. Energy overflows from him and fills the room; his animation is sublime. If someone never understood it before, it's now very clear that one of the many reasons that Richard Avedon is one of the most successful and admired portrait photographers of our time, aside from the breadth of his talent and a deeply intellectual understanding of his craft, is simply the awesome intensity of his being. To interact with this man, even just by being in the same room, is to be captivated by his personality, even seated rows away in a crowded lecture hall. One can only imagine the degree of intensity that must emanate from Avedon to anyone who is a subject before his camera; it is impossible to not be fully engaged and captivated by this man's personality, even in a crowd, even as a stranger, as simply an observer. If this is his strength at 80 years old, how overwhelming must have been his sway years before?"

Avedon was born in New York City in 1923 and went to De Witt Clinton High School and in 1941 attended Columbia University. He served in the U.S. Merchant Marines photographic section from 1942 to 1944. After the service he went to work in a department store, and after a couple of years he was "discovered" by an art director. The young photographer's work started appearing in Look, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and other magazines.

He started as a staff photographer at Harper's Bazaar in 1945 and only two years later made his mark as a fashion photographer of note covering the French collections in Paris for that magazine and for Vogue. Avedon was named "one of the world's ten greatest photographers" in 1958 by Popular Photography magazine, and in 1962 the Smithsonian Institute curated the exhibition, "Richard Avedon."

His book Avedon: Photographs 1947-1977 was published in 1978 and coincided with a major exhibition in the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA, and the Isetan Museum in Tokyo. In 1993 he was awarded the International Center of Photography's Master of Photography medal. In 2001 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2003 he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American for the Arts, National Arts Award.


MTA Still Wants To Ban NYC Subway Photos

By Mickey H. Osterreicher, Esq.

On May 20, 2004, New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) proposed a ban on photography and videotaping on buses and subways as a terrorism-prevention measure. The new policy, if approved, would make photography on the historic subway system punishable by a $25 fine and/or up to 10 days in prison. Journalists could get exemptions with New York City Police Department press credentials or permission, but there is no appeals process for anyone denied such permission.

In that same month the NPPA Advocacy Committee, which was created in November 2003 to promote awareness and timely responses to issues threatening news photographers, issued a statement opposing the measure. The NPPA was joined by the Society for Professional Journalists, The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the Radio-Television News Directors Association, and the New York Press Photographers Association.

On September 8, 2004, the NPPA, through its attorney Kurt Wimmer of Covington & Burling, submitted a legal brief to the MTA opposing the proposed ban. In that formal legal document, presented as part of the public comment period, NPPA stated that MTA’s proposed photography ban would "significantly hinder the press’s ability to report on newsworthy events that occur on NYCTA property." The ban itself is unconstitutional, NPPA argued, when reviewed against the requirements of the First Amendment. Part of the NPPA’s opposition was the rule’s alleged exception for photography by credentialed journalists. According to the New York City Police Department, the press credential application process "takes approximately 3 to 4 weeks" to complete, making that exception a moot point for anyone wishing to take a picture in the decisive moment.

Less than a week later the New York Daily News reported that "officials are backing off from plans for a total ban on photography in the subway system." While the MTA stated that "the measure was aimed at preventing terrorists from gathering information," some officials there believed that "a total ban may not be enforceable" and were "working on crafting a more limited restriction."

In late November, just when everyone thought it was safe to take his or her camera back into the subway, the MTA posted the subway ban in the rule changes register beginning the "official" comment period despite its earlier statement. That comment period will end on January 10, 2005. It is widely believed that the MTA chose the holiday season as a time when people had better things to do than post comments in opposition to such a ban.

"The First Amendment protects expression by all photographers, whether photojournalists or not," NPPA said in its statement. "Because the proposed rule severely restricts the right to take pictures on NYCTA property thereby infringing a photographer’s freedom of expression -- it violates the First Amendment."

"This is part of a disturbing trend by government entities which has led to increased harassment of photographers engaging in perfectly legal activity," said Alicia Wagner Calzada, NPPA vice president and Advocacy Committee chair. "Without real solutions, officials and police are turning to efforts that will limit free press and free expression, but have no real effect in the fight against terror."

For more information or to view the discussion list about the rule change, go to

Osterreicher, now a lawyer in Buffalo, NY, and an NPPA member since 1972, is a member of the Advocacy Committee. He’s been a photojournalist for more than 30 years, including at WKBW-TV7. He can be reached at [email protected]

UPDATE: Todd Maisel, the NPPA associate director for Region 2 and a staff photojournalist for the New York Daily News, wrote an Op/Ed article on the status of the proposed photography ban and its implications in the December 31, 2004, issue of the Daily News.


Photojournalism Icon Eddie Adams, 71, Dies Sunday From Lou Gehrig's Disease

NEW YORK, NY —EddieAdams, who won a Pulitzer prize for his 1968 image of the summary execution of a Vietcong guerrilla in a Saigon street, died Sunday morning September 19 at his Manhattan home and studio. He was 71. His family was with him when he died, said Jessica Stuart, a producer for The Eddie Adams Workshop, and funeral services will be private. Stuart also said that plans are being made for a memorial service late October; details for the memorial will be announced shortly.

Diagnosed in May with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease, Adams spent his final months collecting and organizing his photographs, sitting at a PowerBook in his studio writing, visiting at his Bathhouse Studio with friends and photojournalists who came to show their support, and making plans for the Eddie Adams "Barnstorm" annual workshop to continue after his death.

"The upcoming workshop will go on as planned, that's what Eddie wanted," Stuart said Monday. The Columbus Day-weekend event will be the 17th year for the popular seminar held at his farm near Jeffersonville in upstate New York.

"We have lost Eddie, and we have lost a good one," saidHalBuell, former photography director for the Associated Press and author of the bookMoments: Pulitzer Prize Winning Photographs. "He is remembered by most as the photographer who made that 'great photo that helped end the Vietnam War. ... You know, the one where a guy shoots another guy.' Well, he did make that picture, but Eddie Adams was no one-trick pony. He also had a great feel for the photographic narrative. Five of his pictures on a single subject told you more than five pictures' worth; the total was always greater than the sum of the parts.

"Eddie's main strength was that he had no agenda, no angle save that of doing first class photojournalism ... honest photojournalism, straightforward and to the point," Buell said, remembering the more than four decades that he and Adams worked together. "I first met Eddie when I returned from a stint of duty for AP in Asia. He was newly hired to work in the New York bureau. Eddie's talent was immediately obvious. He had a way of taking an idea an editor would suggest and building upon it, making it more than an idea or a suggestion. He made it a picture."

Born Edward T. Adams on June 12, 1933, in New Kensington, PA, he was a combat photographer in the Korean War while serving in the United States Marine Corps. Adams worked for the Associated Press twice: first from 1962 to 1972, and again from 1976 until 1980. He also shot forTIMEand forParademagazine, where his photographs made up more than 350 of their covers. He also shot the Parade magazine covers each year for theJerryLewisMuscular Dystrophy Association Telethon issue. This year, shortly before his death, he worked on a video profile of himself that was featured on the 24-hour Labor Day Telethon to raise money for MDA. ALS is one of the diseases the charity drive raises funds to fight.

Adams won the Pulitzer Prize for news photography in 1969 for his February 1, 1968, photograph titled "Saigon Execution." It showsNguyen Ngoc Loan, a South Vietnamese General, shooting a bound Vietcong prisoner at point-blank range in a Saigon street. Loan was the director of South Vietnam's national police at the time, during the Tet Offensive. After shooting the man, Loan told journalists that the killing was justified, because the prisoner was a known Vietcong captain who had been seen killing others.

Adams may have been best known for his Vietnam photograph, but his career spanned coverage of 13 wars, as well as international politics, show business, and fashion for newspapers, wire services, and magazines. His work was recognized with more than 500 honors, including the 1978RobertCapaAward and three George Polk Memorial Awards for war coverage.

In his biography, Adams says that he is most proud of his 1979 photograph "Boat of No Smiles," depicting 50 Vietnamese on a 30-foot fishing boat fleeing their homeland. "It was such a dire time for them, not even the children on board could find pleasure in a boat ride," he wrote. It was this photograph that ultimately led Congress and President Jimmy Carter to open immigration to more than 200,000 Vietnamese refugees, Adams said.

He started his photography career as a high school student in New Kensington shooting weddings for $20, his biography says, before joining the staff of the New Kensington Daily Dispatch. He also shot for the Enquirer & News in Battle Creek, MI, and the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. When Adams rejoined the Associated Press for the second time after freelancing forTIME, he was the first and only AP photographer to have the title "special correspondent." Later he had the same title with Parade magazine beginning in 1980.

Adams was especially proud of a photographic essay he created for Parade magazine in 1995, which he said contained "some of the most amazing, most beautiful children in America." One photograph of a 3-year-old girl with leukemia, shown clutching her security blanket, moved one woman so much that she started an organization, Project Linus, as a result.Karen Loucks'idea to provide security blankets made by volunteers to children seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need grew to more than 300 chapters of the nonprofit charity in the U.S. and abroad.

"Eddie was not an easy man, which led to my calling him Easy Ed, an affectionate name that lasted as we worked together, argued together, imbibed together (he was a poor imbiber), and agreed, most importantly, that nothing told a story like a good picture," Buell said. "He was hardest on himself; he was impossible with himself when a picture was missed or an opportunity unexplored to the ultimate limit. He was driven to fine photography and storytelling.

"Eddie's workshop was an idea and dream that became part of his ambition back further than most know. He always wanted to give back to the profession that gave him so much even in his early career. The success of the Workshop bears testimony to persistence and passion that he brought to every click of the shutter. So he called upon his friends and his contacts in the photo industry and the Eddie Adams Workshop became a reality for a generation and, we hope, for generations to come."

Adams is survived by his wife of 15 years, Alyssa Ann Adkins, and their son,August Everhett Adams, 14. He also has three adult children from a previous marriage:SusanAnnSinclairandEdward Adams II, both of Atlanta, andAmyMarieAdams, of Montclair, NJ. He's also survived by his 100-year-old mother, Adelaide Adams, and four sisters.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to a scholarship fund for the Eddie Adams Workshop. The Eddie Adams Scholarship Fund is in care of Jennifer Borg, North Jersey Media Group Foundation, 150 River Street, Hackensack, NJ, 07601.





NPPA Files Legal Brief Opposing Subway Photography Ban

DURHAM, NC  — The National Press Photographers Association, through its attorney Kurt Wimmer of Covington & Burling, has submitted a legal brief to the Metropolitan Transit Authority of New York opposing the proposed photography ban on the New York subway system. The NPPA was joined by the Society for Professional Journalists, The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, The Radio-Television New Directors Association, and the New York Press Photographers Association.

In recent days officials have backed off on the plan to totally ban photography on the transit system in order to review it more, saying that the measure may not be enforceable. Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials said the original ban was proposed at the request of police, who wanted to prevent terrorists from gathering information on the system.

The NPPA has opposed the rule change since it was first suggested in May. The legal brief filed on September 8 is a formal legal document specifically connected to the public comment period. The proposed changes would ban all photography by uncredentialed photojournalists and other unauthorized individuals on all NYCT property. NPPA told MTA that its "proposed photography ban will significantly hinder the press's ability to report on newsworthy events that occur on NYCTA property. And when reviewed against the requirements of the First Amendment, the ban itself is unconstitutional." A key component of the NPPA's opposition is the rule's alleged exception for photography by credentialed journalists. While this recognizes the issue, it does not solve the problem.

First, news photographers cannot predict when breaking news will occur and, when news does break, may be unable to obtain the necessary credentials or authorization. According to the New York City Police Department, the press credential application process "takes approximately 3 to 4 weeks" to complete.

Second, even with the exceptions, the proposed rule is a prior restraint on newsgathering because it creates the opportunity for an MTA official to deny permission to photograph if he or she disapproves of a story, a media outlet, or an individual photojournalist. There is no mechanism for appeal of such a denial.

The NPPA believes in the right to free expression for all photographers, not just journalists. The First Amendment protects expression by all photographers, whether photojournalists or not. Because the proposed rule severely restricts the right to take pictures on NYCTA property ­ thereby infringing a photographer's freedom of expression ­ it violates the First Amendment.

Ironically, two men were arrested last month for plotting to attack the New York subway system. According to The New York Times, they were found with drawings of the entrances and exits subway system. This emphasizes that preventing photography would have little or no impact on someone who is determined to cause harm.

The NPPA, SPJ, RTNDA, RCFP and NYPPA urge the Metropolitan Transit Authority to reject the proposed photography ban. We again encourage our members and all interested members of the public to submit their comments to the MTA.

The full NPPA brief can be read as a .PDF file.

Contact NPPA vice president and Advocacy Committee chair Alicia Wagner-Calzada at [email protected] for more information.



Vilia C. "Vi" Edom, 96

PORTSMOUTH, VA — Vilia C. Edom, 96, died on September 9 following a fall that took place on July 19, her daughter, Dr. Vme Edom Smith, announced today.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, September 15, at 1 p.m. at Snellings Funeral Home, Churchland Chapel, 5815 West High Street, Portsmouth, VA. Burial will be at Snapp Cemetery in Forsyth, MO.

Along with her husband, Clifton C. Edom, who at the time was head of the Photojournalism Department at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Vilia Edom co-founded the internationally known Missouri Photo Workshop as well as the Pictures of the Year contest. She was also his assistant and co-author on several of his books on photojournalism, Smith said.

Vilia Edom was assistant manager of the Missouri Press Association in Columbia, MO, for more than 30 years. She received the University of Missouri School of Journalism Gold Medal Award, and the Photographic Society of America's International Understanding Through Photography Award. She was an honorary life member of the National Press Photographers Association as well as the Missouri Press Women. She was inducted into the Missouri Press Association's Hall of Fame, and was the honorary director of the Clifton C. Edom "Truth With A Camera" workshop held annually in Norfolk, VA.

She is survived by her daughter, Dr. Vme Edom Smith of Chesapeake, VA; granddaughter Teri Smith Freas, of Panorama City, CA; grandson Tony Smith of Oakland, CA; two great-granddaughters, Tessa Freas and Sarah Freas, of Panorama City, CA; and a brother, Carol Patefield, of Briggsville, WI.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Edom Foundation for Photojournalism Education, c/o Stephen Colvin, Suite 200 - I, 125 South Wilke Road, Arlington Heights, IL, 60005.

Vme Smith can be reached at [email protected].


Larry Nighswander Resigns From OU

Ohio University announced yesterday that professor Larry Nighswander has resigned his position as requested by the school, but that the resignation doesn't take effect until March 31, 2005. According to OU's official statement, Nighswander remains on their payroll conducting "assigned employment" from a location "off campus" for the duration of the agreement.

[Resigns: Ohio University today announced the resignation of VisCom professor Larry Nighswander.

Earlier this year OU asked Nighswander to resign or face a de-tenuring process that would end in dismissal after a former student, Rebecca Humes, filed a $3 million federal sexual harassment lawsuit last year against Nighswander and the school. In the suit, filed April 24, 2003, Humes alleges that Nighswander sexually harassed her during a photo session in which she posed topless for him, and that she did not realize beforehand that the session would involve nudity.

In the university's brief three-paragraph statement, OU Media Specialist Jack Jeffery said, "Professor Larry Nighswander has resigned his position as a tenured faculty member of the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University effective March 31, 2005. The termination of the relationship is the result of an agreement in which the university accepts the resignation rather than initiating a de-tenuring process as prescribed by the Faculty Handbook Section II, D:5, Loss of Tenure, which usually takes between six and nine months to complete."

According to the resignation agreement between OU and Nighswander, which is a document called "Final Employment Agreement and Release of All Claims," Nighswander will continue to receive his annual salary of $92,667 until March, and will get a one-time payment the equivalent of his annual salary now in return for resigning. Other terms of the agreement allow him to continue to use his OU email address even though he will not have an office on campus, and "all work assignments given to him until March 31 2005 will be completed off campus." During this period he also gets any sick leave or vacation time due to him, and OU continues his health insurance. The agreement also says, "The resignation date of March 31 2005 is conditioned on Mr. Nighswander not having other full time employment." The document is a matter of public record under Ohio law and a copy of it was obtained yesterday byNews Photographer.

After OU announced the resignation on Thursday, Nighswander emailed a statement toNews Photographermagazine that said, in part, "I have decided to end my relationship with Ohio University. I have made this decision reluctantly. I am very proud of the positive changes made during my tenure as director of the School of Visual Communication." In the statement he also wrote, "I will miss the classroom, but not the politics of academic administration. My numerous disagreements with the Ohio University Office of Legal Affairs and philosophical differences and communication problems with certain university administrators make it no longer possible for me to be effective as a faculty member at Ohio University."

OU's official announcement Thursday said: "During the period of Professor Nighswander's continued assigned employment at Ohio University, he will not maintain an office on campus and his work assignments will be completed off campus consistent with his leave during the previous academic year of 2003-2004. Compensation will be consistent with a partial academic year contract ending March 31, 2005 and conditional upon his not having other full-time employment. Professor Nighswander will receive one year's compensation in a lump sum amount equivalent to one year's salary which would have been due him had the de-tenuring process been completed in accordance with the Ohio University Faculty Handbook."

Nighswander also wrote in his post-resignation statement, "As part of the settlement agreement I have agreed not to sue the university or its personnel for age discrimination, computer data theft, invasion of privacy, defamation of character, violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act, spoilage of evidence, and internal complaints of failure to follow due process. To release the University of any responsibility for negligence or intentional misconduct in this matter is a painful decision, but the legal cost of pursuing legal relief is a tremendous financial burden that is beyond my personal resources; I also don't want to see the School of Visual Communication suffer any further from the negative publicity associated with this dispute. I place my pride in the School of Visual Communication above any concern that I have over damage to my own reputation."

OU's announcement of the agreement ended with, "In accordance with the terms of the agreement, this release will represent Ohio University's only statement regarding Professor Nighswander's resignation."

In his written statement toNews Photographer, Nighswander also said "I continue to withhold comment on the pending federal litigation out of respect for the legal process and respect for the right of privacy of those involved. Others involved in the lawsuit have chosen to comment and release sealed false allegations in total disregard of a standing Federal Court Protective Order prohibiting release of information. This total disregard for the legal process by those involved is both discouraging and frustrating."

"I continue to assert that the claims in the pending lawsuit are baseless. The inability to publicly defend oneself in light of vicious personal attacks is demoralizing beyond belief," he wrote. "I have had a wonderful relationship with my students and have been delighted to be invited to and attend several of their weddings. I am proud of all of them and their accomplishments."

"During the horrible ordeal of false accusations I have received a consistent flow of emails offering support from former students, friends and colleagues. I have even received emails from students from other universities that had met me while they were students or during their careers. They offered heartfelt testimonials to the impact I had on their careers. There is no way for me to ever express my gratitude to all of those who took the time to write and call; to them I say, 'You are why I chose to teach,'" Nighswander wrote. His statement ends with, "Consistent with the agreement with Ohio University, I will have no further comment about this matter."

Formerly the director of the nationally-ranked School of Visual Communication (VisCom), Nighswander was relieved of his administrative duties by the School of Communication's Dean Kathy Krendl on May 5, 2003, after he and the university were named in the lawsuit. Krendl appointed Terry Eiler as the interim director replacing Nighswander, and on September 1, 2003, Eiler was named VisCom's permanent director. In the meantime, Nighswander has been on a leave of absence for one year, a period that ended June 15 2004. As the end of the leave approached the school requested his resignation.

Negotiations over the resignation have been going on for several weeks, sources at the college said, and the school had expected to make an announcement about it earlier than this. An OU staff member said Nighswander met with his lawyer in Columbus, OH, in July about the resignation and its announcement. The resignation announcement came from the university several weeks after that meeting. In June, OU director of legal affairs John F. Burns said that if Nighswander refused to resign the university would begin proceedings to de-tenure and dismiss him. Nighswander had already been told that OU would not pay his legal bills or other costs associated with the federal suit.

In mid-July Dr. Vme Edom Smith, director of the annual Clifton C. Edom Truth With A Camera Workshop, toldNews Photographerthat Larry and Marcy Nighswander both withdrew as faculty members from this year's August workshop in Norfolk, VA. (Marcy Nighswander is also an OU VisCom professor. A Pulitzer Prize-winner, she was formerly a staff photojournalist in the Washington bureau of theAssociated Pressand a photographer forThe Cincinnati PostandThe Beacon Journal.)

In May, two OU students and one former student who were being sought as potential witnesses in the lawsuit requested court protection to keep their identities secret. One of Nighswander's former students wrote a letter to Federal Magistrate Judge Terence Kemp of the U.S. District Court in Columbus, OH, asking him to remove her name from the witness list entirely. In the letter, she told the judge that listing her as a potential witness was "an invasion of [her] privacy" and that being associated with the case may subject her to humiliation at her workplace and harm her career.

An order issued by Kemp has kept the students' names confidential so far. It has been more than a year since Humes, a former student in Nighswander's department, filed a $3 million federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Southern Office, in Columbus, alleging that Nighswander sexually harassed her during a photo session. According to the suit filed April 24, 2003, Humes posed topless for Nighswander but she alleges that she did not realize beforehand that the session would involve nudity. In the suit she claims that during the session Nighswander violated her rights by making sexual remarks and inappropriately touching her as she posed topless in Putnam Hall on the OU campus in Athens in September, 2002.

As the suit progressed, lawyers for both sides sought other students or former students who may have also made harassment complaints against Nighswander. In December, Judge Kemp ruled that medical and psychological records, as well as the topless photos taken of Humes by Nighswander, were to be kept from public viewing and from the media -- although the material would still be available to both parties in the lawsuit. The protective order on the records and photos was in response to a discovery request by Nighswander's lawyer. The judge also ruled that any other photos of other students taken by Nighswander would also be kept from public view.

Nighswander's last comments toNews Photographer, before today's written statement, came in June 2003 when he said in a telephone interview, "I am vehemently denying all the charges made against me." After the suit was filed and he was relieved of the director's role, he continued as a professor teaching classes at OU for the remainder of the spring quarter. But since that time he has been on leave of absence. In the application for the leave, Nighswander told the university that the time away from teaching would be used to write a photo-editing book.

In the public version of the lawsuit's records, the court has blacked out some of the lines of text in the former student's letter to Judge Kemp. Because of the censorship the full contents of the letter are not known beyond the bench. In a section of the letter that can be read, the former student says that she does not "want to be placed in a position of supporting or detracting from various colleagues, nor do I wish for my interactions with Mr. Nighswander to become public knowledge at my place of employment that has traditionally been an 'old boys club.'"

She also wrote to the judge that publicizing her experiences with Nighswander "will cause me undue humiliation and possible adverse consequences for my advancement." In the sections of the letter that are not blacked out, the woman does not make it clear whether she is alleging that Nighswander ever sexually harassed her.

In his initial response to the federal suit, Nighswander denied that he sexually harassed Humes and said that her involvement in the photo session was voluntary. He acknowledged that the photo session took place and he also said that he had previously used other OU students in nude and seminude modeling sessions.

Humes filed the federal suit against both OU and Nighswander after OU investigated her complaint and concluded that there was, according to a university statement made at the time, "not enough evidence" to support the claim. That conclusion led to OU dismissing Humes' charge. In the federal suit Humes also alleges that OU ignored a pattern of student complaints against Nighswander.

Nighswander's post-resignation statement to News Photographer can be read in its entirety here.






150 photographers seek answers at NYPD meeting for RNC

By Todd Maisel

(NEW YORK, 1 POLICE PLAZA) — Photographers will have maximum access to demonstrators and incidents in New York City during the Republican National Convention vowed Paul Browne, Deputy Commissioner for Public Information for the NYPD. He promised media representatives at the August 12 joint meeting of the National Press Photographers and New York Press Photographers that his office will be available 24 hours a day to intercede with police and photographers to maintain freedom of the press. Commissioner Brown also promised the nearly 150 photographers from throughout the country that police will respect all out-of-town media credentials, as long as they have photo identification and the credentials are not expired. This also applies to foreign press, though some may need temporary credentials issued if theirs are not in English and recognizable to members of the NYPD. Others could request assistance from the NYPD if they believe their credentials might be a problem.

NYPD representatives from Browne's office will be available at various sites to assist photographers who have problems with police. A command post will be established for media to talk with police officials at West 31st Street just west of 8th Avenue, to be staffed 24 hours a day. Police Plaza is already staffed for media requests 24 hours a day for in-person or call-in assistance at 646-610-6700. In addition, Browne said police will have a command center with Secret Service at the Republican National Convention inside Madison Square Garden for the duration of the convention. This site is accessible only to those with RNC credentials issued by the Senate Press Gallery. Also, a space and a riser will be constructed in front of 5 Penn Plaza on Eighth Avenue that will serve as the main site for press briefings by NYPD and other government officials.

To inform the media of events and updates, the NYPD will put any media members on an eMail list. Any members of the media who want to be on the mass eMail list may send inquiries to [email protected] Browne, who spent half his career as a reporter at the New York Daily News, said the eMail listing will make available a constant stream of information on demonstrations, daily events, and incidents involving arrests at various planned and unplanned sites around the city.

"This is an important tool to know what is going on, not only at the convention itself, but other events around the city and even at the US Open," Browne said. "It does no good for us to sit on info and this way we make it as relevant as possible. If there are arrests for disorderly conduct, we should try to answer what did 'discon' mean here - did someone block traffic or something else like smash windows at Starbucks? If we know there are 20 people at Wall Street, we will put out an advisory."

Press and treatment at public incidents

Police officials vowed to provide as much access to incidents as possible, though photographers are advised to give as much space to police to do their job as possible. Photographers wearing any type of riot gear, including helmets, are advised to make sure they are marked with clear "press" identifiers so as not to be confused with some of the anarchists who may be wearing helmets to demonstrations. He also said police "do not use tear gas" and so gas masks are not necessary, though pepper spray is sometimes used with large unruly crowds.

Chief Michael Collins of DCPI said police are also being told not to obstruct photographers from taking photos.

The NYPD Patrol Guide, code 116-53, clearly affirms the First Amendment of the Constitution as it states:

Members of the service will not interfere with the video taping or photographing of incidents in public places. Intentional interference such as blocking or obstructing cameras or harassing the photographer constitutes censorship. Working Press Cards clearly state, the bearer "is entitled to cross police and fire lines." This right will be honored and access will not be denied. However, this does not include access to interior crime scenes or areas frozen for security reasons.

"My best advice is if there is a problem situation, don't get too close, especially if there is pushing and shoving," Chief Collins said. "Most people have problems when everyone is too close and then there are sometimes media arrests, mostly inadvertent, and sometimes cameras break when people get too close," Collins said. "Let us know if something is going on, and we will run out and try to mediate a situation so that access is maintained."

He further advised media not to argue with officers and to call DCPI for assistance. "It doesn't help if you call and there is screaming going on. Cops won't come to the phone to talk to us, but we will come down as quickly as we can," Collins said. "Sometimes we can get on the radio and talk to on-scene commanders and try to mediate a solution so that access to an incident is maintained."

Some photographers wanted to know what is meant by "respectful proximity" when an arrest is occurring. "At what point does it become unfair access?" one shooter asked.

Chief Collins said some hardcore anarchists will get arrested, but police will work with "arrest teams in a disciplined fashion."

"We will have spotters who will look within a peaceful crowd to see who is throwing a brick, bottle, or anything else and then the arrest team will go in like a wedge and handcuff the person," Chief Collins said. "If you are not trying to penetrate the police, you should have no problem. If an officer stands in the way, you must take his advice and move back. Don't argue with an officer during an arrest. Look for a sergeant or anyone in a white shirt for assistance. But do try to call us too. Try to use common sense - keep a distance of 10-15 feet, but understand, things are happening quickly and maybe you might get handcuffed, but if I could get there, I can 'unarrest' you."

Some of the larger demonstrations may have thousands of people, whereas the largest protest in Boston at the DNC may have had about 300 people. Police say organizers expect the United for Peace and Justice Rally to attract 200,000 people, beginning on August 29. This rally and march will begin organizing on Ninth Avenue to Fifth Avenue between 15-22nd Streets, will proceed north on Seventh Avenue to 34th Street, and then move to the West Side Highway and downtown to Chambers Street, near Pier 26. Officials are currently seeking overhead views from buildings, but they emphasized that areas around Madison Square Garden will be tough because of Secret Service counter-sniper teams that will be on rooftops and in buildings. A possible overhead location, with building owner cooperation, may be found before the protest, police say. Some portions of this demonstration may splinter off in different directions from the main march, police believe.

Officials say a stage may be erected on 31st Street to accommodate a rally there too.

Access around RNC

Anyone seeking to enter the RNC, including the Farley Post Office, must have RNC credentials. Areas around the Garden however will be open to all members of the media with photo ID press credentials. Press will enter the garden via the Farley Post Office and then cross the specially-created bridge, built just for media personnel so that additional magnetometers are not necessary for security screening.

[Figure C: Diagram of inner and outer security perimeters around Madison Square Garden, including both fixed and mobile checkpoints.

Vehicle access will be restricted to those who have the proper credentials to enter the immediate site around the Garden. There are eight so-called "sally points" which are mobile checkpoints manned by police. A steel barrier is raised or lowered to allow a vehicle in, and then, once it is inside the checkpoint, the barrier that it entered raises and another barrier is raised as the vehicle is checked with special cameras and detectors. Limos, delegate buses, and vehicles making deliveries will mostly enter and leave the sites. About 10,000 police officers will be deployed in and around the RNC site for security and checkpoints.

Browne said all working press will be able to access the immediate area around the Garden with photo ID. There will be checkpoints at various locations around the Garden where there will be one or more ID checks.

Terror in the city?

Members of the media are advised to leave any area that is attacked by terrorists because of the possibility of chemical, biological, or radiological weapons. Photographers should listen carefully to emergency responders in the event of an attack and to "self-evacuate," Collins said. "You shouldn't necessarily rely on emergency people to come to your aid if you can help yourself." Police expressed confidence in their ability to prevent an attack with numerous types of detection equipment at their disposal.

Photography restrictions?

Police officials emphasized that there are no photography restrictions on members of the media in any area under their jurisdiction. Some shooters have been prevented from taking photos in the subway, but there are no laws on the books that prevent photographers from taking photos at this point. In fact, it is legal for civilians to take photos on subways.

(The MTA is attempting to pass a law preventing non-media members from taking photos in the subways and stations. It is opposed by the NPPA.) Officials say anyone taking photos of sensitive sites on mass transit -- i.e., train tunnels, surveillance equipment, power supplies, etc .-- could expect to be questioned by police. However, Browne said NYPD policy is to facilitate photography.

There are laws against taking photos at Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority bridges and tunnels. Those taking photos at checkpoints should approach personnel at the site, state their purpose, and show identification. In most cases, photos will be permitted so long as they are not of the entrances to the tunnels or bridges.

Those seeking to take more photos of any of the structures can call TBTA spokesman Frank Pasquale at 646-252-7417. Pasquale has a history of being very cooperative and accommodating for legitimate media. Photography at Port Authority bridges and tunnels will attract the attention of police at those facilities, so be ready to answer questions and produce identification for authorities.

Those having problems with private security or other agencies in the city may call DCPI for assistance as NYPD considers photography in the city their jurisdiction. Problems have also been encountered from National Guardsmen augmenting security. Most are told not to prevent photographers from doing their jobs, but some have interfered in media operations - threatening some press with arrest. DCPI can assist with any problems in these cases too. NYPPA and NPPA leaders say outreach will be done with Department of Defense officials on these matters. Officials advise no matter what police or others try to do to prevent photography, "Don't argue with them." Instead, contact DCPI at 646-610-6700.

Schedules for convention

The following is a schedule for the week of the convention provided by the NYPD. It does not include inside RNC events. These are subject to change. Locations will be announced.

Saturday. August 28

  • Christian Defense Coalition, midnight, Saturday into Sunday, 31st Street and 7th Ave.
  • Planned Parenthood, 11 a.m. 31st Street and 7th
  • Green Party rally, noon (12 p.m.) 31st St. and 7th
  • Mets at home, 1 p.m.
  • Latin Music Fest TBA
  • Middle East Peace Coalition, 3 p.m. 31st and 7th
  • RNC Media Party, 8 p.m.

Sunday, August 29

  • Manhattan Half Marathon, 7 a.m. Central Park
  • Code Pink Women for Peace, 8 a.m. 31st and 7th
  • United for Peace and Justice, 10 a.m. Lower Manhattan 14th Street, 15-22nd Street (see description)
  • Mets home game, 1 p.m.
  • Christian Defense Coalition, 2 p.m. 31st Street and 7th
  • Delegates Broadway shows, 4 p.m.

Monday August 30

  • RNC opening, 10 a.m.
  • US Open Tennis, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • NYC AIDS Housing Network and Hip-Hop Summit action at noon, from Union Square Park, up Eighth into demo area which is all of Eighth Avenue and as much as needed 31st Street south
  • Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights, 1 p.m. 31st and 7th
  • Mets, 7 p.m.

(While the RNC is in session, Seventh and Eighth Avenues will be locked down, with vehicle and pedestrian diversions. Heading south on Seventh Avenue, diversions will be at 42nd Street. Diversions will occur one hour before the convention begins, for a total of 13 hours all week. For a maximum of 18-20 hours, areas from 42nd to 23rd will be closed to traffic on Seventh and Eighth; at least 1-3 lanes will be open at other times.)

Tuesday, August 31

  • US Open Tennis, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Yankees home, 1 p.m.
  • NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action), 8 p.m. 31st and 7th Ave.
  • Postal Unions protest, 2 p.m. 31st and 7th
  • People for the Americans, 5:30 p.m. Central Park

Wednesday, September 1

  • Anti-gun display, 6 a.m. Union Square Park
  • The line, 8 a.m. employment line (There will also be a group who will be creating an unemployment line from the Garden up Broadway, with each demonstrator holding a pink slip. No permit was needed for this.)
  • US Open Tennis, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Mets, 7 p.m.
  • Yankees, 7 p.m.
  • Central Labor Council, 4 p.m. 31st and 7th
  • National Organization of Women, 7 p.m. Central Park
  • NYC Host Committee concert, 7 p.m. Central Park
  • RNC starts at 8 p.m.

Thursday, September 2

  • US Open, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • A major demonstration(s) is expected, though none are scheduled with permits issued
  • Mets, 1 p.m.
  • Yankees, 7 p.m.
  • RNC in session 8 p.m.

Friday, September 3

  • US Open, 11 a.m.
  • Delegates, candidates leave city


Most news organizations will have T-1 lines inside the Garden and those with RNC credentials will be able to gain access to the Farley Post Office. There are numerous Starbucks, Kinkos, and T-Mobile stores that offer T-Mobile WiFi access throughout the city. Also, Verizon WiFi currently works throughout the city and sites are available on the Verizon Web site on the Internet.

(Compiled and written by Todd Maisel. Maisel is a member of the photography staff of the New York Daily News. He was chair of this meeting, serves as secretary of the New York Press Photographers Association, and is a member of National Press Photographers Association.)


Cartier-Bresson's Impact On Photojournalism

By Claude Cookman

Editor's note: Claude Cookman, an associate professor of Journalism at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, is the author of one of the essays in Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Man, the Image and the World: A Retrospective (Thames & Hudson, 2003). The catalogue was published as part of the Cartier-Bresson retrospective at the opening of the photographer's Foundation in Paris last year. Cookman, an acclaimed photographic historian, was the winner of the NPPA's Robin F. Garland Educator Award in 1999.

The death of Henri Cartier-Bresson reminds us of the huge debt we photojournalists owe to this French giant who stopped actively photographing more than 30 years ago.

His phrase, "the decisive moment," is probably the first association for most. Capturing the climactic instant, whether peak sports action or subtle emotional interaction, has become the gold standard for photojournalists. But history and Cartier-Bresson's own words enrich our understanding of this packed term.

Capturing action was difficult and rare with old view cameras mounted on tripods and bulky hand-held press cameras such as the Graflex. That changed when the 35mm Leica appeared in Germany in the mid 1920s. Beginning in the early 1930s with a series of photographs remarkable for their revelatory content and pristine composition, Cartier-Bresson showed the world the Leica's potential to achieve spontaneity. That remains his greatest legacy to photography's trajectory.

The decisive moment is most closely associated with his signature photograph taken in 1932 behind a railroad terminal in Paris. It freezes a leaping man a millisecond before his foot splashes down in a huge puddle. For Cartier-Bresson, the decisive moment meant more that just stopping action. Trained as a painter in the classical French tradition and captivated by the recent revival of the theory of the golden proportion, he insisted that geometric composition was vital. Such composition can be seen in the 1932 photo, with its repetition of forms and placement of focal point. In the preface to his 1952 book The Decisive Moment -- which should be required reading for all photojournalists -- Cartier-Bresson defined his aesthetic is "the simultaneous recognition in a fraction of a second of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms."

What is likely to be forgotten is that Cartier-Bresson's use of the Leica showed modern photojournalism a new ethic. Because large-format cameras used holders with only two sheets of film, earlier photojournalists commonly staged their pictures. In contrast, Cartier-Bresson practiced unobtrusiveness as the route to capturing unposed photographs. This allowed him to respect his subjects while also obtaining natural, revealing images. His unobtrusive approach allowed him to take and keep photographs of the assassinated Mohandas Gandhi, lying in state in January 1948. (The Life photographer Margaret Bourke-White, who photographed Gandhi with a large camera and flash, had her film confiscated by the Mahatma's devotees who considered her actions disrespectful.) Cartier-Bresson articulated his ethic and the unobtrusive approach that now goes by the term "a fly on the wall" in The Decisive Moment preface: "We are bound to arrive as intruders," he wrote. "It is essential, therefore, to approach the subject on tiptoe.... It's no good jostling or elbowing." As part of his unobtrusiveness, he rejected artificial lighting. "And no photographs taken with the aid of flashlight either, if only out of respect for the actual light.... Unless a photographer observes such conditions as these, he may become an intolerably aggressive character."

Humanism, another element of his ethic, also infuses contemporary photojournalism. With few exceptions, Cartier-Bresson photographed people. They are seen with warmth, curiosity, empathy, and occasionally humor. It is no accident that of the 502 images that Edward Steichen chose for his Family of Man exhibition, 10 were by Cartier-Bresson. He spoke often of how photography required the alignment of not just the head and hand, but also the heart. His humanism extended beyond respecting his subjects, to serving an audience. Writing in 1952 at the height of anxiety about the nuclear arms race, he characterized his role as supplying photographs to "a world weighted down with preoccupations," one full of people "needing the companionship of images." A few years later, he told an interviewer: "The important thing about our relations with the press is that it provides us with the possibility of being in close contact with life's events. What is most satisfying for a photographer is not recognition, success, and so forth. It's communication: what you say can mean something to other people, can be of a certain importance."

His humanism aligned with a social conscience. During his formative years in the 1920s and 1930s, he saw the effects of the worldwide depression and the rise of Hitler's Nazism. As a young journalist, he felt compelled to witness these problems with his camera. Explaining his change from painting to photography, he told an interviewer: "The adventurer in me felt obliged to testify with a quicker instrument than a brush to the scars of the world." He was engaged in leftist politics during the 1930s and active in the Green Party in his later years. Running throughout his work are numerous images that expose the contradictions of capitalism, such as a homeless couple bedding down for the night in front of a store window with a large IBM logo.

As with many great figures, Cartier-Bresson's life and work are enveloped in myth. For the record, on occasion he did use flash, he did crop his pictures, and he did allow himself to be photographed -- although only by his wife, the photographer Martine Franck, and his colleagues at Magnum Photos, the agency which he cofounded with Robert Capa and others in 1947.

The most important misconception about his work, however, is that he is a single-image photographer. In numerous books and exhibitions, his work is shown as an aggregation of discrete photographs, seemingly unrelated to each other. In contrast, his contact sheets at Magnum's Paris Bureau demonstrate that most of the great images resulted from extended picture stories that he shot for magazines such as Harper's BazaarLifeLookHolidayParis MatchDu, and Epoca.

These reportages fall into three major categories. He photographed news events such as the liberation of Paris, the funeral of Gandhi, the fall of Beijing, and the 1968 student rebellion in Paris. In the early 1960s he photographed and wrote texts for a series of 16 portraiture stories for a London magazine, The Queen. Published under the running title "A Touch of Greatness," the stories profiled such notables as Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Miller, Robert Kennedy, and Julie Harris. His largest body of work might be characterized as ethnography. From country to country, he systematically sought out and photographed the same human activities and institutions: the marketplace; the church, synagogue or mosque; the parks where children played and adults relaxed; kindergartens and universities; concerts, plays, weddings, funerals, and people at work, from peasant farmers to computer engineers. His 1954 report on the people of Russia is arguably his greatest essay in this genre, but he also worked the streets of China, Cuba, India, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Turkey, most European countries, and the United States.

As the art world has claimed Cartier-Bresson, exhibiting his work in the world's most prestigious museums and publishing it in art-book formats, it is important to remember that Cartier-Bresson was a magazine photojournalist. Most of his great images would never have been taken without assignments from the picture magazines.

In the mid 1970s, for a variety of complex reasons he disavowed photojournalism and photography, returning to his first love of drawing. But his contact sheets, captions, story manuscripts, published writings, and interviews all demonstrate that during his active career from the 1930s through the 1960s, he thought and worked in the European tradition of magazine photojournalism.

He said it best in an interview: "People often say that I have been in the right place at the right time. What they really mean is that I follow the newspapers, in order to get a sense of what is happening in the world." In his 1955 book The Europeans, Cartier-Bresson characterized the role of the photographic reporter by saying, "I was there and this is how life appeared to me at that moment." Taken together, these two statements plus his archives at Magnum encompass the essence of photojournalism: Anticipating a significant event, he got himself into position, photographed with thoroughness, edited his film, added text and captions, and then, through the picture magazines, communicated what he witnessed to a mass audience.

Claude Cookman can be reached at [email protected].


Maysville, KY, Chief Photographer Seriously Injured In Wisconsin Crash

EAU CLAIRE, WI.—Ledger Independent Chief Photographer Bob Warner was seriously injured in a single vehicle accident early Saturday morning in central Wisconsin. Warner and his wife Julia and son Jim were driving to Seattle to spend time with son Michael Smith who is in the Navy.

The accident happened at about 6:50 a.m. on I-94 in Eau Claire, WI, after Julia, who was driving, apparently fell asleep at the wheel. She said she doesn't remember what happened, but surmises she nodded off.

Bob Warner was thrown from the front passenger seat to the back seat and sustained a fracture to his spine.

Julia said she does not remember taking off her seat belt, but thought she must have because her face received lacerations from the windshield. She was taken to Marshfield Hospital where she was treated and released.

Their son, Jim Warner, who is confined to a wheelchair, received a hairline fracture to his knee and several bruises and cuts to his face, his mother said. Jim's wheelchair is normally locked into its spot in the handicap friendly van, but he was asleep in the third row of seats when the accident occurred.

A Wisconsin State Police District 6 spokeswoman said the vehicle crossed the median then began to roll. Bob Warner's injuries required he be transferred to Hennepen County Hospital in Minneapolis, MN, where he underwent surgery for possible injuries to his pancreas.

His abdomen is okay, doctors said, but the more serious injury to his back will likely leave him paralyzed.

"That's their gut instinct," Julia said Sunday. "The CT scan was inconclusive." Julia said she and Bob had stopped and taken a walk to revive themselves only 20 minutes prior to the accident.

By Sunday afternoon the couple's other son, Ryan Smith, and his wife Regina, had made it to Wisconsin to St. Joseph Hospital where Jim Warner was a patient. He has been released and the trio were on the way to Minneapolis when we spoke to Julia at about 4 p.m. Sunday.

Bob Warner has no feeling in his lower extremities and will be fitted with a metal halo to keep his spine stable, his wife said. He may soon be transferred to University of Cincinnati Medical Center where there is a specialized spinal injury clinic, Julia said. The van they were driving was totaled, but an emergency room nurse took her private vehicle to the impound lot and got the family's belongings, Julia said.

Jim's aid dog, Jasper, was found walking the highway about three hours after the accident with a cut on his head. He is currently kenneled at a veterinarian's office.

"The family is all right for now, but may need financial help in the near future," Betty Coutant reports. " Julia said the family will take it one day at a time for now. 'We've got a long way to go.'"

Anyone wishing to help the Warner family may contact the newsroom at +1.606.564.9091, oremail Betty Coutant [email protected]


San Francisco Bay Area Media, EMS, Police, Fire Workers To Meet

Journalists and San Francisco Bay Area police, fire, and medical first-responders will meet Thursday, August 19, in an unprecedented community event designed to bring members of the media and EMS professional together to discuss their job responsibilities and goals, and what they have in common and where they might clash in the course of doing their jobs.

The event is sponsored by The National Press Photographers Association, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. The session is open to all working journalists, police, fire and paramedic/EMT professionals in the Bay Area.

"They are the 'first-responders,' the photographers, reporters, editors, police, firefighters, and EMTs who are first on the scene of tragedy and disaster," NPPA past president David Handschuh says. "Each has a job to do amid the chaos and trauma: secure the area, help the victims, write the story, capture the images. Many times these jobs and priorities conflict, creating more stress in a stressful situation. And hidden behind the headlines and photographs are the affects on the first-responders, who are forced to face horrific situations as part of their job. How can we leverage this common experience to overcome the inevitable clash of professionals with different goals and responsibilities?"

The event is this Thursday, August 19, at 6:45 p.m. at the Radisson Miyako Hotel, 1625 Post Street, San Francisco CA, 94115, in the Sakura meeting room. Parking is available at the Japan Center Garage, 1600 Geary Street (entrances on both Geary and Post).