A Letter To CJR on Use of CC Flickr Images

May 08, 2016  •  8 Comments

Screenshot of CJR's use of Flickr CC image without proper credit.Screenshot of CJR's use of Flickr CC image without proper credit. Freedom of Speech by Ahdieh Ashrafi via Flickr Credit: http://bit.ly/1VUAyLy

Hi, I'm photojournalist who occasionally write on media issues revolving around photographer rights. I also co-host a podcast that discusses topics in photojournalism called Around The Lens. 

I'm curious if you have a statement on using unpaid photographers from Flickr for illustrations on your articles? I'm also interested on your thoughts as media industry critics on the use of "Flickr" as a credit line, as opposed to say the photographers professional website. 

This article on press censorship caught my eye "Why the controversy over an Iowa cartoonist is no laughing matter" [http://www.cjr.org/analysis/cartoonist.php] - it uses a CC photo with incorrect credit - and clearly is a free use image. 

Use of creative commons photos is wide spread on news sites, but what does it say that the one of the preeminent press criticism journals doesn't itself use paid photographers for its site? And doesn't even follow the guidelines of the creative commons attributions - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

I by no means want to picture CJR as an outlier - this is something I see as a wide spread problem in the industry as a whole. I am hoping that this might start some discussion on where we want a form of journalism - photojournalism as a whole to go in the future. Unfortunately for photographers we cannot to our job from behind a desk and we can't use others work in our medium - we need a future where our work is respected and paid for.

If anyone has any interest in signing on to this letter - you can contact me at ZDRoberts@gmail.com or comment here with your basic info. 


Note: After I sent this letter I found the image used on a Oxford University site - again I hold the same issue with using free photography -but at least they used proper CC credit. 


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