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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Photographers vs. TSA

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There has been a lot of outrage and concern online recently about the Transportation Security Administration's recent poster campaign depicting a hooded photographer shooting an image of a Gulfstream jet on a tarmac. "Don't let our planes get into the wrong hands" is the tag line of the ad. The National Press Photographers Association has expressed concern over the campaign which is aimed at smaller regional airports. The NPPA is currently engaged in a lawsuit against the TSA over their laptop search policy at the US border.

In this age of heightened security, a great deal of confusion exists over the rights of photographers in exercising the first amendment. In any public place, and from the vantage point of a public street, sidewalk or park, photographers are allowed to capture images.

A good clarification of photographer's rights appears online here. I recently came across the blog of Carlos Miller, Miami multimedia journalist, that uses his web space to report on abuses against photographers and videographers working in journalism. It raises some excellent issues related to the first amendment and its use by visual communicators working today.


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