Today the NPPA released the following statement:

The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) and the
American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) Urge Corporate News Media Organizations to Improve and Expand News Coverage

The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) and the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) are keenly aware that newsrooms in the United States have experienced dramatic cutbacks during the past decade, with many news organizations reducing the size, frequency and breadth of their coverage. These cutbacks have eroded the quality of information available to American citizens, while contributing to an overall distrust of the news media.

Candidates in the 2012 election campaign cycle reportedly raised and spent an unprecedented $6 billion. The campaigns expended a large portion of this sum to advertise on television and radio as well as in newspapers and news magazines. The Washington Post reports that the presidential campaigns, alone, spent more than $1billion – half or more of their total campaign dollars – on such advertising.

In order to accommodate this huge influx of advertising, many media outlets actually reduced their available news bloc to make room for more political advertising.

Based upon these facts and observations the NPPA & ASMP urge corporate news media organizations to re-invest a substantial portion of their profits into the communities they serve by improving and expanding local news coverage so as to achieve the highest standards in journalism and bolster public trust and respect.

Why? The direct but less revealing answer is because Greg Smith, one of the brightest minds in the organization, proposed a resolution calling for such a statement. The resolution was discussed, modified and passed by the Board in early January.

That’s the short answer. The longer more revealing answer is because the NPPA, long known for educating photographers and running contests, is continuing to become a louder voice for visual journalists. Part of that evolution, as described by now Past President Sean Elliot at the same January meeting, is that the NPPA should be the loud voice leading the charge, not the meek voice saying, quietly, yes, we agree with whatever another group says.

So, here it is. A shout, saying we, the photographers and editors and MMJs and educators and students and others, would like to be able to do our jobs better so the communities we live in will be better because those communities are better informed.

We aren’t demanding. We aren’t saying the companies we work for shouldn’t keep the money they make.

We’re saying some companies, in this election cycle, got a lot more money than they expected to get and we would like those companies to take some of that money, and $6,000,000,000 is a whole lot of money, and put it to work where we work and live.

Mike Borland

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