National Press Photographers Association
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The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) was founded in 1947. The organization is based in Durham, North Carolina and is mostly made up of still photographers, television videographers, editors, and students in the journalism field. The NPPA places emphasis on photojournalism, or journalism that presents a story through the use of photographs or moving pictures. The NPPA holds annual competitions as well as several quarterly contests, seminars, and workshops designed to stimulate personal growth in its members. It utilizes a mentor program which offers its members the opportunity to establish a relationship with a veteran NPPA member and learn from them. The organization also offers a critique service, a job bank, an online discussion board, and various member benefits.
The National Press Photographers Association is dedicated to the advancement of photojournalism, its creation, editing and distribution, in all news media. NPPA encourages photojournalists to reflect high standards of quality in their professional performance and in their personal code of ethics. NPPA vigorously promotes freedom of the press in all its forms. To this end, NPPA provides continuing educational programs and fraternalism without bias, as we support and acknowledge the best the profession has to offer.
Their members include still and television photographers, editors, students and representatives of businesses that serve the photojournalism industry. As of 2003[update], NPPA had over 8,000 paid professional members, about 1,500 paid student members, and nearly 500 life members—bringing the total membership to just over 10,000.
Code of Ethics
Members of NPPA abide by a strict code of ethics:
The National Press Photographers Association, a professional society that promotes the highest standards in photojournalism, acknowledges concern for every person's need both to be fully informed about public events and to be recognized as part of the world in which we live.
Photojournalists operate as trustees of the public. Our primary role is to report visually on the significant events and on the varied viewpoints in our common world. Our primary goal is the faithful and comprehensive depiction of the subject at hand. As photojournalists, we have the responsibility to document society and to preserve its history through images.
Photographic and video images can reveal great truths, expose wrongdoing and neglect, inspire hope and understanding and connect people around the globe through the language of visual understanding. Photographs can also cause great harm if they are callously intrusive or are manipulated.
This code is intended to promote the highest quality in all forms of photojournalism and to strengthen public confidence in the profession. It is also meant to serve as an educational tool both for those who practice and for those who appreciate photojournalism. To that end, The National Press Photographers Association sets forth the following Code of Ethics:
Code of Ethics
This article contains wording that promotes the subject in a subjective manner without imparting real information. (March 2012)
Photojournalists and those who manage visual news productions are accountable for upholding the following standards in their daily work:
- Be accurate and comprehensive in the representation of subjects.
- Resist being manipulated by staged photo opportunities.
- Be complete and provide context when photographing or recording subjects. Avoid stereotyping individuals and groups. Recognize and work to avoid presenting one's own biases in the work.
- Treat all subjects with respect and dignity. Give special consideration to vulnerable subjects and compassion to victims of crime or tragedy. Intrude on private moments of grief only when the public has an overriding and justifiable need to see.
- While photographing subjects do not intentionally contribute to, alter, or seek to alter or influence events.
- Editing should maintain the integrity of the photographic images' content and context. Do not manipulate images or add or alter sound in any way that can mislead viewers or misrepresent subjects.
- Do not pay sources or subjects or reward them materially for information or participation.
- Do not accept gifts, favors, or compensation from those who might seek to influence coverage.
- Do not intentionally sabotage the efforts of other journalists.
- Be accurate in your captions
Ideally, photojournalists should:
- Strive to ensure that the public's business is conducted in public. Defend the rights of access for all journalists.
- Think proactively, as a student of psychology, sociology, politics and art to develop a unique vision and presentation. Work with a voracious appetite for current events and contemporary visual media.
- Strive for total and unrestricted access to subjects, recommend alternatives to shallow or rushed opportunities, seek a diversity of viewpoints, and work to show unpopular or unnoticed points of view.
- Avoid political, civic and business involvements or other employment that compromise or give the appearance of compromising one's own journalistic independence.
- Strive to be unobtrusive and humble in dealing with subjects.
- Respect the integrity of the photographic moment.
- Strive by example and influence to maintain the spirit and high standards expressed in this code. When confronted with situations in which the proper action is not clear, seek the counsel of those who exhibit the highest standards of the profession. Photojournalists should continuously study their craft and the ethics that guide it.
NPPA was incorporated on October 3, 1947. The original certificate of incorporation outlined six key objectives.
- To advance press photography in all its branches
- To promote the general welfare and conditions in the press photography field
- To create, promote, and maintain cordial relations and cooperation, a higher spirit of fraternalism, the interchange of thought and opinion freely, and a high standard of conduct among its members
- To distribute and disseminate accurate information in regard to matters pertaining to the photographic press of the nation
- To settle equitably and justify the differences between its members
- To preserve, stabilize, unify, and coordinate all elements of the photographic press of the nation
Notable past members
- Marion Carpenter, first female National Press Photographer to cover Washington, D.C., the White House and travel with a U.S. President.
- "NPPA Code of Ethics". National Press Photographers Association. Retrieved 27 June 2012.