Current affairs…

A group of photographers that I am teaching have got exams next week and there is a good chance that they will get one question on “current affairs” in the world of photography. Drawing up a list of potential topics I suddenly realised that there have been a lot of issues that affect us over the last year or so and I wondered how many working photographers will be totally up to date on all of them.

That got me thinking again (it’s turning into a bad habit) and I started to realise that anyone who bothers to take part in or even lurk around the countless web and email based discussion forums will probably be OK but that anyone who just gets up, does their job, sends in the invoice and then gets on with their life probably won’t be OK. These days, you have to work very hard to keep up to date but for those of you who are interested, here is the list that I came up with:

  • The Leveson Inquiry into the ethics, culture and practices of the press
  • Privacy laws
  • Photographers and the coverage of the recent riots
  • How the media deals with the repatriation of the bodies of dead servicemen and women
  • The Royal wedding(s)
  • What is a paparazzi and how does the public perception of the affect how we work
  • Real world health and safety for photographers at home and overseas
  • Citizen journalism and how to deal with it positively
  • The UK Press Card: its history and its place in the industry of today
  • What the 2012 Olympics will mean for all of us
  • Sports and entertainment licensing
  • Section 43, clause 44 and the current moves towards collective licensing

Not a bad list and I’m sure that there are other current topics that we all need to know about to do our jobs properly. We all know that the laws around police/media relations, copyright and human rights are having huge effects on our daily working lives. Has there ever been a time in the history of news photography where so much has to be known about so many things by so few?

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