NPPA Annual Meeting at their new location the Grady College of Journalism

Mark E. Johnson is on the faculty of the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia teaching photojournalism and multimedia journalism courses. He talks to the board about some of the expenses associated with the offices now being in the school. [Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/3.6 1/80]

This is the annual board meeting for the National Press Photographers Association at Grady College of Journalism with University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia.

The NPPA moved the organization head quarters this month to the Grady College of Journalism. The move will cut their overhead costs due to the school giving them office space with minimal expenses like phone and internet connections.

NPPA like all photography associations has been loosing members due to the industry staff jobs going away in so many places around the globe.

Mickey H. Osterreicher, NPPA’s general counsel tells the board how last year they helped a member in a law suit where his rights were violate and helped with a $200,000 settlement. The person donated $3,000 to NPPA legal fund. [Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/4 1/250]

Community coordination has shaped and advanced America since its birth and has historically set America apart from many other nations. NGOs and other associations have formed many places around the world, but it has been a foundation in American society.

Associations are organized for all types of purposes, but there are some recurring benefits they typically provide their members, including:

  • Education/professional development
  • Information, research, statistics
  • Standards, codes of ethics, certification
  • A forum to discuss common problems and solutions
  • Opportunities to further a specific mission, including volunteering and community service
  • Providing a community of interest.
Mark E. Johnson helps answer the boards questions on the expenses NPPA will still be responsible for at the Grady School of Journalism. [Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/9 1/15]
With publications like newspapers and magazines going out of business in record numbers over the past five to ten years the community has shrunk for working staff photographers.
I am sure I shocked many on the board when I decided to attend their open board meeting and just sit and observe. It is like watching sausage being made. Just as families around America have had conversations around their kitchen tables about cutting back when a spouse lost a job, so to the NPPA board was evaluating all items line by line on the budget.
The board voting on parts of the 2015 Annual Budget. It was like watching sausage being made. [Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/3.2 1/110]
As I drove to Athens I have to admit I have been quite ambivalent about what I get for my membership. After sitting and listening to the board focus on the budget and then on my drive home I realized that one of the core reasons those in the industry should support an association in these times is the same reason we started them years ago. One thing continues to stand out as one of the most important reasons is “a forum to discuss common problems and solutions.”
Look through the bullet list yourself and see if it makes sense to let an association like NPPA die or join and support the organization. What would fill the vacuum for the role of the association in our profession?
I think the largest struggle right now for the industry is really a lack of clear understanding for the direction we should be taking. What specific mission do we now move towards?
I don’t think anyone has yet to find a crystal ball that gives insight to what we will be doing in five or ten years from now. I think we are starting for the first time in a very long time to realize what are the core things we do that isn’t related to gear. We have defined so much of our industry by gear and now with the changes in that happening daily we are looking for what are the core skills we still have from the beginning of the profession that we will continue most likely.

Time for putting our heads together I think rather than doing this alone. Have you joined NPPA?

If not go here to join

Then get involved and be part of the discussion.