While freedom of the press is guarded as an inalienable right of people in a free society, the respect and trustworthiness that we as photojournalists should have must be earned. The NYPPA believes this can best be done by adhering to a professional code of ethics. Through our actions we can earn the respect and honor which our profession is worthy of, as we strive to serve the truth, the public and the historical documentation of our time with our images.
While no one is perfect, the NYPPA encourages photojournalists to recognize and take personal responsibility for their actions. The association also encourages dialogue and discussion, as we can all learn and benefit from each other’s experience as we document the world around us.
To that end, the NYPPA sets forth the following code of ethics, and while every situation cannot be prejudged, these are guidelines which combined with common sense and good judgment are designed to uphold the integrity of our profession:
The members of New York Press Photographers Association are dedicated to visually documenting the world around us and serving the truth through our images.
The public trust that is placed upon us gives us a moral obligation to act honestly, fairly, ethically, and to serve the truth as we uphold the honor of our profession. The public depends on us to provide truthful reporting and honest photography.
We will: Strive to make photographs that report truthfully, honestly and objectively.Respect our subjects and the public, strive to be fair and honest in their representation.Never set up news photographs or manipulate news events. Aside from portraits and illustrations, our jobs are to capture moments and if we miss those moments we will continue waiting, or move on, to find another visually interesting moment.Never accept nor offer bribes, kickbacks or unethical inducements. Never pay a news source to get a picture.Be accurate and truthful in our editing to fairly represent an event.Be truthful and accurate in our captioning as we always make our best effort to make sure caption information is truthful.Act with conscience. If another photographer were watching us, would we continue with our actions?Practice good conduct toward one another. Always be truthful with our fellow photographers and not mislead fellow photographers. If we can’t tell colleagues information, we will say so.Neutralize and overcome any personal bias to best serve the public and offer fairness to everyone.Give something back: by encouraging and assisting all members of our profession, individually and collectively, we will raise the quality of photojournalism to a higher standard.When confronted by a member of law enforcement, we will maintain decorum and respect. No matter how an officer acts towards us, it is incumbent upon us to maintain respect. We will not insult, curse, use ethnic slurs, or show disrespect to law enforcement officers, the public or subjects of our photography. If law enforcement acts improperly, we will document those actions to the best of our ability and take appropriate action with superior.
Adherence to this code is intended to preserve and strengthen the bond of mutual trust between photojournalists and the public, which we serve.
(Adopted from the code of ethics of the Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles)