WH, photographers agree to new plan for shooting presidential speeches

Washington Post
The agreement was hammered out quietly last week between the White House’s press office and the White House Correspondents’ Association, reports Paul Farhi.

News photographers will now be permitted to designate a single representative to act as a “pool” for the entire press corps. The photos taken by the pool representative will be made available to all news organizations. Reporters use a similar pool system for presidential events in which space is limited.

New York Times photographer Doug Mills, who negotiated on behalf of journalists, calls this “an excellent solution” because “we will have still photos taken during the actual address by a news photographer.” Kenny Irby, Poynter’s visual journalism faculty, said two weeks ago that the easiest option would be to move to a single-camera pool. Some photojournalists who spoke with Poynter.org in mid-May said they opposed that approach for still images because it limits photographers’ storytelling options and creativity. The White House decided to stop re-enacting photos for still photographers after AP and Reuters photographers described how the president made his speech about Osama bin Laden’s death to a single TV camera, then pretended to speak for the still cameras.

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