Associated Press forces removal of essay from Noorderlicht Photography Festival


General Photography

Just found on Mrs Deane’s blog: “Noorderlicht, for the first time in twenty years, has been forced to remove an essay by a curator, under threat of reprisal by Associated Press, one of the largest photo-agencies in the world. Having always worked on the cutting edge of photojournalism, not fearing to take a stand for the disenfranchised and the oppressed, we have found out the hard way that financial restraints (in view of possible legal action) can even force an organization like ours over the border between the powerful and the disempowered.” - Ton Broekhuis (director of the Noorderlicht Photography Foundation); find the press release with all the relevant information here

AP emailed me this following statement:

Early this year, The Associated Press agreed to a request to display some of its images from Gaza at the Noorderlicht Photofestival, with the firm understanding that the photos would speak for themselves and would not be used to support a political point of view.

The AP is an independent global news organization whose photojournalism stands on its own merits.

In early August, in an e-mail exchange with Photofestival representatives, the AP agreed to a brief text describing the origins of the photos and Stuart Franklin’s role in bringing them to the exhibition.

When Mr. Franklin later sought to include his own additional text, the AP explained that his political commentary was unacceptable under the clear agreement that had led to AP’s involvement in the exhibition - namely, that the photos would not be presented in support of a political position.

Mr. Franklin voluntarily said he would withdraw his commentary.

Paul Colford

Director of Media Relations

The Associated Press