Tag Archives: journalism

Discrimination In Journalism

Seeking Diversity In The Media Industry

Press Card Mosaic

It’s a very sad truth that sexism and racism is rife in the media. As a British photojournalist born in Iran and off Armenian descendants, I have lived in the UK since the age of eight. It’s very much my home and I’m extremely proud to be British and to contribute to society through my work, both professionally and in various volunteer basis, as well as numerous charitable contributions.

Through various publications, competitions and awards over the years, I have proven my ability as a photojournalist, yet sadly have never managed to make it past being a casual freelance photographer (meaning being commissioned daily) for the newspapers and agencies. I have several talented colleagues who are of various ethnic backgrounds who have the same struggles. The same discrimination is shown towards white, English female colleagues when contracts and big projects are filled. It is indeed rare to see someone of ethnicity or female photographers in good contract positions, the recipient of the top commissions or in possession of staff jobs (even when these were more abundant).

It truly is a shame that one’s ability and skill is often overseen, in place of one’s ethnicity or sex. After all, the reader or viewer sees the work, not the author. Its quite bizarre that over the last year, I decided to grow a long beard. Instead of this being seen as a trendy or hipster type thing, because of my slight tanned complexion, I could see a lot of people were judging me as some sort of religious extremist. Since shaving it off a couple of months ago, the reaction of the same people when seeing me is the polar opposite. Its quite sad really. Ignorance is most often not bliss.

Picture editors, editors, publishers and media owners need to look at the quality of work and ability of the photojournalist, not their ethnicity, sex, cultural background or religion. I’m definitely not one to condone positive discrimination either; quotas shouldn’t be filled based purely on one’s ethnicity or sex. I just think that the best person for the job should always get the job regardless of the colour of their skin or their sex.

The NY Times has this excellent article, which is well worth a read: Seeking Action — Not Just Talk — About Diversity in Photojournalism. Even more importantly, at the end of the article is a link to a survey for working photojournalists. Please put aside five minutes and fill in this Reclaim survey. Hopefully it’ll benefit the industry and our readers too.

A Day Without News?

Raising Awareness To The Growing Number Of Journalists Killed & Injured In Armed Conflict Zones

Imagine a day without news; imagine not knowing what’s happening around the world. Conflicts taking place uncovered; perpetrators’ acts of violence going unchecked or the civilian casualties not given a voice.

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Journalists, be they writers or photographers, have always put their lives at risk by going to cover wars; to tell the stories and share the pictures. Over recent years, journalists have become legitimate targets in the minds of combatants and in some cases are actively targeted.

Recent years have seen the deaths of far too many amazing people; dedicated to the truth and upholding humanity by covering acts of inhumanity. 2012 was the deadliest year for journalism with a 33% increase in deaths, resulting in 90 colleagues losing their life.

On April 20, 2011, photojournalist Tim Hetherington was killed whilst working in Misrata, Libya, covering the events of the bloody conflict. British photojournalist and filmmaker Tim Hetherington photographed on the last day of 'Operation Rock Avalanche' on October 25, 2007 at the Korengal Valley, East Afghanistan. Photo: Balazs Gardi

On April 20, 2011, photojournalist Tim Hetherington was killed whilst working in Misrata, Libya, covering the events of the bloody conflict. British photojournalist and filmmaker Tim Hetherington photographed on the last day of ‘Operation Rock Avalanche’ on October 25, 2007 at the Korengal Valley, East Afghanistan. Photo: Balazs Gardi

On April 20, 2011, photojournalist Chris Hondros was killed whilst working in Misrata, Libya, covering the events of the bloody conflict.

On April 20, 2011, photojournalist Chris Hondros was killed whilst working in Misrata, Libya, covering the events of the bloody conflict.

February 22, 2012, legendary correspondent Marie Colvin was killed in Homs, Syria. Evidence from eye witnesses, including London Sunday Times photographer Paul Conroy who was working with Marie, said that they had been deliberately targeted.

February 22, 2012, legendary correspondent Marie Colvin was killed in Homs, Syria. Evidence from eye witnesses, including London Sunday Times photographer Paul Conroy who was working with Marie, said that they had been deliberately targeted.

February 22, 2012, photojournalist Remi Ochlik was killed in Homs, Syria. Evidence from eye witnesses, including London Sunday Times photographer Paul Conroy who was working with Marie, said that they had been deliberately targeted.

February 22, 2012, photojournalist Remi Ochlik was killed in Homs, Syria. Evidence from eye witnesses, including London Sunday Times photographer Paul Conroy who was working with Marie, said that they had been deliberately targeted.

Support

I’m supporting the work of colleagues in spreading the word and campaigning world leaders to bring attention to these injustices and develop laws to try and safeguard journalism; visit the website, A DAY WITHOUT NEWS and do the same. Lastly, please spread the word using your social media.

Leveson Inquiry Says No To The BPPA

BPPA Refused by Leveson Inquiry

I’m shocked and saddened to find out that the Leveson Inquiry has rejected the BPPA‘s (British Press Photographers’ Association) application to become core participants in the inquiry.

The inquiry which was set up to look into press ethics and working practices following various recent tabloid practices (some of which are now known not to have happened at the hands of the press) took a turn and began attacking the paparazzi and photographers as a whole. The reporting of the inquiry has muddled the distinction of the paparazzi and working press photographers, calling everyone a press or news photographer.

Michelle Heaton from Liberty X is chased by the gathered paparazzi at the invitation only dinner for cast and guests, after the X-Men 2 movie premiere at "Sketch", Conduit Street, London W1. April 24, 2003. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The BPPA made an application to become a core participant to balance out the extremely one sided evidence which was given, but sadly has been rejected from doing this.

How is the Leveson Inquiry going to be balanced or even accurate if it won’t accept the BPPA?

Related Reading:

The BPPA & The Leveson Inquiry

I’m A Press Photographer & Very Proud Of It

Revolution In The Arab World

Photographer John Moore talks of his assignments in Egypt, Bahrain and Libya.