An NCTJ press photography tutor gave evidence at The Leveson Inquiry into press ethics this week. Neil Turner, a tutor at Up to Speed Journalism Training, was speaking in his role as vice-president of The British Press Photographers’ Association.
Neil said that professional press photographers working for national newspapers and magazines were often unfairly labelled as ‘paparazzi’, a term which he said was used with “ridiculous abandon”. He also said newspapers could do more to ensure that images had been sourced ethically.
Prior to attending the inquiry Neil said: “We responded to the early criticisms of press photographers from the celebrities, all the people who gave evidence in the first couple of weeks. Our main reason for going is to put our case to be involved when it comes to the decisions about how we move forward from here. That’s really important because there’s a lot of discussion about privacy laws and other possible outcomes from Leveson, most of which would be against the freedom of the press.”
Following Neil’s evidence, the chairman of the inquiry, Lord Justice Leveson, agreed: “Responsible photographers, like responsible journalists, are not part of the problem and they do need to be part of the solution.”