Category Archives: Agencies

Safeguarding Truth in Photojournalism

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    This article was published in Ochre Magazine August 13, 2014. A Survival guide to protecting your images.

    It wasn’t the war in Gaza, the bloodstained entrance of an orphanage or starving children in Angola. Not mourning widows in Bangladesh, or infant female circumcision in Guinea-Bissau. It was the strain of an endlessly multiplying tweet. Someone had taken one of her photos from the Internet and made it the face of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. After nearly 20 years of award-winning reporting in over 80 countries, Ami Vitale came to the brink of leaving photojournalism over a tweet.

    This is not the story of a misappropriated image gone viral. This is the story of what happened next.

    When a photo is published on the web, it falls into nimble, anonymous hands that upload and share millions of images each day. Context becomes a casualty. Its loss threatens photographers’ reputations, may endanger their subjects, and chips away at journalistic credibility. If a photojournalist’s responsibility is authenticity, her challenge is control.

    James Estrin opened this conversation in “The Real Story About the Wrong Photos in #BringBackOurGirls” on The New York Times’ Lens Blog May 8, shortly after the offending tweet metastasized. Three

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Bill Gates v. Photojournalists

Consortiumnews has an interesting post about the history of Bill Gates and the Sygma Agency

By Don North

When Microsoft founder Bill Gates bought the once-mighty French photo agency Sygma in 1999, there was hope that his vast financial resources and renowned business skills could rescue not only Sygma but the profession of photojournalism.

Photojournalists still had the hunger to capture on film the stark realities of war, but this dangerous task was increasingly compensated at shockingly low rates for the intrepid photographers whose skills at working a camera must be matched by their personal bravery.

Just last April, two more top combat photographers joined the ranks of those who died for their work. Tim Heatherington, 40, an Academy Award nominee for his Afghan film “Restrepo,” and Chris Hondos, 41, of Getty Images were killed in Libya while traveling with advancing rebel forces in the city of Misrata. They died in a hail of mortar fire.

Yet, for taking these risks – and giving the world a close-up look at the triumphs and tragedies of recent history – many photojournalists get paid barely enough to get by. One veteran French photojournalist recently reported earning 70 Euros (about $100) for …

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