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Illinois photogs denied field credentials

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JayFarrar, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Because I'm much too lazy to find the original thread.
    Seems like another state was headed to Armageddon on this, but I don't remember which one.
    Anyway, anyone at the scene care to comment.

    More at the link...
  2. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    Illinois' athletics org. needs to get hit hard.
    Below the belt.

    Until then, the photogs' papers need to buy tickets to the events, shoot the best they can with some telephoto lenses and then continue to sell them as they see fit.
  3. PTOWN

    PTOWN Member

    That's what we did. Bought a ticket and shot from the stands. It worked out just fine. The IHSA put a statement up on its Web site procliaming that pro sports have these same rules. But it's not exactly the same situation now is it. How many times do you think Mama Urlacher calls the Tribune trying to purchase a photo of her son?
  4. tjbball54

    tjbball54 New Member

    IHSA has done this time and time again. I know one of our photogs (again Arlington Daily Herald) was at a softball game I was covering and the umpire stopped the game and denied her access to the place they always shoot from. It was ridiculous. The coaches get to stand out there. I think it really is up to the photog to take the risk. There wasn't a spot for her to shoot other than behind the fences with an obstructed view. Now, this business in Champaign takes it a step futher even.
  5. steveu

    steveu Well-Known Member

    Since no one has said it, I will...

    This will not end well. For the IHSA and the IPA at least.
  6. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    My biggest problem with this is that unlike pro teams that aren't based in Green Bay, these organizations are not private organizations. They are affiliated with the local school systems and supported by taxpayer dollars. They are, in essence, public entities. Therefore, their games are public events and the media should have a right to cover them as such.

    I don't think they should be able to restrict anyone's access.
  7. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    I think it happened in Louisiana, and we're heading toward it in Indiana, too.
  8. Clerk Typist

    Clerk Typist Guest

    The IHSA opened a big hole in its argument when it allowed the outlets to cover from in the stadium, just not on the field.
    If I'm a paper's lawyer, I'm thinking the argument against the IHSA is this: Papers are allowed to sell pictures taken from the stands with a 400m lens, but not from 25 feet closer? That's a distinction without a difference.
    The IHSA ought to cut a deal to share revenue, which is what this is all about: Two sides each trying to make money off children without giving them a cut. Sorta like college sports on a smaller scale.
  9. MCbamr

    MCbamr Member

    It was Louisiana. The LHSAA has a contract with a single photographer who loads up on selling photos of players posing at championship sites and then selling them online. The association wanted news photogs to sign statements restricting each paper from selling photos online. All or most of the state papers banded together and decided not to cover the state girls basketball tournament. The LHSAA said OK you win. I think it was two years ago.
  10. Mira

    Mira Member

    Wisconsin's dealt with this issue, too.

    From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ...

    WIAA, newspapers spar over photos, video
    Agency seeks control of commercial use

    Posted: Feb. 7, 2007

    With state championships in high school wrestling and basketball just weeks away, the state's newspapers and the governing body for high-school athletics are embroiled in a dispute over photographic and video rights to the high-profile events.

    Newspaper representatives say their photographers and, in some cases, videographers, have the right to photograph and film the events for use in newspapers and online. In addition, newspapers argue they have the right to sell photographs or videos taken at the championship events, as they always have.

    The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA), which has sold exclusive photographic and video rights to the championship events to two companies, disagrees. Newspapers are welcome to cover the events, the association argues, but photos and videos are for editorial, not commercial use.

    The two companies - Visual Image Photography Inc., and When We Were Young Productions - have been around for years. But it wasn't until this year that the issue came to the forefront.

    Both sides agree that, with the advent of the digital age, newspapers are able to publish - both in the newspaper and on web sites - photos and videos for resale to the public.

    "The issue for Wisconsin newspapers is what they perceive to be inappropriate restrictions on the ability of newspapers to provide sports reports to the public," said Peter Fox, the executive director of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association. "Newspapers across the state have been selling photographs for decades. These types of things have been extremely popular with subscribers. Today we can deliver information products to readers and users in a variety of formats."

    But WIAA spokesman Todd Clark said newspapers are out of bounds. "Take your photos, that's fine," Clark said. "Create a photo store on the Web site, that is not fine. That is pretty clear."

    Clark said the WIAA does not receive a great deal of money from the two contracts, though he declined to specify a dollar amount. "The dollar amounts are modest," he said. But what makes it worthwhile for us is getting those images, not just from the popular sports, but other sports that we can use in our publications."

    "If we take a photo of a local basketball player shooting the shot that wins the state tournament," said George Stanley, managing editor of the Journal Sentinel, "and his or her parents ask us for a print of the photo, we're going to sell them the print like we always have, and I'm sure every daily and weekly paper in the state feels the same way.

    "The parents have every right to take their own photos and post them on our Web site, too, as far as we're concerned. Maybe the WIAA, as a non-profit association, should stick to regulating varsity athletics."

    Tom Hayes, the president and CEO of Visual Image Photography, said the issue had not been a concern until recently.

    "If anybody is at a game and can post pictures and sell them, that would hurt our sales and therefore hurt our revenue source," said Hayes.

    Clark said the WIAA and the two companies have offered a compromise. For $100, newspapers can shoot an unlimited amount of photographs and videos at regional and sectional athletic events. But once the events reach the state tournament level, the newspapers are restricted to using images only for editorial purposes.

    That does not mollify the newspapers.

    WNA members - including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - as well as the Associated Press Editors Association, both plan to discuss the issue this week at meetings in Wisconsin Dells.
  11. jmm1412

    jmm1412 Member

    I have no problem with the state athletic organizations controlling the commercial aspects of the events they run. When newspapers decide to sell photos they shoot from games, we cross the line from a journalistic enterprise afforded the free press protection of the first amendment to a commercial enterprise not entitled to such protection.
  12. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    Oh, really? So, just so I have this straight ...

    The IHSA should be allowed to determine the method in which we can disseminate the information we gather? Because that's what you're saying. When the paper sells its photographs, that is no different from you putting .50 in the paper box and pulling a copy out. We have information -- in this case visual information -- that someone wants, so they pay us for it. It's what we do. We gather information and we sell it.
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