"Literally every day, someone is being arrested for doing nothing more than taking a photograph in a public place"

August 14, 2012 | Source: Monroe Gallery of Photography

Today's must read, via The New York Times Lens Blog

Mickey H. Osterreicher is the general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association and edits the organization's Advocacy Committee blog. He spoke with James Estrin. Their conversation has been edited.

"It's not just news photographers who should be concerned with this. I think every citizen should be concerned. Tourists taking pictures are being told by police, security guards and sometimes other citizens, "Sorry, you can't take a picture here." When asked why, they say, "Well, don't you remember 9/11?"
I remember it quite well, but what does that have do to with taking a picture in public? It seems like the war on terrorism has somehow morphed into an assault on photography.

Q.What's caused this?
A. It's been a perfect storm. There's 9/11, and now photojournalists who traditionally worked for newspapers are losing their jobs and becoming freelancers who may not have the backing of their news organizations. You have Occupy Wall Street, where police didn't want some of their actions to be photographed. And now everybody with a cellphone is capable of recording very high-quality images. And everyone has the ability to upload and share them almost instantly. There is no news cycle — it's 24/7 with unlimited bandwidth."
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Tags: First Amendment freedom of the press New York Times Lens Blog Photography is not a crime